Mia Mottley Declares Assets – Wipes The Floor With Thompson and DLP Government

Give Mia Her Due Respect…

When Barbados Opposition Leader Mia Mottley publicly declared her assets in Parliament, she successfully pulled off the most beautifully orchestrated piece of politics that this writer has seen in years.

One of our BFP family (Cliverton) argued that Mia’s declaration of assets doesn’t really matter. Here is some of what Cliverton wrote…

“I think that part of the problem is that … folks don’t realize that the declaration of assets is only a small, even tiny, part of the changes that are necessary. Mia knows that, and she also knows that in the absence of the other 98% of ITAL (Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation), the declaration of assets is essentially showmanship serving little real public purpose. After all… if there are no rules for the disclosure, access and use of the information – and there are no laws broken by conflicts of interest such as government officials awarding contracts to themselves etc – the disclosure is of little use to anyone except Mia.

It is about pretense, and pretending that this really means something.

We will be supporting Mia’s call for disclosure of assets by all MPs… after all… it was our idea and has been pushed by us all along. But we, unlike so many others who are so willing to be fooled, realise that this means little to the advancement of effective ITAL.

Other than shaming the DLP into keeping their already-broken promises.”

Mia’s Declaration Of Assets Is More Important That Even She Probably Realises

I have to disagree in part with Cliverton. He does make some good points, but I believe that Clive has underestimated the ability of the public to determine that this is all theatre.

What Cliverton misses, and what the public will soon start to realise, is that Mia’s declaration of assets is as much a condemnation of her 14 years of BLP government as it is a poke at the Thompson administration.

Further Reading

Nation News: Mia Worth 3.5 Million

Nation News: Mottley’s Strong Response

170 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

170 responses to “Mia Mottley Declares Assets – Wipes The Floor With Thompson and DLP Government

  1. Body Slam

    It was the greatest body slam in the history of Bajan politics.

    Everybody is talking about it.

    She really made him look like a fool.

  2. 47

    I wonder if body slam and others like him/her will still feel mia’s action was so brilliant after listening to the prime minister’s wrap up tonight.

    All I can say is the barbados labour party is so used to gimmicks and deceit and these sleight of hands behaviour that they have forgotten that the citizens of barbados can see through their shenanigans.

    First of all from peter wickham to john public to politicians – all recognise that:

    a) declaring assets after you have left office – without first declaring it upfront is a joke – and completely worthless,

    b)Mia’s declaration apparently references only assets in barbados and makes no mention of assets overseas,

    c)That as prime minister thompson said that 2 page list could have been written in a rum shop – it was not an official document prepared by a reputable accounting firm,with reputable valuations done and so – just a piece of paper.

    Finally tonight david thompson showed how devious and disgustingly slimy these blp politicians and in particular mia mottley are.

    To bring false information purporting to show corruption where a contractor at the Rural Dev. put in a lock which was invoiced at $2,500. and infering that clico’s chairman used his influence to change the insurers of CBC to give his company the contract – when it was later revealed that the truth is – that Clico and CGI were the lowest bidders and therfore the bid was split between the 2 companies.

    Even on this site some bloggers jumped on mia’s version without waiting for an explanation – and accused the government of being just like the BLP and engaging in corruption.

    I suppose tonight a lot of people must be washing off the egg off their faces.

    What can be gained from this episode is – the BLP has signalled that it will be going as low as it can go and doing whatever it takes to try to dicredit the dlp,and to distract the public’s attention from the long,laundry list of their past corrupt activities.

    All I hope for is a jail term for some of these persons at the end of all these investigations.

    Long may the BLP last in opposition.

  3. Hants

    Mia has certainly put Owing in an interesting position. 14 years ago he was broke.

    We will do the math to analyse his declared assets which I hope includes his divorce settlement.

    All of her collegues will have reference points that will help us figure out if their claims are reasonable.

    The DLP Ministers are starting basically from scratch so I think the losers in this will be Owing and the rest of MIA’s collegues.

    She is the only one who was born rich so her 3.5mil is reasonable.

  4. Thomas Gresham

    Annonymous refuses to get it. The point of the Leader of the oppositon’s declaration is to show that there is nothing stopping the Govenment Ministers making declarations themselves and making them now, long after the 100 days in which they promised ITAL legislation has passed. She is not in office, Thompson is and until he declares his assets publicly, until he establishes a system that all can follow his credibility on the matter is in shreds.

  5. Hants

    BLP politicians must be working assiduously to declare their assets while covering their ssses.

    Some of them may use the US $ value like they did with the prison.

  6. John

    I decided to watch the closing of the debate by Freundel Stuart and David Thompson.

    David Thompson did a good job and brought his humanity to bear on his closing.

    Freundel figured Mia was childish and concentrated too much in his beginning on the theme”how have the mighty fallen” particularly in dealing with Owen.

    Then a light seemed to go on in his head and he really put it together in his ending and said what it was I think he really wanted to say.

    He set the stage for David Thompson.

    These two worked together well.

    Bodes well for the avoidance of a one man show.

    Between the two of them they re-emphasised and communicated the reasoning and theme of the budget – human, aimed at people and based on “my brother’s keeper”.

    They did a good job but there is no doubt Mia upset the ITAL apple cart.

    The younger bloods seem to have spent time in tearing to pieces her form of the declaration not realising what it was she had done. The form was inconsequential.

    These two older heads dealt with the substance and Thompson in particular did it well.

    …. but Mia’s point is made!!!

    Next time she will have to lift her level because David Thompson and Feundel Stuart lifted theirs and by extension, that of their party.

    She got shown up with the lock. I am glad about that because that simple discrepancy meant to me that we had exchanged one set of @@#$! for another.

    Now, if we can see some ITAL please …….

    I understood David Thompson to say that the model legislation proposed was taken from a country where it is soon to be repealed because of the problems it caused and this was the delay.

    Sounded good, maybe it is a fact but I am a little leery of this reason ….. man, if only he weren’t a politician ….. !!

    … for me a sure sign Mia rattled his cage … but he responded well to the pressure.

    He fits as PM inspite of what was said about his lack of experience during elections. I figured he would, just as Owen with even less experience did, …. for a time.

    Mia has her work cut out. She has to work to get to be PM.

    It isn’t going to come easy.

  7. Hants

    Words the Bajan public will hear frequently after the politicians declare their assets.

    “My money tied up”

  8. Wishing In Vain

    What an amusing day that unfolded, first we have Hammy Lashley being summoned to the leader of the opposition’s office because he aired his views and expressed the same opinion as 99 % of the other Barbadians, the result he was kept away from the final voting on the Budget.

    With regard to the declared assets issue , what a farace this was made out to be, When both mottley and arthur comically presented this nonsense between yesterday evening and this evening, even their party members were heard to say to each other that this like it backfired you hear!!!

    When the Prime Minister is ready for them to declare their assets they will know about it and it will not be done in any half ass manner as these were pieced together to get newspaper coverage as this was a PR event.

    Simply put both of these documents are sadly lacking details ,I wonder why Mottleys shows no mention of her watersports joint venture with Foster and Straker, the Island safari jointly owned with Foster and Straker, or trhe two houses in Rendezvous?

    In arthurs case why has he not revealed what happened with the $! Million from the bribe paid to him for the TCP permission for PORTICO, lets start there.

    As the PM stated tonight when he does it there will be a lot more in depth searching and it will not be accepted and done willy nilly as these two pieces of trash are proven to be.

  9. Wishing In Vain

    Lets get real here this was nothing more than a gimmick for newspaper coverage but when one looks at these items it is nothing less than a laughable and comical, when this reporting is to be done we will have to have accountanmts and lawyers involved in this activity not by throwing piece meal numbers together for press coverage.

  10. SOS

    Why would he not say which country the model legislation where it is soon to be repealed because of the problems it caused. What problems, etc.?

    Excuses as usual. Not to mention that said statement looked as if such legislation could not be drawn up by local talent.

  11. SOS

    Oh, by the way BFP, I know it took so loooooooong to have some comment here on Mia’s debate and more so on her declaration of assets, etc. from the BFP, yet thank you for coming up to the plate.

  12. SOS

    … seriously, this thing about the country which they were modelling the ITAL on should be investigated – BFP, are you up to this?

    Since you say that all the other press agencies are barren, find out which country he’s talking about ( if there is fact one) and let’s look at it.

  13. Wishing In Vain

    PM’s assets plan
    Published on: 7/10/08.

    PRIME MINISTER DAVID THOMPSON says his Government’s pre-election pledge of integrity legislation and a declaration of assets by MPs might have been “ambitious”.

    But he told the House of Assembly last night during the wrap-up of the three-day debate on the 2008 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals that proper procedures would be put in place for the scrutiny and investigation of such assets.

    The Prime Minister was responding to the surprise declaration of assets by Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley last Tuesday night in which she disclosed assets of $3.5 million.

    “But that isn’t all,” Thompson suggested, “that is just the tip of the iceberg.”

    He added that transparent procedures would be set in train to ensure that the Governor-General would not be subjected to any “rum shop” type of document preparation.

    The Prime Minister acknowledged that Barbados had followed a model of assets declaration legislation used in a country – which he did not name – but which had caused problems in that country that would now have to repeal the legislation.

    “That is the genuine reason,” he added, in explaining the background to the delay in introducing the integrity legislation. “We have nothing to hide.”

    Thompson stressed that his new Administration would not follow the path of the previous Government, and in the six months it had been in office, it had not given out any new contracts for any major public works.

    He said the first and only such contracts had been put out to tender in the newspapers in the past week for units for the National Housing Corporation (NHC) in Marchfield, St Philip; Greens, St George; and Four Hill and French Village in St Peter on which work was scheduled to begin on August 1.

    Thompson added there had not been any major Town Planning decisions, but his Government was going to find transparent ways of moving forward.

    Responding to a charge by former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Owen Arthur that the 2008 Budget did not contain a “Financial Statement”, Thompson submitted that the rules did not require such.

    The Prime Minister also said he would eschew a trend of the past where the wrap-up was used in a controversial manner, but he thanked people whom he said had given him information during the day such as files, copies of cheques and conveyances, among other things.

    He indicated that he would take comfort from the title of an analysis of the budgetary proposals by the international accounting firm, Pricewaterhousecoopers entitled Our Brother’s Keeper.

    That was a compliment, he added, because there had been a debate in which serious allegations were made by persons whom he said had an “accounting mentality”.

  14. Cynic

    Am I missing something or did Mia only declare her assets in “this” country.. i.e only the assets in Barbados. That doesn’t include and over seas bank account.

  15. Wishing In Vain

    NUPW BLASTED
    PROTEST ACTION. About 200 workers at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) staged protest action yesterday and called in the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW). The workers from various departments had complaints about the way the QEH is managed in the absence of chief executive officer Winston Collymore, overtime pay, the improper functioning of equipment in the kitchen, one X-ray machine in the Radiology Department, and no proper office for the Ambulance Service.

    DR DAVID ESTWICK isn’t looking for any friends; at least not from the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW).

    In his usually fiery persona last night, the Minister of Health blasted the practices of this country’s largest public sector trade union regarding its treatment of the board of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

    During his 30-minute presentation in the House of Assembly, Estwick, a first-time health minister, focused on the current industrial relations climate at the country’s largest health institution.

    “I am not looking for friends at the hospital. I will do what I have to do to put things right,” Estwick said, noting that the NUPW was giving the impression the Government was trying to railroad employees.

    Last week there was threatened strike action at the QEH.

    “Why is the hospital being put through this continued turmoil all the time?” Estwick asked. “I hope the general secretary of the NUPW is not attempting to get back at the hospital in a malicious way.”

    He also blasted the contract under which the QEH’s chief executive officer (CEO) Winston Collymore was employed.

    “I did not hire the CEO. The CEO was hired by the former administration and allowed to work without signing a contract for almost three years. I have inherited a situation where I have had to ask for legal consultation,” Estwick said.

    According to the St Philip West MP, the former Minister of Health had the DLP Government locked into a position where it would have to pay out Collymore if it wanted to remove him.

    Boggling

    He said such action was the type of human resource “boggling” symptomatic of the QEH.

    Estwick was also quite critical over the modus operandi of the NUPW.

    “What I find to be incredible in this situation is that every trade unionist knows that in order to deal on behalf of any individual or class of individuals, there needs to be a collective agreement in place. There must also be recognition by the organisation, of the bargaining rights of the particular category,” Estwick said.

    “Neither the office of director of medical services nor the director of human resources fall in any recognised bargaining category by the QEH.”

    He said the holders of such posts, “belonging to a top management cadre are excluded from both bargaining agencies. That’s the law”.

    Estwick said he wanted to find out why the NUPW was purporting to represent the interests of the head of human resources at the QEH, when that employee was a senior manager.

    “The NUPW has no authority, no right under the law [to do so].”

    He said the pretended actions of the NUPW and the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners was “ultra vires” to the collective bargaining agreement, and neither had any standing to approach the board on behalf of such individuals.

  16. reality check

    Although MIA’s declaration of assets is probably a complete work of fiction, it is the first and an important step in moving the ITAL process forward.

    Thompson can now checkmate her with ITAL that not only requires complete and full details of assets and liabilities but more importantly legislative ability to fully examine politicians under oath, demand bank account information, assets held under trust or by third parties etc.

    This legislation should include teeth in enforcement by, among other things, fining politicians big time for not filing declarations on time, inaccurately disclosing, forced resignations and JAILTIME!

    Now what is Owen going to do?

