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In a state of panic


Half of Barbados is in a state of panic since Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced that 3,000 public workers will be going on the breadline between January and March next year.

Opposition Senator Wilfred Abrahams reminded Opposition senators of this announcement today while speaking on a Government guarantee of $5.55 million for Hotel Resorts Ltd from RBC Royal Bank Barbados Ltd.

Abrahams, who is an attorney-at-law, in defending his party’s position on Hotel Resorts Ltd and questioning Senator Hunte’s comments, said: “The Democratic Labour Party came to power on a platform that they were not sending home anybody. They said that the economy was sound. They said that everything was under control. They said that if the Barbados Labour Party get into office they were going to send home 10,000 workers and they (DLP) [are] not sending home anybody.

“In May this year, the economy was sound and on a growth path. On December 5, the Prime Minister said the Government of Barbados has no intention of sending home anyone. Last week we heard from the Minister of Finance that it has become necessary because of the state of economy, it has now become necessary to send home 3,000 workers.

“This happens right before Christmas. Barbados is panicking. Barbados has ground to a halt. Up to this week-end no one was in Bridgetown. If you had spun a coin into the air it would have dropped on the ground and bounced. There would have been no one to pick it up. Our economy that was so sound, is at the point where the minister of Finance in his considered opinion in a Ministerial statement it is now necessary to remove 3,000 people from the public sector. The very next day the Prime Minister was saying that the announcement was not cast in stone. I do not know if the principle of collective responsibility holds sway with the Government,” Abrahams added.

Addressing the issue under discussion, Abrahams recalled that the DLP had planned to scrap the project and divest itself of all the properties.

“We are now six years into the DLP administration and we are discussing a resolution for a loan for HRL. Obviously there is something in the project that is worth salvaging. Obviously they are being protected as a going concern. The fact is we do not stand up and object for the sake of objecting. This side was not prepared to get up and say anything.

“Senator Hunte lambasted the BLP about the project. He spoke about $300 million unaccounted for, but he did not speak about one of the most prominent persons involved in the project, Sir Philip Greaves. You cannot say one thing and ignore the other. I draw the attention of Senator Hunte to the fact that the National Housing Corporation is getting $4.2 million a month from last year without parliamentary approval. The sum is unaccounted for,” Abrahams said. (NC) 

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