Another Government minister is encouraging Barbadians to put their money in the new edition of the Barbados Optional Savings Scheme (BOSS) bonds, now dubbed BOSS Plus.
Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator Lisa Cummins said all are welcome to participate, as she introduced the 2022 Barbados Optional Savings Bonds Plus (Offer to the Public) Bill in the Upper House on Tuesday.
“The BOSS Programme Plus in this instance is now open to everybody in Barbados. Why is this important? Institutional investors, corporations, the same commercial banks, the same credit unions, pension funds, all invest traditionally in different types of bonds, different types of securities. That’s where they make their money.
“Average Barbadians who are earning a certain level typically look for savings, or they look for things like real estate and they buy a car and they want to be able to get by. But the wealthy institutions among us traditionally have always invested, they have always bought things like bonds, and what the Government is trying to do in this instance… is to make sure that the measures that have always been available to institutions and those who have strong access to large amounts of capital, strong histories of investment, that the same mechanisms have been made available to Barbadians,” she explained.
Unlike the first BOSS programme which was initially only available to public sector workers, BOSS Plus will now be open to all Barbadians.
The new BOSS Plus Programme will take the form of a five-year bond, with a 4.5 per cent interest rate. The interest is payable on a semi-annual basis and the principal is repaid five years from the initial date of the bond.
Additionally, there will be a withholding tax on the interest that is earned, the bonds are tradable and transferable, they can be purchased on monthly tranches and they are also protected from any debt restructuring, Senator Cummins stressed.
“The 2020 BOSS bonds and the 2022 BOSS Plus bonds are exempt from any restructuring that may take place at any time in the future, and if you listen to the experts from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, they will make it very clear that the circumstances which existed in 2018 in the first instance that led to a complete restructuring of Barbados’ international and domestic debt do not now exist, and therefore the notion of a domestic debt restructuring as was done in 2018 is an absolutely false narrative that does not exist in reality,” she said.
Senator Cummins added that these new bonds will prove to be an innovative way for the Government to finance much of the development programmes it aims to undertake in the next several months.
“These bonds are an innovative way of financing the Government’s development agenda. What is that development agenda?… It is the thing that every Barbadian needs and wants to see in their country. It helps to finance the capital works expansion programme, it helps to finance the development of new programmes and projects that create employment for ordinary Barbadians.
“It helps to finance the programmes and projects that support social and economic inclusion in this country. So you now have innovative financing mechanisms, namely in this measure which is a BOSS Plus bond, that finances things that benefit Barbadians, that Barbadians are also able to earn a return on,” she added. (SB)