  17. Body Slam

    http://www.nationnews.com/story/48833221304945.php

    The Prime Minister acknowledged that Barbados had followed a model of assets declaration legislation used in a country – which he did not name – but which had caused problems in that country that would now have to repeal the legislation.

    “That is the genuine reason,” he added, in explaining the background to the delay in introducing the integrity legislation. “We have nothing to hide.”

    ***********************

    IDIOT!

    Why not name the COUNTRY whose model you claim to have followed?

    STUPID LIAR!

  18. To Sir with Love

    Gosh, declaration of assets, a no name country for which asset declaration legislation was adopted and for which that no name country has had problems. I am so confuse because I thought it makes good sense to evaluate the potentiality of a thing before you set out to use it. I would have thought that it made more sense to find out if the asset declaration in that no name country was worth its pound of salt before using it. What other gimmicks, tricks, lies, deceit, mockery and intelligent games shall we continue to endure from the political tricksters.

  19. Rumplestilskin

    Hants says ”Mia has certainly put Owing in an interesting position”

    Do you think that she is a fool. She knows that the next BLP PM is not yet a certainty, she intends to make it such.

    Political games can be nasty and there is always time for a ‘might of the long knives’ before the next election.

    I perceive she realises this and good for her, some of them turncoats cannot be trusted with even a blade of grass.

    Peace.

  20. Rumplestilskin

    Typo0 – s/be ‘night of the long knives’.

  21. BoarKat

    “Words the Bajan public will hear frequently after the politicians declare their assets.
    -My money tied up”

    –but…a$$ets is a$$ets, whether money tied up or in ca$h.
    We want to know your NET WORTH, Mr.Member Of The Opposition!

    We want NET WORTH a$$et-declaration figures from every single member of the Opposition.

    Current Gov’t. isn’t rich enough (yet!) to worry with them
    – their turn will come when THEY are in Opposition, 15 yrs. from now!

  22. Lady Anon

    I am not a political pundit…I don’t know whether it was a body slam or not or what it has done. As a simple Bajan, however, I am asking the question (and all the others that follow)…$3.5 million? How? What? Why? When? Where?

    Do not tell me that the Mottleys always had money. Declaring her assets only makes be ask.

    I agree with Anonymous. Why now? Why not before? Actually, I think it raises more questions.

  23. Thomas Gresham

    Surely she is declaring her assets now, because ITAL has been the demand of the public and ITAL was a reason why they lost the election. She is an intelligent person and can see that. If you read the Nation beyond the headline (!@£?) you will see that her NET assets are about $1.5m, because she has bank loans set against her assets. For someone who previously had a successful law practice before she became a Minister, this is entirely reasonable. In fact compared to any lawyer I know in Bim, she is a little on the poor side.

    I am not attached to any party. I find it amazing that those attached to the DLP, rightly used ITAL to attack the last government and called for declarations and now they have been made by the opposition, look how they are running away from it. I have you heard the ridiculous arguments now being used by people previously demanding declarations – declarations should be made by opposition members not government memebers (!?@) that it doesnt mean anything to make your assets public if it isnt signed by an auditor (has the govenrment made that a requirement, does anyone think if that was a requirement she could not find an auditor to sign it?)

    Listen upo party hacks. Making assets public for all to scruitinise and comment is far more open and transparent than making a private declaration to a lawyer, and if it is so easy why has the government not even done this easy step. Lets have their rum shop declarations. The stupidity that partisanship brings is amazing.

    And what is this farce of the govenrment had modelled its ideas on an unnamed country and that country now has problems with it. I find that incredulous. If it were true, he would tell us the country and so we could all see and learn the difficulties and it would inform the public debate. We are an educated country. How can we allow our leaders to get away with such disingenuous crap?

    Those party hacks who are trying to ridicule the Opposition move should hang their heads in shame and declare their assets, write it up in a rum shop if you like, I dont mind, but then make it public for all to see and scrutinise (that being the point stupid – public scrutiny).

    And what about this stuff on local or foreign? If you are a Barbadian the amount of foreign currency assets you have abroad is limited by central bank. If you are found to have more and this is made public and you have not declared it, you would be in trouble, not just with the electorate but with the inland revenue – that is the point of public declarations – the power of public scruitny. Mia has shown, as BFP did earlier on the web, that the government’s understanding about ITAL is party politics. No. ITAL is about ITAL. It is about public scrutiny. Prime Minister – give us your rum shop list while we wait for you to find another no name country to model your ITAL legislation on. We are waiting. Still waiting.

  24. Trained Economist

    But surely the declaration of assets by Mia and Owen are essentially meaningless if it they are not verified by some independent body.

  25. Wishing In Vain

    Trained Economist
    July 10, 2008 at 12:37 pm
    But surely the declaration of assets by Mia and Owen are essentially meaningless if it they are not verified by some independent body

    Not a lot said in your comment but more importantly what is said is the issue.

    Of course you are right this can be seen as a PR stunt that BACKFIRED BADLY on mottley and arthur.

    They cannot pull together bits and pieces of scrap paper with nothing numbers on it and expect people to take them or their numbers seriously.

  26. Mea Culpa

    Body slam, eh?

    I hope David Thompson investigates the following:

    1. Land at Castle Grant, St. Joseph owned by Mia through a company;
    2. Land and houses/properties owed jointly with Dean Straker et al throughout Barbados;
    3. This one is one ready for public consumption yet! Lucille Moe knows all about it.

    What about jewellry, gifts, works of art etc.? Are we dumb or stupid?

    And where are the other declarations?

    Body slam? It seems more like a trip up on Mia’s part.

  27. Darnley L. Pinder

    Last night Thomson said that declaring assets at the end of governments makes no sense it matters when it is done at the beginning. He is at the beginning of his term , then he should do the right thing.

  28. nonsense

    you people are so gullible..what declaration of assets what?

    no independent 3rd party verification by auditors/ accountants. that 2 page doc is GARBAGE…gotta hand it to mia though she understands that bajans don’t really analyse and the lap-dog media was all over the farcical declaration, front-page and all
    but so typical of us gullible lot to jump up with much chest thumping and fist-waving without first scrutinising what is actually going on.

    After all the hoopla the thinking ones amongst us will realise that all mia did was engage in her usual gimickry and deceit.

    Hey BFP why don’t you analyse that?

  29. Thomas Gresham

    Nonesense is talking partisan nonesense. I have voted for both parties in the past and can see, in a way that these DLP hacks cannot see that this is not actually about Mia. This is about the fact that the government, while in opposition promised ITAL legislation and a declaration of assets. They have done nothing, way past their 100 day promise. The excuse given by the PM is beyond laughable. Why not tell us which the no name country is so that we can all learn from their experience?

    Mia has shown that some form of declaration can be done easily and that delay are excuses which show up the election promises as vacuous politiking.

    The point about a public declaration of assets is public scrutiny. Lets have all Ministers and chairman of boards and chief political advisors give us their rum shop declarations so that there can be public scrutiny. Its not accountants that found TnT PM had a foreign bank account, but public scruinty.

    All those ridiculing Mia for making a public declaration should hang their heads in shame and ask why their political masters have not made any, zip, declarations. What stops them making declarations today and recognising that there will be a more formal process in place later? Mia has shown that nothing is stopping them but their greed and incompetence.

    Mia has shown up who is really for ITAL like BFP and others on this blog and want to use this as a momentum for better things and who is really a political hack and used ITAL as merely another political device. You have exposed yourself, it is embarrassing. Have you no shame?

  30. John

    … as if to emphasise the importance of ITAL along comes a decision in Court yesterday.

    Government (read we) have to find $50 million plus $3 million per year interest for the NHC fiasco at Warrens.

    Last night Davd Thompson so rightly attributed these unexpected funds his Government (read we) have to find to corruption and mismanagement.

    The longer our politicians and persons in Public Life are not held accountable the worse it is for us …… and yes, I agree the Private Sector is the other hand clapping and needs to be reined in too.

    There are people who need locking up (read rehabilitating) in the private sector.

    ITAL cannot be delayed and excuses can’t be made. For heavens sake just do it.

    …. and I also agree with rooting out the cause of the mismanagement and corruption at NHC, one hundred percent, ….. and bringing the full weight of the law to bear on any convicted person …..

    …… but ITAL is a priority.

    Stop kicking and screaming like a child and realise it actually can help and protect a person in Public Life who has been given the Public Trust.

    Help us to be our brother’s keeper. Give us the tools to keep our brother on the straight and narrow and give us the power to help him get rehabilitated (up at Dodds) when he falls.

  31. armchair critic

    The reality is that there is a bigger picture here. What Mia and Owen revealed is that it is not rocket science to declare assests. The DLP spent an entire election campaign across the length and breadth of this country on a platform of integrity and accountability in public life. On page 48 of the DLP manifesto it is stated the Democratic Labour Party will “immediately introduce integrity legislation” to include “a declaration of assets by public officials” and “a Code of Conduct for Ministers”.

    We are now 6 months in to the regime and NOTHING….ZERO…ZIP. It saddens me as a young Barbadian as it reinforces the societal belief that politicians cannot be taken at their word. At least Mia and Owen have done something.

    The excuse that there were using some legislation from some unnamed country which was shown to be problematic DOES NOT HOLD WATER.

    It’s the usual excuses…excuses…excuses….

    I’m tired of the talking….let’s see some action

  32. Laughing

    LOL. The intelligent have spoken. I was going to voice my opinion on the ‘declaration of assets’ but my colleagues have done so well already there is nothing more to say.

    Body slam my a%%!!!! What a piece of utter and complete crap coming from a professional!!! A trained lawyer..a QC? Please!. She would run someone trying to buy into her partnership through a much more defined process. So why would she come before the people of Barbados with such a sham.

    I for one am insulted by her obvious lack of respect for my intelligence, and those of the rest of us listening.

    By the way…all I own is this computer I typing this on. The internet is a liability cause C & W always off. And BL &P is a committment due at the end of the month.

    Feel I could get a loan with that?

    Stupes. I didnt support either side in the Jan 15 election, but as of now I have to support the government. Not that they any more honest, but they are now officially the lesser of the 2 evils.

    And by the way to throw a cat among the pigeons. A simple politician doesnt buy or lease a brand new BMW SUV on a simple politician’s salary especially since after January 15 you had to take a rather substantial paycut. I expect these guys/gals will get rich, but dont flaunt it in my face!!!!

    Enough said about that!

  33. Tell me Why

    As the PM stated tonight when he does it there will be a lot more in depth searching and it will not be accepted and done willy nilly as these two pieces of trash are proven to be.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    WIV. You really don’t get it. Until the PM and his parliamentarians declare their assets, the real victors remain with the two opposition members who were braved enough to lead by example. Saying that, if Mia or Arthur prefer to hide the true financial position of wealth we still cannot compare since the others refuse to comply. If or when we see the others will we be able to debate.

  34. nonsense

    @ Thomas Gresham

    You imbecile! It seems you do not understand the meanini or intent of a true Declaration of Assets…

    Why don’t you study the gist of my submission. Take off your political goggles and think for a minute. Just think..

    Okay, okay I will make it easy for you – replace the word ‘mia’ with ‘david’ or ‘freundel’ or even ‘mickey mouse’!

    What if the PM hastily drafts some bogus doc (no signature, no 3rd party auditing, etc) listing a fraction of his net worth and submits it the House? Would that constitute a declaration os Assets?

    No it would not!

    I am just amazed that people attach such weight to
    a scrappy 2 page doc, which does not serve any purpose but to mislead the public.

    Free education has been wasted on you Thomas!

    All I am saying is that what mia submitted is NOT a proper declaration of assets.

    It is a sham and a cheap pilitical gimmick

  35. Tell me Why

    But surely the declaration of assets by Mia and Owen are essentially meaningless if it they are not verified by some independent body.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    I am concern with your statements alias “Trained Economist”, your rationale of verification by an independent body do not hold any weight. Didn’t a recognised accounting body signed off on the Enron Scandal. Until the other players submit declaration we should stop casting cheap political aspirations. Read Thomas Gresham submissions and see the work of an economic guru.

  36. Tell me Why

    You imbecile! It seems you do not understand the meanini or intent of a true Declaration of Assets…
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    What is a true Declaration of Assets? Tell me a business or an individual who can produce to water tight declaration. You should be honest in your submission by asking a simple question….Why have we not received declarations from the author of ITAL and his team? What is the delay?

    Name calling will not change the issue at hand.

  37. Tell me Why

    On another issue. I was proud to hear the Prime Minister in his wrap-up speech. He really show his oratory skills and the showing of a statesman akin to the wishes of his daughters who he said will be in front the TV watching him. I am wondering if he was sending a message to his AG who to my mind was lacking in statesmanship. Why was I surprise with the AG’s action? I simply love to hear the AG speak, eloquently espousing his ideology in a laid back, don’t rush me mood. But alas!I was disappointed with his cynical remarks against the Leader of the opposition calling her a ‘he’ and other remarks just to get a ‘thumping of the desk by his colleagues just don’t cut it. That is not how an aspiring statesman should portray himself under the cloak of parliamentary privileges. No wonder the PM state that his children is watching him. I ponder if the AG’s children was doing the same.

  38. Thomas Gresham

    Nonesense and laughing have an interesting position.

    They are defending a PM who promised ITAL and a declaration of assets within 100 days and has not delivered. They are defending a man who made this the core part of his election manifesto but now says that he needs to rethink how it is done.

    They are attacking someone who is not in power and has no influence on government decisions but who has volunterred a declaration of assets for public scrutiny.

    Very Interesting.

    These DLP hacks continue to ignore this simple, simple, point. If the Government believes that Mia’s declaration is not worth it, but they are willing to do something about ITAL, why do they not all make a similar declaration now and say that they will do more when they have put something more formal in place?

