Barbadians were promised tonight they will soon be told how much money the consultants who are working on the country’s debt restructuring programme are being paid.
The pledge came from the mouth of Acting Prime Minister Dale Marshall in response to a query from Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley during debate of the Debt Holder (Approval of Debt Restructuring) Bill 2018, which was later passed in the House of Assembly.
While saying he was not at liberty to disclose the level of fees at this stage, Marshall however assured that the consultants are the best that money could buy.
In further defence of the Government’s decision to hire and pay top dollar for the consultants’ services, he argued that Barbados was able to acquire the services of the finest lawyer in the world on sovereign debt restructuring and that he, along with the team, has delivered.
“We could have gone around and try to negotiate with cut-rate people, people who don’t have experience. Somebody could have run and say ‘man, we could do this cheaper for you’. Not with the country of Barbados at stake,” Marshall told the House.
“We paid for the best that money could buy,” he said, before taking a swipe at the last government for its use of consultants.
He did reveal that the total legal and professional fees for the restructuring exercise were less than the $3.15 million that an unnamed lawyer charged the former administration between last November and May.
“And all of it was paid,” Marshall declared.
The Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General told the House that the specialty services of the legal consultant could not be found locally or regionally, noting that the experts hired by the Government were able to negotiate an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff-level agreement in record time.