Prime Minister Thompson said supporting Four Seasons could be “extremely risky” to the DLP Government

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

Further Reading

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

2/2/2010

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.

Over 700 workers were sent home in February 2009 after the project ran into financial difficulty, at a time when banks were pulling out of property investments around the world. A new agreement reached with lenders, creditors, private residence owners, shareholders and developers, will see Government supporting the refinancing efforts to complete the project.

Prime Minister David Thompson drew attention to the project once again, while touring the upscale Award Winning Portico Apartments, located on Prospect Beach, St. James yesterday. Just like Portico, which was awarded the prestigious 2009 Best International Apartment by International Property Awards in association with CNBC Arabia, the Four Seasons has a good reputation worldwide and Barbados stands to benefit from this, Thompson suggested. He also outlined in detail the reasons why Government felt it necesary to intervene.

“I know there has been a little controversy in some articles I have read in the media in some parts of the world, about why a government would want to get involved in the way it is proposed in a project of this nature. But since the question of Four Seasons was so preponderant on the minds of a number of investors, I felt it was necessary for Government to see what it could do to assist,” he outlined.

“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,” he remarked.

“But the point is, that when that property was sold way back to Sandals when I was Minister of Finance, it was something that I always felt needed to be developed and it is a pity that it has spent 20 years in bush and became derelict, because it is important in terms of its size, in terms of its location, in terms of the quality of its beach and its amenities, in terms of its ability to create jobs and in terms of the strategies that successive Governments have pursued,” he continued.

“The second point is that Four Seasons is a very reputable name, just as I assume Portico now assumes internationally, so name and brand recognition is extremely important and we certainly would not want for a player of that size and significance to walk away from Barbados, while Government folds its hands and essentially does nothing. So those are the kinds of reasons why we feel that we have to get involved,” he stressed.

19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

19 responses to “Prime Minister Thompson said supporting Four Seasons could be “extremely risky” to the DLP Government

  1. 212

    Deadvid had a long established opinion that Government or Bajans investing ONLY in CLICO was the very best thing…next to his being the biggest criminal ever to be elected Prime Minister. However he made up for it by his timely demise. (BFP EDITOR REMOVED THE LAST SENTENCE. INAPPROPRIATE.)

  2. 18

    I have passed there by boat 100 times in the past 4 months and NO CONSTRUCTION IS GOING ON !

  3. tedd

    $112 000 000.00, that is 112 million barbados dollars and nothing. i go to batts rock every month and i can tell you that since the project stopped nothing was done except repairing the Pailing and painting it, not a block laid, not a bag of cement stirred. so with the money pent and no construction done then the question is raised. spent on what?

    i am wondering what are the salaries and perks paid to the management such as Prof Persaud. His lifestyle indicates he earns a pretty penny from som.

  4. tedd

    i am wondering what are the salaries and perks paid to the management such as Prof Persaud. His lifestyle indicates he earns a pretty penny from some where. if there is 112 million spent on not creating an asset( buildings) then how is it to ever make a profit and pay for itself. This is trowing money down a well, nothing to show, nothing to use, nothing to employ people and nothing to make money from

  5. financial scams

    Ever wonder why Barbadians continue to elect those that couldn’t manage a roti stand?

    It seems that the only criteria to get elected is a propensity to lie and commit fraud on a massive scale.

  6. A father.

    Mr. Thompson betrayed Bajans on every integrity issue and challenge presented to him. He lied, he supported his friends over the interests of Barbados.

    To think that I actually believed in him when I voted in 2008.

    How stupid I was.

    The sooner my children can work their way off this place, the better.

    Thanks for nothing.

  7. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 UP TODAY A ND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,

    Owen a bigger crook , both parties took their turns on the People , Its your turn now to vote not D or B but Ind

  8. 212

    Where do lying, fraudulent thieves like Deadvid take up residency in Eternity? And what do they do while there? Hell. Rot.

  9. victor

    Barbados is starting to look like Spain, its lovely coastlines ruined by abandoned, half-built crumbling holiday homes thrown up by property speculators, greedy to cash in on low to middle income tourists who often themselves borrowed up to the hilt, foolishly, and ended up with nothing but a handful of debt and grief with nothing to leave their children.

    Lots of people invested retirement funds in property in Spain, which was fraudulently sold to them with the full knowledge of corrupt local officials whose mayors knew full well it was illegal when sale documents were signed. These individuals are NOT ever going to see their hard-earned savings again.