    Why did they not do so before? At the end of the day I know a lot more about Mia’s assets today than I know about the PM’s.

    And what these DLP hacks are deliberately running away frm is that the reason why the PM and others do not make their assets public is not about accountants and lawyers, it is about being afraid of the biggest check of all PUBLIC SCRUTINY.

    Anyone who believes in ITAL will prefer a public declaration of assets for all to see, whether it is on a scrappy piece of paper or not, than nothing at all. But No. Nonesense and Laughing far prefer nothing at all.

  39. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    Why do allow yourself to get cuckooed over the likes of Mia Mottley and Owen Arthur when it comes to Integrity Legislation and Declaration of Assets ?

    For 14 years of BLP rule :

    * Owen Arthur steadfastly declared that ther is no need for Integrity Legislation !

    ( Mia Mottley was his Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet colleague ! )

    * Noel Lynch publicly declared in March 2007 on radio…..no one should be allowed to question his assets !

    ( Noel Lynch was a senior member in owen Arthur’s Cabinet then ! )

    * Does Owen Arthur’s declaration include the thousands of dollars he ” claimed ” to have left in the Treasury after ” refusing ” to take the increased salary from the last salary review of MP’s ?

    But critically……..you have declared you assets now that you have come to the end of a 14 year rule…….when no one dared ask you to declare how you accumulated your wealth !

    Shameful.

    The DLP government have given the Barbadian people a commitment to institute Integrity Legislation in a comprehensive manner.

    No rum shop adaptations !

    *****************

    BFP says,

    Jerome… nowhere are we fooled by Mottley, but it was a brilliant way of pointing out that your DLP either lied or were idiots when they made their ITAL promises. It could have something to do with the fact that their ITAL materials were cut and pasted from the internet at the last moment by a high-ranking member of the BDF. Thompson and the DLP really had no intention of doing anything about ITAL until they were dragged kicking and screaming into taking a position.

    Now that they have power, their promised actions re ITAL have evaporated.

    Mottley’s action highlighted all that and showed how vapid the DLP’s ITAL promises are.

  40. Jerome Hinds

    Now that they have power, their promised actions re ITAL have evaporated.

    ******************************************
    BFP,

    I disagree…….ITAL promises not EVAPORATED !

    But……RE INVIGORATED , REVIEWED and RE FASHIONED.

    A steering committe has been established headed by Independent Senator Orlando Marville……and the good people of Barbados will be given an opportunity to declare what shape they wish to see a functional Integrity Legislation Commission in this country to take.

    If such a process is too TRANSPARENT for the BFP personnel…….then so be it !

    But this DLP government is a government for the people , elected by the people !

    In other words……Our Brother’s Keeper !

    ****************

    BFP says,

    Transparent? Please provide the “steering committee” contact information and website, email where the issues are being discussed. We want to see their drafts and reference materials so far. Who all is on the committee and who are they talking to?

    Yes… let’s see that transparency!

  41. Tell me Why

    But this DLP government is a government for the people , elected by the people !.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    My friend any party that win an election is a government for the people, since it is the people who elected them.

    Think before writing, no party has the rights to claim such.

  42. Jerome Hinds

    Tell me Why
    July 10, 2008 at 5:23 pm
    But this DLP government is a government for the people , elected by the people !.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    My friend any party that win an election is a government for the people, since it is the people who elected them.

    Think before writing, no party has the rights to claim such.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Then Tell Me Why……IDIATO….!

    If what you claim above is TRUE…..Why did the Barbadian PEOPLE on 15th Jan 2008 rejected you and the other BLP HOODLUMS ?

  43. Wishing in Vain

    There is more about mottley not listed than what is listed, what a stupid poor piece of publicity stunt that went way wrong.

    Even her own members made the statement boy this thing like it backfire on us boy!!!!!

    When we are ready for her it will not take the form of loose notes it will be by a formal reporting and checked method.

  44. Laughing

    Let us all be realistic. ITAL is very necessary, and any party which tries to implement it will face a severe backlash from all sectors of Barbados. I say this because anyone who believed it could have been implemented in 100 days is not worthy of discussion. Any legislation which will require any one to declare worth (the correct way to state it) will have to be so far reaching that the implementors have enough teeth to be able to properly verify (search) for the accuracy and completeness of the details given. The word completeness is very important here because we all know it will be difficult for the implementor to challenge the details submitted to them unless the implementor has access to several agencies, such as banks, credit unions, land and company registries to name a few.
    That in itself will create the backlash, because some of these details will not be able to be made public since a parlimentarian is first a citizen of this country. If all details are made public then a precedent will be created for all of us citizens to be subject to as well.
    Food for thought huh?

  45. nonsense

    @ Thomas & Tell Me Why

    you 2 don’t get it!

    have a good day

    @ Thomas

    Please explain what you mean by ‘DLP hack’. If I disagreed with something that the PM does, am I a BLP hack?

    Peace

  46. Tell me Why

    If what you claim above is TRUE…..Why did the Barbadian PEOPLE on 15th Jan 2008 rejected you and the other BLP HOODLUMS ?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    That is the same statement I am making. Suppose the DLP lose in 2013 we can fairly state that it is the people’s will. Don’t waste time coming with the analogy.

  47. Justice

    A declaration of assets is not merely stating that you possess a given amount of wealth. This statement must be verified by the appropriate authority. Remember Panday. He declared his assets too, but did not declare all. And if declaratiob of assets is an Opposition gambit, why did the others who were Ministers not declare theirs too? And what did O$A do with all the income of a PM for 15 years? Nearly $2 million. Spend it all every month? Huh…some economist!

  48. Tell me Why

    @ Thomas & Tell Me Why

    you 2 don’t get it!
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Get what my friend. Towing your line?

  49. Jerome Hinds

    Tell me Why
    July 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm
    If what you claim above is TRUE…..Why did the Barbadian PEOPLE on 15th Jan 2008 rejected you and the other BLP HOODLUMS ?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    That is the same statement I am making. Suppose the DLP lose in 2013 we can fairly state that it is the people’s will. Don’t waste time coming with the analogy.
    ****************************************

    Your conscience is CLUTTERED !

    You need to dialogue with the MP for St. Michael South East…….let your conscience be your guide !

  50. Tell me Why

    A declaration of assets is not merely stating that you possess a given amount of wealth. This statement must be verified by the appropriate authority.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Justice, I am surprise with your assumption. I sure cannot call it a theory since it is questionable. Even if Mia submit declaration signed by an accounting firm. Who can argue about the final figure, not even the said accounting firm. Our reasoning is based on her coming out and presenting documents before the author of ITAL. The figures are unimportant at this time.

  51. Tell me Why

    Your conscience is CLUTTERED !

    You need to dialogue with the MP for St. Michael South East…….let your conscience be your guide !
    …………………………………………………………………………………..
    Bad example to emulate. Here we go again, you simply not thinking. Isn’t he not the same person who jump ship in 1998? Is he not the same person who you criticised about the $11,000.00 tree, Is he not the same person who was sleeping in the BLP bed prior to Jan 15 and now trying to warm another bed? It’s not all about powerrrrrrr! Power took over conscience in this case.

  52. Truth is out there

    Jerome Hinds

    DLP government is a government for the people!!! Hell if they guarantee me a pick on a Board i would vote them in too. At the end of the day they all turn into a bunch of deceitful, manipulative thieves.

  53. Justice

    But then, TMW, there may be suggestions from others that cast doubt on the veracity of the submission…further digging might unearth other assets…and what then? If the figures at this time are unimportant as you say, then what we saw was a childish charade, devised more to score a political point, if it is that, than any sincere attempt at showing integrity…it would have been a hoax therefore, not on the PM and his Cabinet, but on the people. That’s sad!

  54. Trained Economist

    Tell me why, are you saying that any figures presented by a parliamentarian should blindly be accepted as a true representation of that person’s financial position. Should the accuracy, completeness etc. of a declaration be left to the speculative whims of the public?

  55. analyst

    Mia Mottley’s declaration and that of the PM was planned since last week. Everyone knew it was coming. Nobody cared because unless you do it properly the action is meaningless. How on earth do you declare assets after 15 years of slobbering at the trough and expect anyone to take you seriously? You declare when you begin so that a comparison can be made with what you came with and what you left with. Simple. Who the badword cares what they have now????? The DLP parliamentarians will stick to their word, and Mia and Owen will not set their agenda. Tell Me Why must have really burned when the the philospher Freundel had to deal with Owen Arthur. Stuart is a master and he tore him apart. What goes around comes around. I never heard Tell Me Why when Owen savaged every Tom Dick Harry and Jane every year. Stuart was excellent. Never raised his voice. No colloquialisms, trite pharases, offensive language. But he rinsed Owen out. It was about time.

  56. Tell me Why

    Tell Me Why must have really burned when the the philospher Freundel had to deal with Owen Arthur.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    If you read my post, you will see that I admire the philosopher Stuart, but last night I had to object with his below the waistline tactics against Mia. It will be impossible for you as a partisan person to be objective, what you can do is ask emerging adults.

  57. Tell me Why

    The DLP parliamentarians will stick to their word, and Mia and Owen will not set their agenda.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………
    We don’t need sticking to words, all we need is to see them carrying out the actions. At least it took a week from Mia. This is nearly 6 months we are waiting since Jan 15 from our government members.

  58. Jerome Hinds

    Tell Me Why,

    Has been clobbered into a corner because he was
    ” Going With Owen ” for years !

    The truth be told……..he never asked Owen where he was taking him !

    The sign of an individual who would always have ???? and seek out the response of intelligent people to……Tell Them Why !

  59. 347.436.78

    “All I am saying is that
    what Mia submitted is NOT a proper declaration of assets.

    It is a sham and a cheap pilitical gimmick” –and she did it knowing that every newspaper and media entity would snap it up right away like it was truly “Big News” and commit ink to paper!

    The not-so-clever Masses of Asses out there will read said ink committed to paper
    and accept it as Gospel Truth (after all, NATION printed it – lookit DEY!)
    Q.E.D! mission accomplished!
    Ten years from now, Mia will still be bragging that She declared assets: wheeee! watch en see.

    100 yrs. from now, researchers visiting the B’dos.Archives will read that, on a July date in 2008, so very long ago, one Mia Mottley declared her assets in the House of Assembly of This Island..
    and they’ll have no option but to believe it, assuming that(back then) newspapers knew what they were talking about.

    WUNNUH STOP BUYIN NEWSPAPERS!

  60. analyst

    Tell Me Why please answer this:
    “How on earth do you declare assets after 15 years of slobbering at the trough and expect anyone to take you seriously? You declare when you begin so that a comparison can be made with what you came with and what you left with.”
    Your quibbling with semantics is peurile. Stick to word or act is irrelevant to me and all right-thinking persons. All reasonable persons in this country know that the DLP parliamentarians will stick to their words and your childish petulance a la Mia will not force them into reckless actions. It will be done and done the right way. Not the rum shop way to score points so that people like you can carp. It is too serious an undertaking for your type of reaction.

  61. Models

    Ye un-named countrie
    in whose image legislation will be constructed,etc. …

    could be Trinidad(now there’s a model of honesty and integrity), second only to Nigeria (the other possibility?).
    Please tell me not.

    We should be looking to countries listed within the Top Five listed on Transparency.org’s list of least-corrupt governments.
    http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2007

    This would mean enacting legislation/s v.similar to those of (white)DENMARK, (white)FINLAND, (white)NEW ZEALAND, (brown) SINGAPORE, (white)SWEDEN

    Could that work for us?
    God NO!

    Integrity legislation without convenient loopholes? Hello-o-o?!

    =====================
    Have you noticed the big hue and cry in Trinidad
    where those who recognize the need for ‘National Medicine’
    are trying to get a fresh new (white!) face in there as Commissioner of Police?

    An experienced white Guy from NYPD,I believe,
    is considered top candidate for the job.
    NOT GONNA HAPPEN say those of melanistic/nationalistic bent
    seeing workable medicine coming!

    It’s so funny.
    The one thing Trinidad needs now, is the top ten Police posts filled
    by a brand new cadre of Senior Police Dudes from places like NYC, NZ, UK, Denmark
    who don’t know anyone locally
    and who no-one locally knows DEM.

    So the nasty medicine can be administered.

    NOT GONNA HAPPEN!
    Like spoiled children accustomed to the sweet addiction of crime profits, dat naaaah gonna happen!

    Upset WHOSE apple cart?
    Not mine! not in MY TRINIDAD!
    We rather keep it so: we have de populace where we want dem. Frightened and behind bars.Burglar bars -in their own homes!

    NO NYPD WHITE MAN FOR US – DAT IS MEDICINE!..yuh crazeee?!

    If it wasn’t so serious a national rejection statement, it would be funny as hell!

  62. Tell Me Why

    You declare when you begin so that a comparison can be made with what you came with and what you left with.”
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Ok. I agree with your statement and disagree with Mia and Owen who based on your statement should have nothing to show since nothing was first declared.

    ***************************************************
    It will be done and done the right way. Not the rum shop way to score points so that people like you can carp.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Please explain how it can be done the right way. I am on a learning curve, since I believe in raising trivial objections. Ha Ha He He yuh ticklin’ muh.

  63. BajanAgent

    A couple of Questions after the Budget.

    Who will be be responsible for staffing this independent body to scutinise any public official’s declaration of assets, i.e.will it be an offshoot of government or an internationally recognizable accounting firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst and Young?

