Capital works programme concerns

Speaker of the House Michael Carrington on his way to Parliament.
Speaker of the House Michael Carrington on his way to Parliament.

Parliamentary representative for St. Andrew, George Payne, has questioned the suggestion that a capital works programme can act as a stimulus to the economy and reduce the level of unemployment in Barbados.

Payne raised these concerns today while speaking on the 2013-2014 Estimates in the House of Assembly.

While noting that there was nothing in the Estimates which gives hope to the business sector, Payne maintained that Government must restore confidence in the business sector if there is to be growth in the economy.

The veteran MP recalled that in the late 1990s there was no difficulty in finding work in Barbados.

Addressing the issue of housing, Payne sought information on the status of the “toy houses” at Lancaster, St. James and those at Coverley, Christ Church.

He argued that small contractors should be given an opportunity to construct some of the high rise apartments to be built at the Grotto, Beckles Road and Exmouth, Deacons Road, and queried whether one major construction magnate would be awarded the contract.

Payne claimed that housing lots that were expected to be sold at $5 per square foot were now being sold at $15.

Noting that Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, has allocated $80 million for road repairs, Payne questioned if any of these funds would be used to upgrade the roads in St. Andrew and St. Joseph.

The former housing and transport and work minister also sought clarification on the status of the Scotland District Authority and concluded that nothing was being done in these rural parishes because the electorate in these two constituencies had voted consistently for the Barbados Labour Party’s candidates.

He maintained that the Freundel Stuart Administration should put plans in place to assist the policy holders of CLICO and said he anticipated that in the event nothing was done by the Government their representative body would have to take legal action to recover the funds of members.

Payne called on Government too to say whether contractor, Al Barrack, had possession of the building at Warren’s, St. Michael, or if he was yet to receive the settlement confirmed by the Supreme Court. (NC)†††

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