Kellman accuses the Opposition of flip-flopping
Government MP Denis Kellman today blasted the Opposition for its decision not to back a resolution for the administration to borrow US$25 million from the Trinidad-owned First Citizens Bank Limited to fund its membership in the Development Bank of Latin America.
He accused Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley of flip flopping on the issue and coming up with spurious arguments.
“When one considers what we are paying on this loan as compared to what we paid on other loans it is quite clear that these terms and conditions are more favourable to Barbados,” he contended in response to arguments put forward by Mottley during her contribution in the post-lunch session of the debate.
The St Lucy representative said the Opposition should not be criticizing the arrangement given its record while in Government.
”You imagine the honourable Leader of the Opposition has the gall to come in here and tell us that we are [getting] US$25 million from First Citizens Bank, a Trinidadian bank, and [that] it’s being signed under their terms and conditions. The same person who was deputy prime minister, who took the Barbados National Bank and handed it to the Trinidadians lock, stock and barrel . . .,” the veteran parliamentarian argued.
“Everybody knows that whenever you go to borrow, you borrow on the terms of the lender and the conditions are always set by the lender. This is not the first time.”
Kellman defended the repayment conditions, saying they were good, adding that Government was being honest with the public about the arrangement.
“We are paying the money into CAF (the Development Bank of Latin America); that is our money. We have a relationship with First Citizens over a loan but the money that will be paid to CAF is money [from] the people of Barbados, not First Citizens. So I do not understand the logic,” he said of the argument put forward by Mottley.
“When we joined the OAS [Organization of American States] we said we did not want anybody to pay our subscriptions. Now that we are joining CAF, we do not want anybody to pay our subscriptions either because the Government and the people of Barbados will pay CAF with their own money.”
The St Lucy MP went on to credit Government for making the right decision by joining CAF in light of some of its conditions for borrowing.
”You know what is hurtful? . . . We can borrow four times the amount of the subscription or eight times. Can you tell me why the Opposition is telling the people of Barbados that we will not be supporting a loan where you can be borrow four times or five times the subscription?”