Lie, what lie?
Mottley rebuts Sinckler’s loan statement
Not so fast, Mr. Minister!
In a fiery retort, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has challenged Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler to stop “hiding behind allegations of default that were never made” about the Government’s loan with Swiss bank Credit Suisse, and come clean on the true status of the arrangement.
Mottley dismissed the Ministerial Statement delivered by Sinckler in Parliament yesterday as nothing more than “verbal gymnastics and contortions” which left unanswered questions as to why, on June 18th, 2015, the approximately $88 million loan was not paid to Credit Suisse.
Sinckler had accused the Barbados Labour Party leader of telling a “horrible untruth” and making a “dangerous and irresponsible” claim that gave the impression that Barbados had defaulted on the payment for servicing the loan.
Armed with a signed document bearing the signatures of top executives of Credit Suisse, he said the “Government, in fulfillment of its obligations, made the payment as scheduled in the amount of BDS$ 41.23 million, representing interest $20.6 million and amortization $20.63 million, to the various holders of the facility.”
But in a strong reply, Mottley clarified that she said at a recent public meeting “that as of June 18th and the Friday thereafter, the sum of approximately $88 million dollars which was consistent with the terms and conditions approved by Parliament in Decemeber 2013 had not been paid.”
Insisting that she was standing by her statement, the Opposition leader argued that if the fiscal circumstances and the state of foreign reserves necessitated a renegotiation, or an extension of the repayment terms, it should have been brought to the attention of Parliament and the country.
“I am further demanding that the Minister of Finance comes straight and thorough with the citizens of Barbados as to the true status of the terms and conditions of the Credit Suisse loan. Are all the terms and conditions still the same as approved by Parliament in 2013? Or, have they, like most other things of late, been changed unknown to the Parliament and the people of Barbados?
“This is too serious a matter for the Minister of Finance to be hiding behind allegations of default that were never made. If the loan has been renegotiated, or the terms extended due to the inability of the Government to readily meet them, then the Minister of Finance must say so, and cease engaging in verbal gymnastics and contortions.”