    Who will foot the bill for any individual’s Declaration of Assets after it is scrutinised and rubber stamped? The individual or the Government? (i.e the taxpayers?…)

    Is the goverment keen on introducing casino gambling to Barbados based on the setting up of this “gaming commission”?

    Will this independent body be set up before casino gambling is introduced in Barbados?

    Is the government aware that historically casino owners or backers are not people who you would necessarily invite home to introduce to your mother?

    I would hate to think that after running successful campaign around Integrity, Tranparency and Accountability that the government might leave itself open to corruption.

    “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
    Vito Corleone, The Godfather.

  64. Andrew

    My big brother, who never went to a university, always had these words of wisdom to impart to his six siblings: “Never go into anything ass-first”.

    To declare assets on the floor of parliament without anyone knowing what you started out with is just that “going in ass-first”

  65. ROBOT

    Laughing
    July 10, 2008 at 5:46 pm
    Let us all be realistic. ITAL is very necessary, and any party which tries to implement it will face a severe backlash from all sectors of Barbados. I say this because anyone who believed it could have been implemented in 100 days is not worthy of discussion. Any legislation which will require any
    ————-
    so you are saying that david t-h-om-p-SON is a liar
    and his d l p people are all liars

  66. analyst

    Andrew, everyone seems to get it except Tell Me Why who was probably the rum shop scribe.

  67. Get wid de program!

    We need to separate Election Promises from reality.

    By and large Election Promises are
    ‘What You Want To Hear’
    – some will come true
    some will remain fantasy.

    That is the program.
    You know damned well it’s the program
    so get wid de program!

    Stop kidding yuhself
    that Perfection is actually attainable.
    Only Death is perfect, or haven’t you heard?

  68. Insulted

    LOL. The intelligent have spoken. I was going to voice my opinion on the ‘declaration of assets’ but my colleagues have done so well already there is nothing more to say.

    Body slam my a%%!!!! What a piece of utter and complete crap coming from a professional!!! A trained lawyer..a QC? Please!. She would run someone trying to buy into her partnership through a much more defined process. So why would she come before the people of Barbados with such a sham.

    I for one am insulted by her obvious lack of respect for my intelligence, and those of the rest of us listening.

    ————————————————

    Dear Laughing, I think that your intelligence should be far more insulted by a PM who says that he had to used a precedent for ITAL from one used by a country that later had to repeal the legislation. Don’t you feel your intelligence is further insulted when he could not even state the name of the country?

  69. wat a crock

    hmmmmmm condos in worthing executive car rental companies assets declare yall believe my my, btw which accounting firm did this audit of assets.

  70. @Get wid de program!

    I, personally, take *extreme* exception to your above.

    A promise means something. (Or, at least, used to…)

    If a promise made *cannot* be kept — fine; I’m willing to accept that. But I want to know, *in detail*, why…

    Otherwise (for example, but not limited to), we might as well throw out the entire legal basis of contracts….

  71. Hants

    THE Fairchild Street Bus Terminal is sinking.

    Public fears that the Bridgetown facility, through which hundreds of Barbadians traverse daily, was slowly slipping into the ground, were confirmed yesterday by officials working on the adjacent $25 million first phase of the Constitution River Redevelopment Project.

  72. Tony Hall

    Mia and Owen declaring assets on national TV made me laugh. The former PM mentioned shares in BNB I think but he did not mention the shares he has in Executive Rentals which I believe is owned by Rodney Wilkinson and others.

  73. @Get wid de program! et al.

    Please note: today’s (read: 2008.07.10) Daily Nation. Page 3. Headline: “PM’s assets plan”.

    Available on the Internet at http://www.nationnews.com/story/48833221304945.php

    Quoting from our esteemed Fourth Estate: “The Prime Minister acknowledged that Barbados had followed a model of assets declaration legislation used in a country – which he did not name – but which had caused problems in that country that [they; sic] would now have to repeal the legislation.”

    Could anyone *please* tell us poor ignorant Bajans just which this country was? (Importantly: ignorance is different than stupidity; the former can be corrected easily — the latter, not so…)

    Further, considering that ITAL is been successfully implemented in many regions, one has the right to question why the model adopted was such that it suddenly became untrustworthy…

    Further, would anyone care to *share* the language of the proposed ITAL? Because, like, don’t you know, some of us can read… And think…

    IMHO, etc, etc, etc….

  74. Rumplestilskin

    Andrew above, you ain’t Hoad are you?

    I cannot wait to read Lowdown’s take on Mia and Owen laying their assets bare in Parliament.

  75. Gotcha

    The Dems could froth and foam as much as they like. Mia wipe the floor with your all ass -sets.

    One fact will remain forever. If it doesn’t matter what an MP has at the end, but at the beginning why the so and so the Dems don’t declare theirs now. They could even do like Mia said and give them to the GG to hold in trust. But not even this they are prepared to do.

    The veil has been lifted boys and girls -hope you all are seeing things for what they really are.

  76. Telma

    what a pack of sick mentally dis-functional individuals pack up this forum.

    look at the reverse talk and decondemation expree about the BlP leader.

    look how sick all of you sound and come across when the realty is revealed and you all cant handle it.

    you at your denials state and lying preception which you all DLP TYPE FIND SO HARD TO FIX

    YOU pEOPLE ARE SICK AND SICK BEYOND HELP

    when educate people in the country have purposely and intentionally turn away form facts , figures reality and endorse gossip and romours, hear say
    and assumptions, base on speculation and belief ,it suggest a deep fundermental shift in the mental state of computation of a people.

    the dlp supporters are over the board in thes distortions and delusions

    At this point No one can help you all, only the sudden raw sting of disaster and downfall our our nation economic well being and the many that are feeling the increase pressure of cost of living here bought by the DLP may one day bring awakening.

  77. Anonymous

    Andrew above, you ain’t Hoad are you?
    …………………………………………………………………………………..
    Don’t discredit Hoaddie.

  78. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Telma,

    You are quite right.

    Our Rome is burning while these Neros fiddle their thumbs. Cost of living is rising, and the govenment has only managed to make it worse with administrative price hikes and abrupt end to subsdies.

    The global economy is slipping and the govenrment has only sought to weaken our economy further by burdening it with a $104m tax hike.

    What are they smoking?

    By the end of the year we will have 10% inflation – the highest rate ever in Barbados. We will also likely have zero growth, which will cause a rise in unemployment and socal tension.

    Free bus passes for kids is fine, if we have the buses to carry out the promise, but this will put $11m in the pockets of parents which is just one tenth of what the government is taking out of the other pocket.

    The increase in welfare payments that has got some excited is worth a grand total of $200,000 at a time the a slowing economy, and jumps in the cost of living demand far more.

    These guys have shown they have no answers. Just silly talk. Real pity that they are driving the bus. I can only hope that they learn how to drive quickly.

  79. Rumplestilskin

    Thelma,

    Firstly, you obviously have not read the board for long, otherwise you would know that most here are just citizens concerned for their country and not as you claim ‘DLP hacks’.

    It is pretty obvious that your vitriolic attack indicates quite otherwise, that you yourself are a ‘BLP hack’, who cannot stand the fact that there has been change.

    Secondly, if you had read the board for a while, you would know that we have long predicted, over two years ago, the economic disaster, both internationally and also locally due to untenable economic policies existing then, so you are bringing nothing new.

    Indeed, much of this economic disaster has been brought about by the flagrant mismanagement of the previous administration, putting Barbados into a position of untenable debt, particularly with repeated project mishaps and overruns, to the tune of hundreds of millions.

    Someone else now has a chance to attempt a turnaround, get used to it.

    If you think we are sick for wishing better for Barbados, rather than a few profiting at the expense of the country, then fine, I guess you are saying also that the rest of Barbados is sick, as just a mere few months ago, Barbados voted for this new Government and rejected the old.

    Thomas Gresham, the free bus rides for school children may seem chump change to you, but it matters to poor people who have a couple or a few children. One child taking two buses each way has to pay $6 in total. Now, with two or three children to look after, that is a lot of money per day for a poor family.

    The cell phone tax of $4 is small change to pay for alleviation of this burden, especially as education of our youth is the basis for the future success of Barbados.

    This is the single most important action done in the last twenty years for education and the low income earners of Barbados.

    Well done DLP!

    I myself will be hit by road tax and a few other things in the budget, but you know what?

    I will bear it and move on because, we all have to pitch in, for regarding the global economic state, you have not seen anything yet!

    Peace.

  80. Thomas Gresham

    Many people do not understand the debt position, including it seems the current government. The first point is that the best measure of the sustainability of foreign debt is the ability to “service” it from your foreign exchange earnings. Our debt service ratio at 7% is one of the lowest and it has halved over the past 15 years.

    Yes debt has risen, but our ability to service debt has risen even more rapidly through increased trade and foreign exchange earnings. We unambiguously, unquestionably, do not have a debt service problem. The central bank governor also pointed out that our debt service ratio was low at the recent consultation. Barrow also argued that debt service was the key, not debt to gdp.

    Now the DLP hacks dont like this fact because they see all the construction that went on during the last 15 years. And they dont understand modern finance so they are busy looking around for debt. They cant find it and are confused. They resort to fanciful stories of hidden debt.

    The answer is PFI which no one in this government understands. I have heard the Minister of Health trying to explain it. Let me explain PFI using the example of a hospital, because it is likely that once they understand it, they will build a new hospital under a PFI arrangement just as they argued against in the manifesto.

    Every hospital in the UK for the past 20 years has been built on a PFI basis, where there is no increase in government debt. Zero.

    PFI stands for Private Finance Initiative. Imagine your annual budget on the hospital infrastructure, repair, cleaning, etc was $10m per year. Under a PFI you would say to tendering contractors, if I commit to giving you the $10m per year for 20 years will you build me a new hospital and provide me with all the ancillary services, I normally spend the money on. The private contractors take this commitment and they borrow the money they need. This is not government debt, it is private debt. The key distinction, according to the IMF document on how this should be accounted for, is who is responsible if the hospital contractor cannot meet his obligations on service. Under new PFI arrangements the contractor can be fired and they still keep the debt. The government is not in hock.

    This is how the prison and other expensive buildings were built with no added debt.

    A country with a 7% debt service ratio is not in such a dire position that the govenrment has to raise taxes by $104m in a recession. This is the most economically illiterate thing to do. Not a single other country has done so. Even the IMF has recommended that this is the time governments should increase their deficit, not reduce it. By doing this the govenrment will manage, all of its own making to raise costs and lower growth.

  81. Straight talk

    TG:

    Now 3S has been sacked what happens to the PFI financed by BNB.

  82. The Devil

    Oh gosh, does that mean that BNB shares just became even more worthless?!! (but wait isn’t the PM hoping to sell off the Gov’t’s shares in BNB to help finance the hospital expansion?!)

    What is going on?

  83. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Straight Talk,

    I have no idea about the nature of the 3S MOU. If they were sacked for non-compliance then yes, BNB will have a problem – the government should have thought through that, as it may even damage the ability to sell their 20% stake. If 3S claim they are unlawfully sacked then we may end up having to take on the debt. Oh lord what a set of shamefully unthought out thinking.

    But dont get me wrong. I can like a good policy when I see one. I am not partisan, I can, based on the same information as everyone else, accept that many things went wrong with the highway. Its still unfinished for a start!

    But the government has got the wrong end of the stick on the financial matters. Any genuine cost overrun is actually met by the contractor not the government under PFI (that is one of the advantages of it). My understanding is that the biggest increase in costs was not due to cost over runs, but an increase in costs due to a change in the scope of works due to things they found when they began digging and things they thought they ought to do now that they had started digging and came across problems to fix etc.

    I can accept that some of that was reasonable, as everyone who has built a house will know, and some of it reflected bad…whatever, contract, planning, etc. I dont know. But the past government paid a price for that.

    What I as an economist will not accept, is the new government preying on the innocence of Barbadians by making up financial arguments that are not real to justify a fiscal masochism in a recession. Thompson is the new Montagu Norman or Herbert Hoover, cutting back in a recession.

    And there was plenty more financial disingenuiness in the budget, like the B$11 “expenditure” on VAT relief for the extra houses that would be built because of…the VAT relief. This is not new expenditure that puts extra cash in peoples hands and should not be recorded as a new expenditure.

    The budget takes $104m with one hand and gives back, domestically, through measures not yet thought through, around $50m.

    What gets me as a Bajan first and economist second is that people are not putting the numbers into perspective. Hooray for the $200,000 on welfare and the $11m on free buses, but that is tacked against $104,000,000 of new administrative taxes that will be passed on to you and I in extra costs and less money in our pocket.

    If someone gave me $104m of extra taxes in a recession I would not spent $200,000 on welfare, I would spend $20m on welfare. I would not spend $11m on free buses, I would spend $20m and get more buses on the road as well as free rides for kids.

    the quality of our print journalism today is so bad that no body is focusing on the fact that this is a deflationary budget in a recession. In Barrow’s day we would have had a thoughtful analysis of the budget by people who understood the numbers, or even just bothered to read them, and not just politicians.

  84. Hants

    Thomas Gresham says

    “My understanding is that the biggest increase in costs was not due to cost over runs, but an increase in costs due to a change in the scope of works due to things they found when they began digging and things they thought they ought to do now that they had started digging and came across problems to fix etc.”

    How can a “reputable?” contractor build anything without doing any soil, bore hole, testing etc?

    Even when you don’t do bore holes, you dig foundation trenches to make sure you have a good structure to build on.

    You expect these mistakes from a small contractor but not from a company with a $40million budget.

