The time for a no-confidence motion against the current Minister of Finance may be overdue.
This was the assertion yesterday evening by Member of Parliament for St. Michael North, Ronald Toppin, as he responded to, and “rejected” the 2013 Budget presented on Tuesday.
Toppin stated that both the local and foreign business communities had no confidence in the Minister of Finance and that investors were holding on to their money until he was gone.
Pointing to the Four Seasons Project, the MP said that the Minister of Finance had to date give numerous start up times, none of which had been met and had stated boldly that it was the project by which Barbados was to be judged.
“He stated that it is the project by which Barbados will be judged. When it is started there will be a flood of investors to the island — his words. But it is still to be started and every time he speaks he gives a new startup date. How can anyone have confidence in him?” Toppin asked.
The MP also noted that the Government refused to say it would not be getting involved in bailing out Almond when it was facing difficulty despite losing 600 jobs and the largest number of rooms in any one location where there was a niche.
However, 18 months later they were looking to spend money to get the hotel up and running again.
“I am very interested in knowing the cost because I can well imagine it will be astronomical because every single item there has been sold. That will be millions more because you are not just fixing up a plant but it no also has to be fully refurnished,” he added.
Speaking of the beginning of the Budget when the Minister of Finance quoted from the book of Ecclesiastes, Toppin said he would want to modify the popular piece of scripture and add “a time for denial, and a time for confession” as that was what Minister Sinckler did.
“The minister actually confessed that the Government’s Macro Economic Plan had gone off track and needed to be brought back online. He did not confess during the election, but suddenly he can do so.
“At times it bordered more on a pathetic plea for help, for everyone to come forward and bring Barbados out of the mess they have immersed it in. Even to appeal to Bees to join with Dems… It would be a strange Bee devoid of self respect and worth joining with the Ds,” Toppin said; adding that whenever the BLP offered help the DLP rejected it.
“If the minister of finance is now saying he cannot do the job then he should step aside and let someone else do it,” Toppin stressed.
The St. Michael North MP also added in his submission that due to the “murderous measures” to follow the Budget, more and more persons will find themselves being categorised as poor, adding that there was a 20 per cent increase in persons applying to the Welfare Department last year for food vouchers.
He also said the 50 per cent cut in the reverse tax credit would also make it harder for many since nothing was being done to control the cost of living.
In closing, he stressed that it was left up to the Prime Minister to remove the minister of finance, who had caused disaster and calamity.
“If the time is not past it is very near when a no-confidence motion has to be brought against this minister of Finance,” he said. (BD)