Prime Minister Mia Mottley has disclosed that efforts to correct some of the island’s financial challenges were being hampered by an uncertain future due to contingent liability.
Hinting that this was as a result of dishonesty in recent years, Mottley insisted that there was an economic cost to corruption.
She was addressing a joint media conference with International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials at Government Headquarters on Friday, following the review of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme.
“We feel that sometimes we have to let people know we are not going to tolerate corruption in any form or any guise. And why, because there is an opportunity and economic cost to corruption,” said Mottley.
“If all of the hundreds of millions of dollars that were diverted in other activities were now immediately available to this government, we would have so many other things that we could do,” she said.
Mottley added: “If I was not facing contingent liability legally for Cahill and other things, who have threatened all to sue us, we could do so many other things. So we have to continue to wrap up that ”
The controversial $700 million Cahill plasma gasification project, which was reportedly scrapped by the then Freundel Stuart administration back in 2016, came back to haunt the new government this year.
In January Mottley had revealed that Government received correspondence from a successor entity, seeking to claim “legal rights” against the Government of Barbados.
Addressing Friday’s press conference, Mottley also suggested that Government was unable to do a lot more because it was being burdened with having to meet a number of financial obligations.
“We will continue to make the payments to the people that we owe over the course of the last decade whether it is where supply credit was built up or whether it is CLICO,” she said.
“We have to continue to manage a number of these structural things, both fiscally, both in terms of new policies and institutions, and then of course, in terms of legislation . . . So when you [hear] me say there is a lot more to do, there is,” said Mottley.