Arthur had made it clear that no one connected to Barbados Shipping and Trading (BS&T), the parent company of Warrens Motors, Members of Parliament, Government ministers or persons associated with the organisation of the cricket tournament should be sold these luxury cars under the relaxed duty concessions offered. … from The Nation News Rush On For CWC BMWs
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
For the past 13 years, you and your Barbados government have handed out tax money, jobs, favours and perks to friends, family members and supporters without any regard for real or perceived conflicts of interest.
You have done this personally and as a government. Is there even one member of your Cabinet who can say that they have never used their position or influence to arrange a benefit for a friend or family member?
Friends and supporters of the government have driven duty-free, cheaply purchased, government-depreciated autos for years. What is the problem now, Mr. Prime Minister? Why did you now change your policy and prohibit Warrens Motors from selling duty-reduced CWC autos to members of the government and their families?
Insiders have long known how the system works…
The government buys or leases vehicles that are to be used for a few years in government service. Senior insiders are even allowed to select the type, features and colour of the vehicle that will be assigned to them. After a time of carefully driving a vehicle in government service while it depreciates in value, a magical process occurs that sees the vehicle transferred to a wife or cousin after it is purchased for it’s heavily “depreciated” value.
Why No Public Auctions To Dispose Of Government Autos Or Other Desirable Assets?
Mr. Prime Minister, there is never a public notice about the sale of government autos… and sure as anything no records are published or are even available to curious citizens. There are no rules about who sets the sale price or who ends up with the government vehicles. Sometimes your government makes a show of turning over groups of used government autos to dealers, but the phrase “that one is already sold” is applied to a good portion of the vehicles.
That is the way it has been under the Owen Arthur government, and under past DLP administrations as well.
That is how so many family members, friends and supporters of government end up driving “government used” vehicles.
That’s never been a secret. That’s just the way it is.
The difference now is that we can talk about this corruption in public without fear or retribution.
Why The Big Show About The Cricket World Cup BMWs?
Mr. Prime Minister, if it is somehow wrong or unethical for government members to obtain a duty-free CWC BMW now, how is this different from what has happened in the past? Haven’t you just admitted that it is unethical that many of your government’s friends and family members drive duty-free used government vehicles?
The only thing that has changed this time is the high profile and number of the the duty-free vehicles.
You and your political colleagues – including the opposition party – have until just this past year ignored integrity and conflict of interest issues because it suited your little group to continue to do as you please.
We the people of Barbados have had enough from those who abuse our trust. We will not be deterred by small side shows intended to apply a false veneer of integrity to a corrupt government operating freely within a corrupted system. If you want to come clean, Owen Arthur – have each of your Cabinet declare who in their family and close friends drives a former government vehicle.
Hear us well, Mr. Prime Minister. We the people of Barbados will hold you and your colleagues accountable for every penny you have unethically taken from us and given to friends and family.