  85. The Devil

    @TG

    can I get someone who will provide me with a house at their expense for what I pay in rent now for say the next 25 years? Now wait… before you say get a mortgage…I want a PFI so that I can fire them and they keep the debt and I keep the house!

    According to you – “Under new PFI arrangements the contractor can be fired and they still keep the debt. The government is not in hock.”

    So 3S has been fired, who is indebted for the highway expansion? If not the Barbados Gov’t then why the heavy taxes to pay for it (according to PM Thompson who has not been challenged on this by anyone)? I assume that the highway expansion was a PFI arrangement.

    Educate me but keep it simple.

  86. Hants

    It is time for Barbados to focus on what we have at home. Competent professionals at all levels in most disciplines.Architects,Engineers etc.

    The main advantage to hiring “overseas” is for those who want the benefits of overseas cash flow.

    Unless you are tied to a bidding process because you are borrowing from the World bank etc., Barbadian companies should be given the work.

    Just think of where Bajan professionals study to get their qualifications.

  87. Thomas Gresham

    If a PFI contractor breaches his obligations then the debt does not transfer to the government, that is the risk the contractor and bank take, and they get rewarded for taking those risks I might add.

    To your example. If you commit to giving a builder a payment for 20 years and he commits to building your house and maintain it and after he builds your house you sack him, if you have not done so under the terms of the contract (poor service, poor building etc) they you take on liabilities which would be explained under the agreement. There is no such thing as a free lunch or even a free bus pass. Someone pays.

    I have not seen the 3S MOU though I gather it discusses issues like penalties and liabilities and s, it could well be that if 3S sues the government and wins (you can bet they will get some good lawyers) that this process will dramatically increase our debt levels as we take on liabilities that were not ours beforehand. (So the budget raised administrative taxes and hence the cost of living, raised more tax than it gave back and so lowered growth and now, dashed the budgetary benefits of all of that by risking an increase in debt just so the PM could have a rhetorical flourish.)

    You know one of the traits of us Bajans is that we try and understand something before we do it and if we dont understand something, we tend to wait until we do. Foreigners call us excessively risk averse, but it is sometimes just sensible.

    By the way, I was explaining PFI, I am not for or against it. It has advantages and disadvantages. I do know that PFI has been the cause of an enormous infrastructure boom in hospitals and schools and one of the reasons why is that it is a way of government getting capital expenditure without increasing its debt.

    I read in the papers that the government is speaking to Nexus a PFI consultant. I have come across Nexus, there job is to advise governments on ways of building new hospitals under a PFI so that the government debt does not go up. The current government complained bitterly about these PFI schemes while in opposition but it would appear, from what I read in the Nation at least, that they are talking about adopting one.

  88. Andrew

    No I am not Hoadie.

    Just a grateful pensioner who is glad for the increase that me and the madam received to cushion the cost of living.

    And a grateful neighbour of persons, who have up to now, had to send their children to school in turns;
    (2 today, keep home the other 4 and send two of them tomorrow) because they cannot afford the bus fare.

    My comment about ‘ass-first’ served my brother well in the Gulf War.

    In conclusion, I actually felt sorry for the spectre of our former PM on TV the other night . I had to call around
    my friends – not to gloat – but to see what happens to a man whose power has been stripped from him. (Karma is alive and kicking) I think that Sandy weathered that storm better.

    Please also read:

    http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/NewViewNewsleft.cfm?Record=35998

  89. Tell me Why

    Thomas Gresham, the free bus rides for school children may seem chump change to you, but it matters to poor people who have a couple or a few children. One child taking two buses each way has to pay $6 in total. Now, with two or three children to look after, that is a lot of money per day for a poor family.
    ……………………………………………………………………………….
    Rumplestilskin, you made the above statement. First of all, have you factored in the true amount students actually pay per year along with the subsidies to the Transport Board? Around $2 million is paid by students and $3 million by Government. Now tell me why was $11 million mentioned as Revenue Loss in the Budget? What is the additional $6 million for?

    *************************************************
    The cell phone tax of $4 is small change to pay for alleviation of this burden, especially as education of our youth is the basis for the future success of Barbados.
    ………………………………………………………………………………
    First question. How conceptualised this $4. par month payment? How will the $4 per month be managed? Let me give you a scenario. Some people (like me) usually purchase a $10.00 card that last them for two to three months prior to the budget. Suppose this customer purchase a $10.00 card from September and put it on his phone, will the $4.00 be taken off per month? My mathematics say that $4.00 from $10.00 equal $6.00 in the first month and $4.00 from $6.00 equals $2.00 in the second month. This mean that the customer will only have $2.00 in airtime providing the third month’s payment becomes due, that mean you will be in arrears of $2.00 and you ain’t make one phone call. Rumps, do tell the blogging world the budget on cell phones gotta be wrong.

    It is all right to be partisan, but you must also be cognisant to the fact that these measures were not thought out before including it in the budget. Mr. PM. you still have time to rethink this blatant error before implementation.

  90. Trained Economist

    The following table taken from the EIU report put out by the Economist show debt to gdp for a number of countries. Look in particular at the debt to gdp ratio for argentina over the years. By your argument argentina has a lot of scope to borrow more money given its relatively low debt to gdp ratio.
    1998 1999 2000
    Japan 112 126 134
    Belgium 120 115 109
    Canada 94 90 82
    United States 64 61 58
    France 60 59 57
    Brazil 42 49 49
    Argentina 38 43 45
    South Africa 49 48 44
    United Kingdom 48 45 42
    Mexico 25 22 21
    Chile 12 13 13

    One should note that argentina defaulted on its debt in 2001 or so. The point is that while Debt to gdp and debt service to gdp are useful measures for scaling the level of debt and debt service relative to the size of the economy, what a lot of economists do not understand is that GDP does not equal income that can be used to service debt.

    For example, if you borrow $200 million to build a stadium, expenditure related on that stadium increases gdp, but does that gdp increase reflect cash to service the interest on the 200 ml borrowed to build the stadium. Surely, gdp does not reflect that.

    In Gresham’s haste to condemn, he and others have conveniently overlooked the fact that there was an exercise called the estimates earlier in the year.

    Please go back and look at the estimates. What is the total projected expenditure in the estimates and what is the total projected tax take? Gresham takes a little time, look at those numbers and get back to us on the blog. I will suggest to you that the government of Barbados will run a larger deficit than it did last year. So this notion about the government contracting spending during a recession that is being peddled is not supported by the facts.

    All that has really happened with the budget is the government has announced a number of new initiatives estimated to cost $82 million and they have tried to fund these new measures without any new borrowing.

    The government program for the year includes the estimates and the budget. When you look at them together, I think you get a rather different picture than suggested by Gresham and others.

  91. The Devil

    The PM should explain just what is owed and to whom for the highway. If there is no contract then on firing 3S I would expect a “contract” to be determined in a court of law as a result of litigation. If there is a PFI arrangement as Gresham suggests then BNB would be going after 3S (which the BLP would have suggested but hasn’t). If I were the PM not a cent would be paid to anybody unless I got good valid documented evidence (i.e bills, quantity surveyors reports, engineers reports) for any work done. I would not just accept 3S figures given that there is no contract.

    I wish someone would explain the actual situation.

  92. Tell me Why

    And a grateful neighbour of persons, who have up to now, had to send their children to school in turns;
    (2 today, keep home the other 4 and send two of them tomorrow) because they cannot afford the bus fare.
    …………………………………………………………………………………..
    And I know families doing the same school shuffling, but still have time to be feting and blinging with the latest threads and jewellery. Don’t talk about the expensive cell phone and de false hair that so thick, it pulling over duh head. So be careful Andrew, ask yourself what are these people priorities. By the way the free rides will assist the students to pay for the $4 per month increase on cell phones.

  93. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Trained economist.

    The facts are explained in the budget.

    Increased revenues as a result of initiatives announced in the budget +$104m

    Increased expenditure as a result of initiatives in the budget
    +$82m

    Of which, at least $20m will not actually represent additional cash expenditure into the economy, so net withdrawal of cash is at minimum $22m and possibly $50m.

    (How do I arrive at the estimate that around $20m of the so-called “expenditure” is not a local cash injection into the economy? Well $10m increased tourism marketing costs, mush of it on foreign advertising is probably not a cash injection locally, nor is $11m VAT relief on the forecast increased growth in house building is not a cash injection. The $11m for free bus pases is not a net injection either as this takes cash away from the PSVs, but the net effect is hard to assess.)

    Those are the facts. $104 increased taxes, some $50-84m of new expenditure. Net a contractionary budget. Pure and simple.

    As every economist knows a government can be contract spending, but because the economy is weak make little debt in the budget deficit because lower income means the govenrment loses tax revenues. The deficit is also due to increased energy costs. As every economist should know, the deficit is not a measure of the fiscal stance. A cyclically adjusted budget deficit would show that the this budget is contractionary. There is no debate about that.

    On to the debt.

    As every economist knows, the key issue for a country like ours is our ability to service foreign debt with foreign earnings. Barrow used to talk alot about that.

    That is called the debt service ratio. That is 7% in Barbados. That is a low figure and the Governor has said so. A further measure of our ability to pay our foreign debt is the yield on our foreign debt, which has over years fallen, though this year, with this budget will rise.

  94. Hants

    I neither the Education or expertise in Contract management or road building but it is clear to me that all these purported increased cost because they found “bad foundation after they started” is part of a smoke and mirrors scam to “enhance profits”.

  95. Trained economist

    Gresham, are you saying that the estimates have no relevance to the economy this year.

    The simple point is that the government’s program for the year consists of both the budget and the estimates. Are you in disagreement with this point.

    You say debt service of 7%. 7% of what? Again, you seem unable to grasp the point that GDP does not equal cash available to service debt. if you take the annual interest payments on barbados’ debt as a % of gdp of course you will get a very small figure.

    That GDP reflects the value of final expenditures in the economy, it in no way measures money available to service debt. To break it down a bit more for you. The monthly interest on my debts could be $1000 and my salary could be $10000, my debt service ratio is 10%. That low ratio is of little use to me if my other expenses per month are $9,500.

  96. Tell me Why

    All that has really happened with the budget is the government has announced a number of new initiatives estimated to cost $82 million and they have tried to fund these new measures without any new borrowing.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    I am going to deal with this issue from a layman point of view. If government tax medium to large size businesses heavy, the first thing that will happen will be lay-offs. Who will be affected? Most of the times it is the vulnerable. If these vulnerable are unable to purchase food, clothing etc. we will have a slow-down in the economy because we will not see the amount of spending. The Government will have reduce income from VAT whilst social services will increase. In short, nuh money coming in = no money to spend, therefore the country will be in a financial crisis. Remember, money makes the world go ’round.

    The proposed Revenue Gain can be challenged if the economy slows due to contraction. We might also see an increase in the Revenue Loss if unemployment increases and spending decreases. What will Government do with questionable differentials….don’t tell me about further increasing taxes?

  97. Hants

    Trained Economist can you help us laymen understand what the Government of tiny little Barbados should do in the face of this worldwide economic turmoil?

    For example I live in Canada where thousands are being layed off,Air Canada layed off 600 flight attendants yesterday.

    I paid $2.92 barbados for a litre of premium gas.
    From next week I have to pay $3.15 per bag of Garbage. The first is free so my family will probably use 1 extra bag.

    I have increasing food prices to deal hear in Canada but Bajans see to think they are immune from recession.

    Prehaps they want the Government to subsidise and borrow for ever and ever.

    I am not an Economist.I just don’t understand how some Bajans see Barbados vis a vi the rest of the world.

  98. Trained economist

    Let me correct my earlier post slightly.

    Gresham, I suggest you develop a perspective which says follow the money. If I borrow $400,000 and build a house for you, and we have a contract for you to pay me $4,000 per month for the next 30 years, do you not in essence have a mortgage.

    In fact, your balance sheet should show an obligation for the present value of $4,000 per month for 30 years at some relevant discount rate.

    You do sound like a BLP economist. these folks really seem to believe that the fact that an obligation is off balance sheet means it does not really exist. Maybe your measure of debt and debt service does not cover these types of obligations.

    One of the things they taught in Economics was to always follow the money.

  99. Thomas Gresham

    Eurostat and the IMF both recommend how these should be treated and they argue that as long as the obligation for service is with the contractor it is not on balance sheet for the government. I could explain this in detail, but I am not sure this will interest everyone else. I recommend you look for the Eurostat guideline on PFI accounting.

    I am a retired Professor of Finance and beholden to no party – just sound economics

  100. bajan2nv

    The new Government of Barbados has now effectively tackle its 3 major objectives in the 2008 Budget.

    1. Cost of living
    2. Cost of living
    3. Cost of living

    The next 3 objectives should now be:

    1. Higher cost of living
    2. Higher cost of living
    3. Higher cost of living

  101. Hants

    “as long as the obligation for service is with the contractor it is not on balance sheet for the government.”

    As a taxpayer my concern is that our money has to pay off debt whether now or later and all the convoluted economic theory and language comes down to the words of our Great Philosophers Draytons Two. “Yuh got to pay!”

  102. Tell me Why

    For example I live in Canada where thousands are being layed off,Air Canada layed off 600 flight attendants yesterday.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    Dear Hants. We had a fire at one of our Industrial sites. Just 400 people might have an unexpected vacation. Nuff vehicles in the island, so Government feel that $265.00 ain’t enough so it raised to $400.00. The ordinary car owner wouldn’t miss the additional $135.00. also the bigger the car, the more money you have to pay.
    We allowing nurses from 16 years old, but here’s the catch…Government are so thankful for you becoming nurses that we are going to increase your Temp. Regis. Fees from $25.00 to $300.00. Should ask your parents since you ain’t start working. By the way, if you want to be a dental Hygienist or a Technician I am going to ask an additional $275.00.
    You must be asking why my budget need your money. When we deal with budgets, we don’t play with singe digit increases, we just love 50% + increases and will go as far as a 1000% increase. That’s how a first world developing country should think. Fast and furious. Hants, now you talking about a $3.15 bag of garbage. We pay that amount for an empty bag. Wah loss!

