It is Prime Minister Freundel Stuart who really needs to be “privatised”, Barbados Labour Party leader Owen Arthur said last night.
He fired the latest salvo in a debate between the BLP and governing Democratic Labour Party over which of the two were advancing a privatisation agenda.
“Tonight I have come to say ‘privatise Freundel’, send him back to the private sector, send him back to private practice, that is where he belongs, because if he is in charge of a government that is selling your shares in BNB and he does not know and can tell you that he does not believe in privatisation then he is not fit to lead to this country,” Arthur said last night at Eagle Hall shortly before he official launched the BLP’s manifesto.
The former Prime Minister said there was no party “that has practised privatisation more than the Democratic Labour Party”.
“Heywoods (hotel) was built by the Barbados Labour Party and sold by the Dems to the private sector. Arawak Cement was built by the Barbados Labour Party and sold by the Dems to the private sector,” he said.
All sold out
“Tom Adams secured our shares in BET and the Dems sold our shares in BET to the private sector. Even in this term, even as Freundel Stuart is telling you that he does not believe in privatisation the government that he leads has already sold all of our shares that remained in the Insurance Corporation of Barbados and they didn’t tell you a word.
“They have recently sold the remaining shares owned by the Government of Barbados in the Barbados National Bank and they have sold them at a discount and Chris Sinckler has gone on record as saying that he is not only going to sell Transport Board, but the National Housing Corporation and … the Sanitation (Service) Authority,” he stated.
Arthur said if Stuart was saying he was not aware of “these things” then he “would have had to be asleep stronger than we thought”.
“He can’t now come and tell you that he does not believe in privatisation when his Government has been privatising things. They have even privatised the Savannah Hotel that was being owned and run by the government,” he stated.
“Why are they pillorying the Barbados Labour Party on privatisation other than that they feel that it is going to scare you … from doing that which you ought to do?” (SC)