There is nothing wrong with investing the funds of the National Insurance Board into Barbadians projects and programmes that will benefit people at home.
This, said Minister of Transport and Works John Boyce, is just as comparable as investing in foreign projects here.
Boyce, was speaking in the House of Assembly this morning on a resolution to approve a guarantee by Government of the repayment by the University of the West Indies of $41 million, plus interest borrowed from the National Insurance Board.
Telling the House that he was listening with interest to the many discussions and debates over the investment of National Insurance monies, the Christ Church South MP said: “The larger debate of course is about the National Insurance Scheme and its lending monies for one reason or another and that is one debate I watch with interest and I am sure we will hear more and more about this whole question of how we invest these funds so as to grow the funds to meet the demands of the future at the same time helping to provide solutions not only for overseas investors which have tended to be the case, but also impressing upon our people that there is nothing wrong with after careful consideration of investing these funds securely in Barbadian enterprises too.
“There is nothing wrong and nothing new about it, as the record will show when from time to time the borrowings from the National Insurance Scheme have varied and moved from as high as I think my last figures were 74 per cent etcetera, in investments as opposed to what it is now,” said Boyce.
Government had to make the public understand, he contended, that they were clear on the purpose and objective of the investments, and manage the economy within the constraints of what they were today.
Government also had to manage the economy, he said, in an environment where it was clear that the international inflow of foreign funds have declined. That decline had not only occurred in Barbados, but all across the globe among all sizes of investors.
“Many of the large countries are demanding that their money stays at home, larger and larger percentages of their money stays at home and doesn’t find flight, and they are putting in place laws to manage that process,” he maintained.
The minister had moments before praised the university and the private sector for being active in the process of creating housing and other necessities for the campus, by way of provision of land, money and specialised skills. (LB)