  103. Trained economist

    I am not interested in credentials, I am interested in arguments.

    I have pointed out that as far as I understand it, the government’s program for the fiscal year consists of the estimates and the budget. For example, how much money will the government spend on the university of the west indies this year. That was not alluded to in the budget, that was provided for in the estimates.

    I am saying that when you combine the estimates and the budget the fiscal deficit this year will be substantially larger than last year.

    Unlike what you arrogantly suggest, a lot of us are very well aware of modern financing techniques. What we do not fall prey to is the fallacy that because debt is not on government books that the government is somehow free of financial obligations for the service.

    The effective cost of a PFI structure is only cheaper for the government if the private entity can raise capital more efficiently, can deliver the service more efficiently and shares these efficiency gains with the government in terms of the pricing of the contract. Surely people have a right to question whether or not net savings have been reaped by the government of barbados on any number of these PFI initiative. A PFI initiative by itself does not guarantee any savings. Surely it depends on the pricing, contractual terms and deliver of the service relative to other alternatives.

    Agian, i would like your learned view on my position that gdp does not necessarily approximate funds available to service debt. I am not suggesting we are any in any debt crisis and that the country needs to rapidly pare down debt, but many toss around this debt to gdp or debt service number without outlining its limitations as a measure of solvency.

    In terms of the taxes, the reality is that there are a number of service providers who fail to pay their fair share of taxes (doctors, lawyers etc.). i view this as a small step to incerase the tax take from this group.

  104. Bling en Motorola RAZR's,den?

    “And I know families doing the same school shuffling
    but still have time to be feting and bling-ing with the latest threads and jewellery!
    Don’t talk about the expensive cell phones and de false hair.
    Ask yourself What are these people priorities?
    By the way, the free rides will assist the students to pay for the $4 per month increase on cell phones.”

    God, how I love it when perceptive people point out why the poor will always be with us.
    Mainly it’s because The Unthinking Simple will always be with us!

    Victims of advertising, all of them!

  105. Hants

    Tell me Why you sound like a kinder gentler version of RoyalRumble.
    Still have an undying love for Owing?

  106. bajan2nv

    “The BLP has done nothing for the people of Barbados in its 14 years of Government” – DLP Supporter

    …Nothing can be done as:

    “The DLP has only be in office for 1 month”
    ‘The DLP has only be in office for 2 months”
    “The DLP has only be in office for 3 months”
    “The DLP has only be in office for 4 months”
    “The DLP has only be in office for 5 months”
    ‘The DLP has only be in office for 6 months”

    “Nothing can be done as the DLP has only be in office for 3 years”

    When will the honeymoon be over? WHEN WILL SOMETHING BE DONE?

  107. Partial

    Why the hell poor black people have to get more children than anybody else? Birth control would be much cheaper. People who can afford to support more children and pay their bus fares generally stop after about the 2nd child. That is because they think with their brains and not with other parts, and they want the best for the few children they get.

    If these poor people had any common sense at all and the poor foolish women had not gone ahead and provided a child for every poor foolish black man they slept with and who wanted to get them pregnant, perhaps now I would not have to “be my brother’s keeper”.

    I could have had 4 children too, but I knew I couldn’t afford them, therefore I didn’t. In any event, I could as well have had them, because I’m still supporting them now.

  108. Tell me Why

    Oh thank you for your observation. I hope to be in your country for a wedding. I will ensure that I start economising on wastage since I cannot afford to place additional burden on my hosts.

    Opps, Please don’t link me. I love power and with that I love David. On an honest note. I love ministers that perform regardless of the political divide. Glyne Clarke must be hating me with the licks on the highway. I praise when praise is due, but I will not hide to defend anyone who abuse my people. Yes! I always admire the political character of the Prime Minister. I always expected him to reach this position but I must state that he need to look at some of his advisers.

  109. Andrew

    Tell me why

    You can’t compare your neighbours with mine, who for the past several years have been struggling to make ends meet.

    Your argument reminds me of when free education and free school meals were introduced.
    One of the BLP’s objections was that all the rich people’s children will be benefiting from these measures. They’ve been proven wrong both times.
    Seems that history repeats itself whenever they are in opposition.

    What I am saying is that you should’t withhold these benefits from poor people just because they are a few misguided among them.

  110. Tell me Why

    Andrew my friend, where you around when Free School meals were introduced?

  111. Andrew

    I remembered one member threatening to punch holes in the pots and selling them to Victor Chase for scrap iron

  112. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Trained Economist,

    I apologise if I was a little brusque earlier – to be brutally honest the kids, home from school were yanking me off the computer. Please forgive me.

    You raise two important questions.

    Is Debt/GDP the right measure? Ours is high at around 80%. 60% is considered reasonable. But a number of countries have debt to gdp ratios higher than ours and it is not at an unsustainable level. Debt to GDP is not a good measure however for a number of reasons. First we are mixing B$ debt held locally with US$ debt held externally in this figure and the two are very different. The government has many ways of paying down Barbados dollar debt if it runs into trouble – taxation or sale of assets are two . External US$ debt is the key constraint for the economy because we cannot tax in US$. That is why international economists focus on external debt as a percentage of foreign exchange earnings and this is called the debt service ratio. Ours is 7%, half of what ot was 15 years ago.

    If you would like, another time I will give you a list of countries showing that out debt service ratio is one of the lowest of comparable nations.

    The issue of on or off balance sheet for PFI is not clear cut. As I said, I am no apologist for PFI, just explaining it.

    I think this is a better analogy. Imagine you have a gardener who comes once a week. You pay him weekly with no contract. Then instead of doing that you say to him, that you will commit to paying him weekly for the next five years if he does a little more. In return he says that if that commitment is bankable he will do some more, including building a garden shed. Under the arrangement, if he does not do the garden well at any time you can break your commitment. Now, you become an MP and have to declare your assets (sic), do you have a long term arrangement with a gardener or do you have a debt?

    According to Eurostat it hinges on who has the liability. If the gardener does not come up to scratch and he is liable for doing so and you can seek redress in some way, penalties, discounts etc, then it is a long-term arrangement, not a debt. If instead the gardener does not have any liability if he does not perform, and you still have to make this annual commitment, then you have a debt.

    Modern PFI arrangements conform to the former approach: a set of obligations on the part of the contractor and if these obligations are not met, the ability of government to break the contract. Indeed, the fact that the PM felt he was able to break the contract suggests that it is not a debt, but a long-term, leasing arrangement with obligations on both sides.

    Given that we are not a wealthy country, it would seem to me that we should take full advangtage of new financing arrangements that allow us to build more schools and clinics today without incur substantial debt. However, that does not mean that the contracts that we took out could not have been better or that they were not chosen correctly. I do not know. All I know is that it is wrong to go against the accepted practice in Europe and the US, turn these long-term leasing obligations into debt and as a result tighten the fiscal stance in the middle of a recession.

    I hope that is a satisfactory explanation and I apologise again for appearing arrogantly terse before hand, it was not my intention. I also apologise if I have bored everyone else, but he did ask. Got to get back to the kids now.

  113. Tell me Why

    I remembered one member threatening to punch holes in the pots and selling them to Victor Chase for scrap iron
    ……………………………………………………………………………………
    Ok I understand your age.

  114. Jerome Hinds

    Tell me Why
    July 11, 2008 at 8:59 pm
    I remembered one member threatening to punch holes in the pots and selling them to Victor Chase for scrap iron
    ……………………………………………………………………………………
    Ok I understand your age.
    *******************************
    Tell Me Why…

    I see that your once hailed grassroots MP
    ( Hammie La ) have to chat with his leader…..with an Attorney – At – Law present !

    Reminds one of the fact that BLP MP’s do not trust their leaders…!

    George Payne case can used as part of the research !

    Bajans made the right choice on 15th Jan , 2008 !

  115. ROBOT

    hey P D C

    where are you
    want to see your comments on these issues

    are you lapsing or what
    stop faking moves
    and big-up yuhself

    wash off these people wid yuh comments

  116. Pingback: Have The Democratic Labour Party Government’s Clothes Been Stolen? « Barbados Underground - bringing the news to the people

  117. PoorGirl attitude.

    Partial,
    Whuh wrong wid you, doah?

    You doan know dat chile-bearing fuh naff-naff difrnt men
    is a means of support?

    Whuh..eff 1 or 2 doan gi’ yuh nuh milk-money dis week..
    daz why I got seven o’ duh to provide fuh me!

    I got to got nice clothes en shoes yuh know!
    (doan mind de chrildren
    -dem wud get fuh duhself
    if/when dum come-up!)

    Try en onstan whuh gyne on,den!

  118. 1.5 million.

    So.
    O$A declared his a$$ets in Friday’s NATION.
    Major comedy, peoples.

    1.5 Million is what my wife got in the account to run the house for the year,man!

    Who on earth is O$A fooling.
    MIA got more money dan He?
    ————————-
    And when He/O$A and FirstWife split up, she get payout somewhere in the region of 16 mil.
    because dat was de half-share(of the a$$ets he would confess to, at de time)??
    Hello-o?!

  119. Thomas Gresham

    I find it odd how people can say so much while only reading a short headline. If you go on to read the articles about Mottley’s declaration, it shows that she declared assets of $3.5m and liabilities of $1.5m. That is a net figure of $2m. Yet everyone is saying she is worth $3.5m. Can they not do the math?

    Of course some do not believe this figure. They say she is grossly underestimating her assets. But now that she has made her assets public, the onus is up to us to prove her wrong or shut up.

    Having made a public declaration, if anyone, anywhere in the world finds an asset, registered in her name, and they look at the list of assets declared and it is not on this list they can make it an issue. This is the power of public scrutiny. The most powerful weapon we have over conflicts of interest and improper behaviour, is public scrutiny.

    However, Mottley is not in power We cannot apply any public scrutiny, any, to those in power making decisions on our behalf, accepting gifts, and making appointments, because none have chosen to make any declaration of any sort having promised to do so.

    Mottley’s declaration was voluntary. What stops the PM and his chief political advisor from making voluntary declarations before we have a formal system? Nothing at all. I do not mind if they are rum shop declarations, becuase once they are in the open, they are open to public scrutiny. No declaration, no scrutiny.

  120. Wishing In Vain

    And now we have a respected trustworthy leader that stands tall among world leaders.

    http://newshopper.sulekha.com/photos/slideshow/Others/4/191033.htm

  121. Thistle

    Thank you for that link, Wishing In Vain. A proud moment indeed!

  122. Wishing In Vain

    Thistle You are welcome.

    It seems like when the Prime Minister said that he had the support of 20 on his side and 2 on the other he was not kiddinghe may even have the support of more than two.

    **************

    BFP says,

    Wishing In Vain… your last comment that we have moderated broke every rule that we have ever spoken to you about.

    This is many times that we have given you many chances and yet you still attempt to publish comments that you know violate our policies.

    It is a shame because you do contribute so much that is worthy, but we can no longer take your abuse.

    We no longer desire you as a member of the BFP community.

    Marcus

  123. Thistle

    Oh, loss, WIV, whatcha gone and shot yuhself in de foots for? Now behave yuhself over on BU and don’t muddy yuh waters over there, because, as BFP said, you contribute so much that is worthy. What a shame.

  124. Hants

    WIV why can’t you behave yuh self. I will now have to follow you over at BU.

    I thought you would have learned something from me. You have to use your words creatively to get the same result.

    I suggest you read Freundal Stuart’s speech where he referred to the leader of the opposition in biblical terms.

    I don’t read BU but I will drop in now and then.

    Sorry you self destructed on BFP but be careful from now on. Barbados needs you.

  125. Hants

    BFP moderating me too but thats ok. It could be considered aiding and abbeting our banned friend.

    I understand why people intensely dislike some politicians especially those who appear to have caused some bajans to suffer.

  126. Hants

    BFP are you moderating me because I mentioned the termination of contributions by our fellow blogger dubyaishing in sounds like pain?

  127. Hants

    BFP I visited BU and they give their contributors more” latitude” than you do.

    You compliment each other with BU being more risque than BFP.

    Our banned brothers like dubya eye vee can feel at home on BU.

    I have now added BU to 2nd position on my Barbados farourites list.

  128. Hants

    I have been reading and listening to the Barbados mainstream media and notice a high level of self regulated censorship.

    Given what BFP has presented about the Legal system in Barbados, I am beginning to understand the climate of fear in Barbados that forces people to vent on blogs.

    I have an issue which I would like to vent but I am keeping it to myself.
    I understand why some Bajans like double ewe eye vee are vitriolic when speaking about some members of the previous administration.

  129. a stitch in time saves 99

    why is it that female politicians are always subjected to intense scrutiny

  130. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Hants,

    No. I don’t accept that and I don’t think that ordinary, decent Bajans would accept that either. From what I read on this blog, it would appear that Adrian and BFP have cause for some vitriol, but we don’t hear it. The person you rightly supported who lost her loved one at QEH probably has more reason than any of us for some vitriol, but we don’t hear it. BFP took responsibility and did what was right. Our freedom to express our thoughts with anonymity comes with responsibility too.

