Confident David Thompson In Motion

In a manner that demonstrated full confidence in Government’s performance, Prime Minister David Thompson last night delivered a stinging criticism on the behaviour of Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in relation to errors of commission and of omission during its tenure in Government, specifically the former Minister of Finance and the former Minister of Economic Affairs.

Mr. Thompson was responding to charges in a Motion of No Confidence tabled by Opposition Leader, Mia Mottley. She had sought to have Parliament find the Prime Minister guilty of misleading the public on the soundness of CLICO Holdings Barbados, and of not acting promptly to ward off financial harm to investors and policyholders.

He described the Resolution as unnecessary, frivolous, vexatious, unfounded and childish.

Evidently concerned about the harm which irresponsible statements on the CLICO issue could do to that company and to the national economy, the PM said: “I wish from the outset to reiterate, for the benefit of the policyholders of CLICO International Life in Barbados, as well as the employees of CLICO subsidiaries, as well as persons who have made investments, whether in annuities or other forms of investment, that the Government of Barbados will do all in its power to promote their interests and their investments. We have said this from the outset.”

Mr. Thompson provided Parliament with details of prompt communications with his regional counterparts as well as with other Cabinet Ministers. Furthermore, a statement was crafted with the full knowledge and consent of the Governor of the Central Bank and the Supervisor of Insurance, to pass on pertinent information and thus calm any ears that might have arisen among interested parties in Barbados.

In that statement the Prime Minister gave the assurance to policyholders, employees and investors that the Government of Barbados would do everything in its power to ensure that their investments were safe.

To loud applause, he added: “The only entity to in Barbados that, in my view, could give comfort to policyholders, investors and employees would be the Government of Barbados. There is nothing higher than that; and there is no Government in the Caribbean that has yet given to their policyholders or to investors or to employees, any open-ended commitment as we did within a day of hearing what happened.

“We understood that confidence was critical, that any run on a financial institution would have an impact not only on that institution, but it would have an impact on all of the other domestic institutions in Barbados; that once you start to lose jobs and confidence it has a domino effect. That is why, with Four Seasons, with other projects, we’ve tried to step in wherever possible and, subject to the availability of resources, to protect jobs in this economy. I have not yet seen a statement, not even from the Government of Trinidad, that has given those assurances.

“I reject any assertion about the interference of the Minister of Finance in relation to this matter. The confidence of the system is built on the assurances and the word of the Government through the Ministry of Finance and nobody else…

“But there is no other country in the Caribbean in which the Opposition is as a irresponsible, as immature as the Opposition in Barbados jostling for attention … in fact, when you look across the world where economic collapse is taking place, I actually know of no other country in the world where people do not recognise the seriousness of the current financial challenges that we face and in which people are not seeking to bind together as one to solve those challenges.”


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