There will be no “privatisation scenic ride” in Barbados under the current Administration.
So anyone who has state agencies like the Transport Board, Sanitation Service Authority, Barbados Water Authority and Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in their “picnic baskets” should unpack them.
That was Government’s stance on the issue today, which was communicated by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler during debate in the House of Assembly.
“We are not going to go on a privatisation picnic, it will not happen under this Democratic Labour Party,” he vowed.
“Those who have packed their picnic baskets with the SSA and the (Barbados) Water Authority, and CBC, they can unpack them, we are not going on that picnic, there is no privatisation scenic ride in Barbados — it is not going to happen.
“We ain’t selling old buses to employees, we are not ravishing the Barbados Water Authority, and we definitely are not going anywhere near the Sanitation Services Authority, that is not our remit. Whoever draft that can keep that policy,” Sinckler said.
The minister noted, however, that there was agreement that these institutions “need to be reformed”.
“In fact, we have in our Medium Term Fiscal Strategy very clearly that we have to engage in a process of reform in terms of building efficiencies in these institutions, but we have to do it after proper study and proper analysis and we are engaged in that process,” Sinckler.
This process had already started at the BWA and Transport Board, he said. Sinckler also said that after saying it would take privatisation to its farthest extent, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party “now wants to run away from its own policy by confusing the night air to tell Barbadians ‘that’s not really what we meant you know’.”
The minister said that while the Barbados Labour Party was anxious to regain the reins of government it would not happen.
“Some members of the BLP dribbling in anticipation of going back in there (government headquarters)… They are a few of them passing winking at the Treasury, saying ‘We love you, we will soon get back in there’. It will not happen because the people of Barbados are not going to allow it to happen,” he said.
“So those who are walking around winking at the Treasury or blowing kisses at the Central Bank … and giggling like teenagers (saying) ‘I want to get back in there’, it will not happen.” (SC)