    By and large the Bajan way is for decency, reason, fairness and some humility. Its one of the reasons I returned to Barbados after a lengthy time in Britian. I wanted my kids to grow up around that and not in a country that had materialism but had lost its moral compass.

    With good reasons the majority felt that the last administration had overstepped the mark and they were removed from office. The thing we want our leaders to do today is to focus on doing things better, not to descend to its an “our turn” mentality. There is a certain arrogant triumphalism from those currently in power and their friends that does not become them or what I thought they stood for.

    I want them to get down to dealing with the difficult challenges that face us in the manner that they promised. I am still waiting. If the new powers and their die-hard supporters want to dwell on vitriolic attacks rather the engaging in the hard work required to reduce the cost of living or protect growth and jobs, then they will suffer the same fate in 5 years rather than 15 at the hands of the many neutral, floating, voters.

  131. Gapp

    Stupess.. thats all I can really say about Mia and Owen te-act-trick… stupess.. I swear that the BLP has always and will always think that we Bajans are stupid and dumb.. Its all about tricks and gimmicks thats what they have always been and will always be about … tiricks — gimmicks and more tricks and gimmicks.. Both were mearly to score political points .. its so abvious I can only stupesss and thats the truth.. I really hope that we Bajans see through this game that this woman who hopes one day to be PM of Barbados is playing.

  132. I.R. Ijot

    Mia got 3.5 mil, I got 3.5 hundred and wunnuh want me to worry bout she or Arthur or Tomson? Dey living the sweet life, meking fancy speeches, traveling bout on private jet, got 3 houses (I renting) and we here wasting good time on them. I done with this blog and all the others. I gwine drink rum, eat good food, try an get as much sex as possible, wuk up on some young girls this kadooment, run some ball down at the pasture and f@#$ off all dem politicians, dey could do whatever dey like cause dem dont care and neither should I!

  133. Thomas Gresham

    Dear I. R. Ijot,

    Mia disclosed a net $2m. How much do you think David Thompson has?

    I suspect more than $2m. Its been a few years in opposition and it is said that Clico was a good client, paying a high retainer. But I have no idea as to the truth of that and he hasnt made any disclosures for us to assess or decide whether he has a conflict of interest in having Mr. Leroy “alligators” Parris, Mr. Clico, Barbados, so much involved in government.

    Clico is sizeable in Barbados, but it is much bigger at home in Trinidad. There Clico is heavily involved in politics. The Chairman, Laurence Duprey, is closely attached to the UNC and owes a substanial part of his wealth to licences to build methanol plants during the UNC/NAR governments. The corruption scandal surrounding former PM Panday, hinged on Duprey’s gifts to Panday and his family. The CEO of Clico, is the Treasurer of the PNM, the current party in power and someone currently embroiled in a scandal over abuse of influence. Small world.

  134. J

    Dear Partial:

    If you could have had 4 children but did not and now still you are supporting other people’s children, then who is the fool?

    Methinks that you are the fool Partial.

    Hee!!!, hee!!!, hee!!!

  135. Partial

    J – You kinda missed the point. I realise you got up real early.

    The other people’s children I’m helping to support (with my taxes) are all the other poor children whose poor parents went and got them, and not 1 or 2 either, but 4 and 5, and can’t afford to pay their bus fares. On the other hand, it’s good to get them off the ZRs.

  136. Brutus

    Thomas Gresham, you have made some goood points but I can not agree with you that David Thompson should follow Mia’s lead and declare his assets to Parliament. I do agree however that the asset declarations by the DLP cabinet could and should have been made by now as was promised.

    The declaration on Mia’s part is meaningless because she would also need to disclose her assets at the beginning of her stint in government, so that we can make a comparison. The legislation proposed by the DLP also requires disclosure of income, assets of spouse/relative, and gifts over a specified value. I would suggest that, among other things, disclosure should also be made of assets held by another party in trust or as agent for the public official.

    So, we can not allow Mia to water down the asset declaration requirements. This is not the standard that we want the others to follow, and we can not allow her to set this as the bar for everyone else. Many people seem to believe that what she and the former PM did would be sufficient under ITAL legislation and we need to fight that perception.

    You have also made the point that parties anywhere in the world with knowledge of any assets of Mia not listed by her would be able to point this out. What about assets not held in her own name?

    I do not agree with you that public disclosure of assets of persons in public life is necessary. You have stated that it was public scrutiny that resulted in the discovery of Basdeo Panday’s foreign bank account – do you have any evidence of this? Were Panday’s asset declarations open to public scrutiny? I think that the key point with asset declarations is that corrupt politicians are forced to make inaccurate declarations which then opens them to prosecution at some future date.

  137. Thistle

    Brutus said: “The declaration on Mia’s part is meaningless because she would also need to disclose her assets at the beginning of her stint in government.”

    A few days ago I made the same point, which I think is a sensible, and perhaps obvious, assessment but I got cut down by Hants, who declared that it was irrelevant because Mia was born rich and will die rich. I wonder if Hants thinks Brutus’s words are irrelevant too. We’ll wait and see.

  138. Inkwell

    Thomas Gresham,

    Your explanation of the workings of PFI’s should go a long way to alleviate accusations of the previous government as a “borrow and spend” administration.

    There is one aspect of a PFI I should like you to clarify for me. In your “gardener” analogy, let’s assume the gardener has in fact built the garden hut and assume that it cost him more that projected. His other gardening services, raking leaves, pulling weeds, etc. are unsatisfactory and I fire him. The garden shed he built are on my property, it is my asset. What financial arrangements would have to be put in place to resolve this situation?

  139. Thomas Gresham

    It is absolutely ridiculous, partisan and without logic to argue that the Leader of the Opposition’s declaration of something is meaningless and the PM’s declaration of nothing is acceptable.

    It is the people in power who are making decision with tax payers money that need to make declarations. The point of Mia’s declaration, which many understand, is that if you stand on an election platform that you will declare assets as soon as you are in office to ensure clean government and you argue this is in sharp contrast to the current govenrment, and then you win the election but do not do so, it is damning because declarations can be made easily enough if you feel you have nothing to hide. BFP have made this point well. There is no justification for this position and to do so reveals those who are DLP hacks who used ITAL as a partisan political point in opposition and now they are in power do not want anything to get in their way.

    And if the argument is that these declarations need to be done in a better way, then who do we have to blame for there not being a better way but the government that promised it would have the legislation and process in place within the first 100 days.

    In the absence of a formal process, making a declaration for all to see and to stand up in the court of public scrutiny is far from meaningless.

    Here is the unanswerable point. If it were so meaningless, every DLP Minister should have made similar declarations the day after Mia did. They did not. They have not. What are they hiding from?

    We have had zero declarations of any kind. And yet we can see the boss of Clico Barbados in a position of influence over public money and resources, a constant traveling companion with the PM on his company jet, the owner of the Advocate in a position of influence over public money and public resources. And others.

    In Panday’s case, the Chairman of Clico gave Panday a cash gift in London. Panday’s government gave Clico licences to build methanol plants in Trinidad. Panday did not disclose this in his declaration. He claimed it was for his family and not him (sic). An investigation was started when the police were alerted to this discrepancy by an anonymous tip about the London bank account. That is the point of public scrutiny. Today the public can scrutinise the Leader of the Opposition but they cannot scrutinise the men in power. That’s the point. You happy with that? Amazing.

  140. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Brutus, I have tried to reply to your points, but my comments are under moderation.

  141. Brutus

    Thomas Gresham,

    I can understand that you are a little touchy because you have been under heavy fire (as usual), but you and I are on the same side on the key matters here.

    I said in my post that I agree that the present cabinet members could and should have disclosed their assets by now.

    I disagree with you on the need for public scrutiny of the declarations. Thank you for filling in the facts on the Basdeo Panday matter, but you did not answer my question – were Panday’s asset declarations open to public scrutiny, or were they disclosed in confidence only to the Integrity Commission?

  142. Brutus

    I actually like one comment from Albert Brandford’s column in today’s Sunday Sun:

    “Instead of cavilling, what the Government MP’s should have done was to congratulate the Opposition leader for setting the tone on a matter that has been around for several years – even if in the absence of statutes her move appeared to be a case of political one-up-manship.”

  143. Hants

    ITAL should include rules that makes Government ministers and all Members of Parliament declare their assets and put assets in a Blind trust if there is a conflict of interest.

    No member of parliament should be involved in the awarding of contracts to companies in which them or their families have ownership even if their assets are in a blind trust.

    Barbados also needs a freedom of Information Act which will allow the scrutiny of all public officials and Government contracts.

    If you do not want the Taxpayers to “know your Business” stay out of politics.

    The income of the former Prime Minister would have been about 100,000 x 14 or $1.4 million.
    His declaration of assets seem reasonable.

    Does it mean anything? Yes.

    It means that the allegations of corruption and ownership of a beach front condominum etc are probably false and just politically motivated gossip.

    I will also treat as “gossip” MIA’s part ownership of various Enterprises not included in her declaration of assets.

    We have had a spirited discussion about corruption,ITAL and MIA and Owing assets.

    What we need now is the EVIDENCE of corruption in the last administration.

    If there was no corruption, we want to see the facts relating to the mismanagement of major projects like the 3S ABC flyovers and the new Prison that may explain the appearance of corruption.

    BFP before everyone forgets you should publish a review of the major “mistakes” made by the BLP during the last 14 years beginning with 3s ABC and VECO Dodds.

  144. Brutus

    I also like these comments by Jeff Cumberbatch in today’s Advocate:

    “It was a poignant reminder to the current administration that it had come to power on a promise of integrity and transparency in public affairs, of which a critical aspect – so far unkept – would be a compulsory declaration of assets by public officials.

    Never mind that these declarations would not be made to a national audience, that they would cover all assets, both local and foreign, that they would have to be independently verified and that the mischief of the proposed rule would scarcely entail that it is intended to catch an opposition politician after fifteen years in office; the moment was seized by Ms Mottley to telling effect.

    Ironically, mere months thitherto, a public query as to the assets of a Minister of government resulted in a substantial damages settlement for defamation. Only ’bout hey’, some would comment.”

  145. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Brutus,

    Not unusually, you are taking the discussion to a different level that where it has been. Let me follow . The question you raise is, when we do have a formal ITAL process, what should it be? Mia’s declaration was about forcing the issue, not about creating a process – she is not in government. Her act may embarrass the government into formalising a process more quickly. In that specific regard, I applaud her.

    Public disclosure is a far tougher standard of scrutiny than many would propose. You hint at this. Public disclosure may deter people from coming into public office who are not corrupt, but do not wish to lose their privacy or have people contort the truth. Look how many people refer to Mia as having $3.5m of assets when the net assets disclosed are $2m because they are not interested in reading more than a five-word headline. An alternative to public disclosure is disclosure to a truly independent body. This body would then need to apply the kind of scrutiny that the public automatically do. The suspicion is that the body would be packed with government sympathizers – the committee the PM appointed has attracted criticism for a lack of independence. I would ask an audit firm to carry out the main tasks outside of Barbados. You could make the Leader of the Opposition chair of a public accounts committee that can investigate all transactions – but that is what we have and Thompson did not find it useful.

    My understanding is that it was a member of the public who tipped off the Trinidad Integrity Commission to investigate former TnT PM, Mr. Panday for payments from Clico. There are ways of raising integrity in public life while avoiding the full force of public disclosure, but not because public disclosures are meaningless, but because they are a tough standard. Everything else is easier. Yet we are still waiting for something that should have been worked out in opposition and legislated for in the first 100 days.

  146. Thomas Gresham

    I am not sure where this should go:

    The Economics of Free Bus Rides for School Children

    This policy is so populist that no politician would argue against it. I am not a politician, but an economist, so let me give this policy its first proper examination.

    This is a policy that makes sense in a country where the expense of getting kids to school is a major cause of absenteeism. I would expect to see this in a desperately poor, large country that is sparsely populated. Maybe it is not actually about getting kids to school, but about helping out families. But there are far more efficient ways of providing social welfare because it can be targeted on the poor. With $11m, the government could double the increase in the reverse tax credit already announced and have $4m left over to increase welfare payments by ten fold and double its eligibility. That would be a social welfare budget.

    Transport experts tell me that the $11m “cost” of this policy is based on increasing the existing subsidy for those kids that do travel on the Transport Board buses and about saving families $5m if they take their kids away from the PSVs and use the buses. But why did these kids not travel on the Transport Board buses in the first place? Was it a matter of costs or routes and timeliness? If it is routes and timeliness we need to improve service. Is the best way to improve transport service to take away the PSVs profit (which will means less service from them) and add it to the Board’s $28m loss? What signal does this send about how we reward economic efficiency? A better policy would be to auction a subsidy of $11m for anyone who can provide a dedicated, safe, service direct to schools and allow the Board to compete for that subsidy.

  147. Inkwell

    Mr Gresham,

    I raised a query in a post above which you appear not to have noticed. It was:

    There is one aspect of a PFI I should like you to clarify for me. In your “gardener” analogy, let’s assume the gardener has in fact built the garden hut and assume that it cost him more that projected. His other gardening services, raking leaves, pulling weeds, etc. are unsatisfactory and I fire him. The garden shed he built are on my property, it is my asset. What financial arrangements would have to be put in place to resolve this situation?.

    I would appreciate your response.

  148. Brutus

    Thomas Gresham said:

    “But why did these kids not travel on the Transport Board buses in the first place? Was it a matter of costs or routes and timeliness?”
    ______________
    The simply answer is that many school children are attracted to the slack behaviour, the loud music, the general lawlessness that is part of the minibus culture. This is why so many bajans see the proposal as so attractive and a step in the right direction. Of course, it won’t solve the problem entirely but its a step in the right direction.