    However, Spain is a big country, unlike Barbados, with an economy, which though faltering at the moment, has a large number of alternative revenue streams apart from tourism, such as agriculture, business and industry, Unlike Barbados.

    On such a small island, ordinary people have been sent to hell in a handcart by having their little houses on the coastline appropriated by the government for “development”. Because of the chaos with land registration which has ensued since independence, many of those who lost their homes got no compensation either and i know quite a few of them. It’s terrible for people like “18” going past in his boat (yet who knows what kind of boat?!) to see this disgusting pile of s… just sitting there and all the people’s money just squandered.

    And yes, ON WHAT? I hesitate to accuse government officials of pocketing the change; I bet it is more of a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, in order to keep the Bajan public in a state of mystification, living with a sense of false security that schools, public services, hospitals and public transport will carry on as normal. Including the University.

    Of course it is not only Barbados which is undergoing this aftershock of fiscal folly; it’s happening over most of the developed world but on a small island with little to offer apart from tourism, it’s a massive slump backwards. Small economies have been living in a dream world funded by borrowing for years. Now crunch time approaches and in my view, there is no way out by borrowing more.

    Will people remember in 20 years time by when it is hoped we will all be out of this mess, the lessons of the past? It’s interesting that only the German economy is managing to achieve growth and low unemployment. They are scarred by what happened in the Great Depression and few Germans are in private debt to the extent seen in other Western countries.

    However they have found themselves in a Catch-22 situation where they sought to dominate by lending; stability will wobble as they have to accept they will not get paid back all the money they have lent to European countries in their endless urge to dominate Europe!

    If only we could turn the clock back to when this madness started in the 90s before fiscal borrowing became the norm and everybody felt rich!

    It’s hard to face a situation where you might have come up from poverty and suddenly were able to rocket up the social ladder, acquiring a new home and a couple of cars, a flat screen TV, a freezer full of food and endless gadgets all on borrowed cash, only to find yourself unemployed, can’t pay off the loans and oops, no freebies anymore like health, schooling and a bus ride.

    It’s sad that our children will be looking back at their early years when they could have more or less anything they wanted. When we were their age, we did without so much so why didn’t we remain frugal and careful as our own parents were?

    To “A Father”, I don’t know where you think your kids will go to find a better life unless it is South America since the rest of the world (including China and India) is in meltdown, same situation all over the Western world. There are a few pockets, like Ghana, peaceful and democratic, which has just discovered oil … so maybe the ultimate irony is that we go back to West Africa!

  10. 212

    @ victor….cataclysmic catastrophe is the only catalyst for the immediate change required for us to avoid withering on the vine in the future. As for Africa…the Cjinese are there in ever increasing numbers…they agree with you!

  11. Mac

    “Investing in Four Seasons could be risky” But $300 million to CLICO on his death bed was alright!!!

  12. mountgay fan

    the nasty vicious ,jealous types who were in power and thier cronies who pushed them to stop the developer using mainly chinese labour to build the four seasons in the first place in double quick time have now caused the bbds people to potentially lose $112m -you couldnt make it up ,short sighted greed and failure -bbds could have had a beautiful resort built by now if the powerbrokers hadn’t poked their noses in and stopped the project going through in its original form-pathetic protectionism backfired !

  13. non

    what was the point in funding debt, to keep this project in limbo for years to come, massive risk thats US$60m of tax payers money. Should have let Mike Pemberton clear up his own mess but he continue to live the life, what’s the next scam, Pemberton!!!!!

  14. Anon

    dont worry about proff Persaud salary that’s nothing compare to the amount Mike Pemberton was paid for, making a mess..

  15. Zeena

    Mike Pemberton 75 year old scum and still doing business on Island, this explioter is dangerous greedy parasite destroying lives to make quick cash out of the Bajan public. Why is governement not investigating him to get back what he’s stolen over so many years, where’s all that cash now, not in a Bajan Bank. Why is the tax payer supporting his flamboyant lifestyle where’s all that taxable income gone? Easy for him to pay off the political parties and continue to rape the country, who can make this man accountable, which party has the integrity.

  16. webmaster

    Watch out Mike Pemberton must be upto another scam on the island, while the four season is unresolved with massive debt and no plans to make anyone accountable. Pemberton made his cash and ran to brazil

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