How much public money is exposed in the Four Seasons project?
In the year 2012 under the DLP government of Freundel Stuart, Bajans aren’t quite sure how much public money is ‘invested’ or ‘guaranteed’ towards the Four Seasons Resort project.
Is it US$52 million through the IADB loan that is guaranteed, and another US$60 million in National Insurance Scheme cash? Or is that the other way around? Or something altogether different? And what about infrastructure guarantees and construction costs coming from the taxpayers? We’ve heard so many different versions from government and the news media that we don’t think anyone in government or media can provide a definitive answer.
We at BFP think that the Four Seasons project support is out of control with the amount unknown – that the government will not, cannot, provide a comprehensive and accurate answer about how much Bajans are invested and exposed.
Today we found this old article in some old notes we made back in February 2010 while David Thompson was our Prime Minister.
PM Thompson’s comments at the time make for interesting reading. Perhaps our accidental PM Freundel Stuart should read them too…
“Now of course the first objective is not for Government to give guarantees to projects of this type. So the Government is not available, generally speaking, for that kind of thing and I want to make that abundantly clear. It is extremely risky. It has brought down Governments in other countries and I don’t intend to let it bring down my government. And it can sometimes smack of an element of favouritism and once you start it, it becomes like a rolling stone that will gather moss…and therefore, we have to be very careful,”
February 2, 2010 – Prime Minister David Thompson in the Barbados Advocate article PM defends stance on Four Seasons
Are we ever happy that we preserved a copy of the Barbados Advocate from February of 2010, because the BA’s online version of the article seems to have disappeared! What a surprise!
Maybe some of our readers are better searchers than we are, so if anyone finds it let us know the link and we’ll include it.
Meanwhile, here is our copy:
PM defends stance on Four Seasons
By Regina Selman Moore
Government could not sit idly by and watch a player of the size and significance of the Four Seasons Resort, pack up and move away from Barbados.This was just one of the reasons why the present Democratic Labour Party administration intervened to lend its support to restart the stalled multi-million dollar Four Seasons Resort project. Continue reading