  149. Thomas Gresham

    To Brutus,

    Dear Brutus,

    You make a good point on the “culture” issues. The PM touched on an important social issue there. But what is the right economic solution to this problem?

    I think is to auction a $11m subsidy for a dedicated school bus service, with pick ups and drop offs at, or where possible, inside the schools themselves, so that kids are not crossing roads etc.

    What this would do would be to get the private sector competing to provide an efficient dedicated service, rather than pouring good money after bad on to a Transport Board that cannot be relied upon to make the necessary investments in new capacity and routes.

    A key condition of holding on to the licence, besides safety, would be to promote a clean culture, which could incentivise operators to innovate (which is what the private sector does well and the public sector does badly) such as holding spelling B competitions on the buses.

    To Inkwell.

    Dear Inkwell,

    Sorry, I didnt respond earlier.

    As I have said, I am no apologist for PFIs. Some make sense to me, some dont. To be fair to PFIs, the contracts have got better as we have had more experience with them. In many cases the agreements are structured so at the end of the lease, there is a transfer of the asset (the garden shed) to the government. This is normal for hospitals. This government is considering a PFI to build a new hospital. I would have thought in the case of roads, ownership always resides with the government.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, the court case between 3S and Government will reveal much. Lets wait and see.

  150. Thomas Gresham

    Inkwell and Brutus, I have tried to respond, but my comments are awaiting moderation.

  151. Thomas Gresham

    Dear BFP,

    I see you are holding for moderation a couple of my comments on this and other subjects. It seems you do not wish to see my comments any more. I wasn’t aware that there was so much censorship on this blog, but it is your blog and I fully respect your prerogative to run it as you wish. Good wishes to you.

    *****************

    BFP says,

    Dear Thomas…

    Please read the FINE manual at the top about comment moderation. WE do not hold comments for moderation… the computer does that when you look suspicious, for instance posting too quickly or with a URL in the comment. We are not always here to find your comment and approve it.

    Sometimes it goes to the spam bucket automatically. We fish it out when you notify us or it we find it ourselves before you mention it.

    It is pretty simple… if we are at work it may be 24 hours before your comment is found, so don’t get your knickers in a knot. RTFM!!!!!

    We found one comment that was in the spam bucket and we approved it.

    Patience, puppy!

  152. Hants

    Thomas Gresham I see you are exercising your democratic right over at the more “liberal” BU.

    Most Bajans who blog on BFP also visit BU. It is a little more edgy over there.

    Its all good. Its all about Barbados.

  153. My view

    The lead above makes sense.

    I happen to know that the Dems knew what Mia and Owen were going to do. Now if the Dems follow suit and all declare that’s the end of that. They can produce any document and say its their assets as both Mia and Owen did.

    Mia and Owen – only – have set the bar very low indeed and they will pay dearly because they have been almost reckless.

    The declaration of assets document in and of itself is not the basis of ITAL! Or have I missed the point Adrian? Is this all we want of our public servants? A mere declaration?

    Bigger issue: why didn’t the other BLP members declare? It may be that the real battle is in the BLP not the Dems.

    How can a leader be a leader and get only one out of ten to follow?

    Mia has definitely played into David Thompson’s hands very clumsily. And, knowing him, I have a suspicion that he knew exactly what she was going to do!

    It was not a body slam. I believe that David Thompson is playing dead to get something alive!

  154. Thomas Gresham

    Dear BFP,

    Thank you. I have unknotted my knickers – as it were.

    I can imagine that it is hard to get a computer program properly calibrated so it doesn’t hold up genuine discussion, but does stop these vandals with their disgusting threats against you and Adrian. It seems last night the computer was doing the opposite – is it nicknamed Hal, by any chance?

    I shall exert more self-moderation and perhaps get away from my own computer and step outside to enjoy another day in paradise.

  155. Hants

    My view what you are saying is logical.

    Hopefully the new ITAL will require declaration and Verification of ALL assets.

    This play by MIA and Owing is just a delaying and diversionary tactic away from what we need to know.
    Results of Forensic audits on GEMS,Hardwood Housing,The Prison and 3S ABC.
    etc.

    BFP will keep the pressure on the Dems for ITAL

    Interesting times

    Canadian dollar is on par with US dollar.
    Oil is US$1.46 a barrel
    Gas for my car is BDS$2.96 a litre. Should trade it in for a civic or corolla. mmmmm Not.

    Time for therapy in Barbados.

  156. Brutus

    Thomas Gresham,

    I can see nothing wrong in principle with your suggestion to auction a $11m subsidy for a dedicated school bus service (for school children).

    We would have to see if it would be economically attractive to a new player in the industry, as opposed to the transport board with its existing infrastructure and equipment (and similarly the existing minibus owners).

    Hopefully this is just a first step to revolutioning our public transportation system, which would have many benefits.

    Such a revolution, if it occurs, may highlight a difference in approach between our current administration and the previous one. Do we spend the money on traffic management (highway expansion and flyovers, etc, to accommodate a growing number of vehicles), or do we spend it on improving public transportation (to reduce the growth in number of private vehicles and improve services to low income citizens). Each approach has somewhat different spin offs, benefits, and implications which we could analyze at great length.

  157. ru4real

    Ideally both systems would be implemented.

    Better highways and flyovers plus improved public services . The Free Flow project included a park and ride system that has been little publicized.
    Education of drivers is a must. With regard to school vehicles when I see buses careering down the streets I am amazed that any parent would entrust their children to such a hazardous method of travel at all.

  158. ru4real

    Hants says

    Thomas Gresham says

    “My understanding is that the biggest increase in costs was not due to cost over runs, but an increase in costs due to a change in the scope of works due to things they found when they began digging and things they thought they ought to do now that they had started digging and came across problems to fix etc.”

    How can a “reputable?” contractor build anything without doing any soil, bore hole, testing etc?

    Even when you don’t do bore holes, you dig foundation trenches to make sure you have a good structure to build on.”

    All these tests were done scrupulously by 3S .And more -they introduced radar testing on the ground conditions which had not been done before in Barbados but now is commonplace
    To say otherwise is libel.

    The increase in the scope of works actually means MORE work as requested by the Ministry of Public works.
    The original proposal was a traffic solution to free up the ABC highway by the construction of 8 flyovers.The ABC highway was to be widened only at the point where the flyovers joined with highway .
    The scope of works increased to the widening of the WHOLE length of the ABC highway , a new roundabout. the new Jersey Barriers – again requested by the Ministry-
    The delays incurred by the wrong position of major cable works. These are cables wrongly positioned YEARS BEFORE and mapped as such.
    This is not the fault of the contractors who can only proceed on information given to them by the engineers in the M of P works.

    Why did the engineers in the Ministry allow the cables to be wrongly placed in the first instance?

    Why did the Ministry want the road widening /new Jersey barriers, new roundabouts ?
    They cannot be so naive to think it would all cost the same as the original price given.
    The ministry have also requested numerous design changes causing expense and delay .

    Tactics designed deliberately to do just this in order to embarrass the previous administration.
    To incur unnecessary expenses for political means.

    These tactics have caused inconvenience to the driving public ( Warrens would have been completed long ago had not the MPT delayed and caused the original excellent design to be changed to an unwieldy and ( 4 million dollars more expensive ) one of their own in order to hold up progress.

    The public do not know the facts .
    They have been fed LIES .

    MPT now find themselves in a position where they will have to justify their actions.
    WHY did they request constant increases in the scope of works if they had no intention of paying for them?

    Actions which have deliberately sabotaged the Free Flow project and cost the Barbadian tax payer dear.

  159. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Brutus,

    Given the social costs of congestion and pollution, I favour investments in public transport. Given the $28m deficit at the Transport Board, I think the issue of investment is not just about money, but also about how pubic money is efficiently spent. We could have a system that was publicly funded, but privately delivered by auctioning off subsidies and setting standards and creating a market in innovative ways of delivering safe, public transport.

    Taking $5m out of the pockets of the PSVs and giving more responsibility to an inefficient Transport Board, may appeal to someone only focused on the political/cultural issues, but it strikes me as bad economics. There is a good economics way of dealing with the cultural issues as we have discussed and have some agreement on.

    However, I think investment in our infrastructure was also sorely needed. I think most of us can agree that the experience has been painful and that mistakes were made, but I do not think our infrastructure was adequate for a modern economy. Canceling the flyovers made good TV theatre, but I wonder whether after the ensuing litigation, costs of litigation and its impact on finishing the damn thing the government will not come to regret the manner and process of its decision. We shall see.

    I always remember the bizarre situation of leaving London a few years ago – a city with around 12 million people in the city and surrounds and where congestion is awful – and arriving in Barbados and finding that my rush hour journey taking the kids to school took longer here than in London. More and cheaper buses are probably necessary but not sufficient for dealing with our traffic problems.

  160. ru4real

    The PM should explain just what is owed and to whom for the highway. If there is no contract then on firing 3S I would expect a “contract” to be determined in a court of law as a result of litigation. If there is a PFI arrangement as Gresham suggests then BNB would be going after 3S (which the BLP would have suggested but hasn’t). If I were the PM not a cent would be paid to anybody unless I got good valid documented evidence (i.e bills, quantity surveyors reports, engineers reports) for any work done. I would not just accept 3S figures given that there is no contract.

    I wish someone would explain the actual situation.
    —————————————————————

    Of course there is a contract.
    You cannot terminate a contract if there isn’t one in the first place.
    Reneging on contracts and financial responsibilities is fraud and puts Barbados right up there with any other third world country that reneges on its debt with no regard to law.

  161. Straight talk

    Are you for real?

    Of course we have been told there is a contract.
    It is a Memorandum of Understanding.

    Place it in the public domain so we can all understand the totality and consequences of this $100m+ memo we have signed up to.

    Let the payers see what they are buying, or is that a state secret too?

  162. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Straight Talk,

    We have been told by the previous government that there is an MOU which is in such detail, with regards to consideration etc, that it constitutes a contract. Any document can be a contract, if it has a few key ingredients such as an offer, an acceptance of the offer and consideration (payment).

    It is this contract that the PM announced that he was canceling. I assume he read it first before he did so, so that he was aware of the legal consequences and implications of canceling it. (The budget we waited an extra few months to appears was so hastily cobbled together that I am not sure of that.) I get the confused impression that he is not sure there was a contract.

    The MOU was signed by civil servants and one assumes they have the copy. The government could make this public if it wished to, but it may complicate their case to the public if they were to do so.

    To be honest, I would just wish they came up with a plan that would get the damned thing finished first, and then get some independent body to assess it all. I am not sure canceling the contract with nothing else in place really does that.

    There is a certain impetuousness about this govenrment, encapsulated well in Dr Estwick and the earlier canceling of subsidies. Things are being announced that may or may not be right, but there is no preparation for the consequences. Let hope it this is not a matter of character and more a matter of inexperience.

  163. The Devil

    Is there a contract or not? The PM said there is no contract. Let us see this MOU, oh yeah its before the court…

  164. Anonymous

    Could somebody please explain why in a matter of a few months Clico replaced the previous Insurance companies for The transport board, CBC, and the hospital contracts.
    Are there more instances?

  165. 147

    Anonymous this is J. You know very well that Clico’s boss man Leroy Parris and the PM are best buddies. Don’t you always see them in the paper smiling up at each other? And in our system of government juicy contracts always find their way to the companies owned by the PM’s best buddies.

    It is called not the Westminster system, but the best buddy system.

    Nothing new here.

    Nothing new at all.

    Its an all party thing.

  166. ru4real

    Is there a contract or not? The PM said there is no contract.
    —————————————————-
    Yes yes and yes every legal eagle in the country knows that a MOU constitutes a contract and the PM and his ministers are all lawyers so what ate they thinking of allowing him to make a pronouncement that is a complete and utter untruth.

    Added to that it is completely illegal to end a contract by television without any discussion with the principals who I see from the Nation ( deafening silence) still have not received any official word from the Ministry.

    Seeing as the road widening was almost complete why did the PM feel he needed to end he work in this manner?

    A manner guaranteed to bring on legal action.

    Showmanship?

    It is noteworthy that on of the main sub constractors on the work is Rayside owned by Clico ( Leroy Parris). Has this any significance?

  167. Tell me Why

    Am I hearing that CBC deputy chairman has resigned?

  168. ru4real

    To be honest, I would just wish they came up with a plan that would get the damned thing finished first, and then get some independent body to assess it all. I am not sure canceling the contract with nothing else in place really does that.
    ————————————————
    Dont hold your breath about that.
    They have the plans but now they have the foolish virgins ( Barbados Association of Procrastinating Engineers) on the job it will be completed any time this decade.
    http://www.nationnews.com/editorial/292188810295668.php

  169. Sir Bentwood Dick

    I must say. Really old chap, do not disparage the goodly Westminster system.

    After all, the mother country has done quite well with it for quite a while, thank you.

    I am not happy with the use of the colony’s reasources and really cannot tolerate misconduct by a band of pirates and hooligans, I say.

    Do you think that I served in the colonies for all these years to allow such brigandry?

    Thank goodness for you lot that this is still the commonwealth, don’t you think?

    Just imagine if the colonial government allowed that republican rubbish to fester? Good gracious, just look what has happened to America, for heaven’s sake!

    You lot are ruining the colony with that disgusting North American condominium architecture, after we left you with comely cottages and simply smashing views of the sea?

    Absolutely disgraceful, I say!

    The sooner that you lot realise that when it all boils down to it, there is simply nothing like a good English tea and crumpets, all will be well then.

    What say, Harold?