Break out the champagne again, friends
They say this new US$70 million Inter-American Development Bank loan (plus interest) will enable Barbados to cut our energy costs by $600 million over the 20 year term. Wonderful.
Of course, the projected savings are based upon the “fact” that Bajans will cut electricity consumption by 19 percent within the next 17 years – and the “fact” that by the time those 17 years pass, almost 30 percent of our energy will come from “renewable sources such as photovoltaic, solar water heating, wind, biomass cogeneration, and waste-to-energy projects…”
As per usual, the loan has no performance monitoring built into it. That means that our glorious leaders will (as per usual) be able to “temporarily” divert loan monies to other uses at their discretion when the solar projects are “held up” for a while. This has happened before – the West Coast sewer project has been “held up” for a decade now so the government is using the gazillion dollar loan on other things…
… Like tossing the money into general revenues where it disappears faster than Noel Lynch when asked how he became a millionaire on a politician’s salary. Gone!
What is the money supposed to be used for WHAT? !!!
Wake up children… the press release gives the impression that the loan will be used to purchase windmills, power generators and build waste-to power plants etc etc etc.
That’s what the press release implies. HOWEVER if you read the actual project notes you’ll see that this batch of money will go to…
“(i) support the formulation of policy and legislation that will contribute to the promotion of Renewable Energy (RE), Energy Efficiency (EE), Energy Conservation (EC), and rational and efficient use of fossil fuels, and as a consequence, promote the mitigation of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as well as initiatives for adaptation to climate change in the energy sector; and
(ii) support institutional strengthening, public education and awareness and capacity building to promote sustainable energy and EC initiatives.”
Read it again.
Now… can you see what is happening my friends?
The only tangible item you’ll see for this money is when the Ministry of the Environment hands out more colouring books to the children.
At the end of spending this money, what will we have to show ourselves and our children when they ask?
What does Barbados have to show for the billions in loans?
How much do we owe in overall debt? When is the debt due? How much is the interest per year to service our existing debt? What did we achieve for the debt?
Pretty simple questions, but try to get a straight answer. There were rumours that our Barbados governments have shown much of the normal spending as asset purchases. I guess the politicians learned that one from Leroy Parris and CLICO. You can do magic things when you simply assign whatever value you want to an asset.
Also don’t forget that we switched to an accrual system of accounting a few years ago. For the elites that was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity and don’t you doubt that they took full advantage of manna from Heaven on that one.
The “benefits” of this latest IDB loan are as solid as a wispy cloud in the blue Caribbean sky. You can see it, but can’t touch it. And when you take your eyes off it for a moment, it’s gone.
Such are the “benefits” that Bajans will see for their US$100 million (including interest).