Motion ‘Frivolous And Vexatious’ – Freundel Stuart

The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) stands condemned and indicted for passing an Insurance Act that does not provide proper protection for policyholders and depositors.

That was the charge from Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Freundel Stuart, as he made his contribution to the no confidence debate in the Lower House yesterday morning. According to Stuart, penalties contained in the legislation as it relates to non-compliance with the statutory fund, are grossly inadequate.

“The Barbados Labour Party stands condemned, stands indicted and condemned on passing a piece of legislation in this Chamber, which really should be protecting the policyholders that the honourable member talks about, but has made no effective provision for their protection, just a slap on the wrist for any insurance company that fails to comply with section 25, so far as that section relates to the statutory fund,” he said.

“You hear in here today how important this fund is, and how critical it is to protect the interests of policyholders and depositors. But in the legislation passed in here in 1996, the penalty for not complying with the statute in relation to the statutory fund is on summary conviction, that is before a magistrate – not even a judge, before a magistrate – $2 500. That, Mr. Speaker, makes the point that there really is no distinction between a company representing 40 000 depositors or policyholders failing to comply with the statutory fund, and a vagrant in Bridgetown being caught with a spliff. They are both treated the same way, in fact the vagrant may be worse off, but such is the seriousness of politics in Barbados,” the Attorney General said.

Meanwhile, speaking specifically to the no confidence motion, which he described as “frivolous and vexatious”, Stuart said that despite the comments made by the Opposition Leader, Mia Mottley, his faith in CLICO and Prime Minister and Minister of Finance David Thompson remained intact.

“…For the last 25 years, I have been a practising lawyer in Barbados, having done quite a lot of work with CLICO, representing persons who suffered personal injuries and also representing the estate of deceased persons and never once in my entire professional experience in those 25 years, have I had any difficulty in having CLICO meet its obligations in the settlement of any claim at all. Never, never, never,” he maintained.

Stuart said that indeed CLICO had not met its statutory fund obligation, but that, he said, was a situation that his Government had inherited and had no hand in creating.



One Response to Motion ‘Frivolous And Vexatious’ – Freundel Stuart

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: A Question of Confidence

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