House approves payment to Al Barrack
At the end of the weeklong debate on the Estimates, contractor Al Barrack could be smiling all the way to the bank.
Late this evening, the House approved the sum of $8.7 million as a final payment to the Government contractor, who has been made to wait for over 15 years for a settlement.
“This has been an issue that has been around since 1999 and we are finally bringing closure to this particular matter,” said Minister of Housing & Lands Denis Kellman, who jokingly said that the black contractor would not have to paint his face white again to get his money.
“We are also moving in $2,062 000 to accommodate the rental of the property and also $268,777 for the maintenance of the property,” Kellman said.
A $35 million supplementary was also approved for the Ministry of Agriculture, including 6.8 million to cover debt obligations for the Barbados Agricultural Management Company, as well as to assist the cash-strapped institution in meeting payroll obligations. The funds will also be used to pay international sugar suppliers and will also go in support of a drawdown from the Inter-American Development Bank with respect to a Water and Sanitation Upgrade Project currently being executed by the Barbados Water Authority to the tune of $17.4 million.
The Lower Chamber has also approved the sum of $25 million in the form of a supplementary for the Ministry of Education to pay economic costs for students at the University of the West Indies, while $18 million was go towards the cash-strapped Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Minister of Health John Boyce noted that the figure was significantly less than the $50 million the QEH had acquired in previous years in terms of supplementaries.
Among the key pieces of legislation approved by the House were the Appropriation (Amendment) Act 2015, the Bank Assets (Amendment) Act 2015, the Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2015 and the Consolidation Tax (Amendment) Act 2015. (NC)
The house was adjourned just after 8 p.m. today and will resume on Friday, April 10, 2015.