IADB Secret Deal Or Deal?

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance (l) Clyde Mascoll, Chief spokesman on economic matters for the Opposition (r)

Spokesman for the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) on economic matters Clyde Mascoll has accused the government of entering a ‘secret deal’ with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler responded with a clarification statement that there was ‘no secret deal. In fact he referred to the accusation as nonsense. To quote the Nation newspaper, “He [Sinckler] explained that he had announced plans for two separate policy-based loans (PBL) from the Caribbean Development Bank and the IDB during the Estimates debate last March.”

It appears a little silly to many that any government would expect that dealings with an international financial institution could operate under the cloak of secrecy. The IADB is an organization owned by 48 member states of which Barbados is a member. It is NOT a private institution where deals can be made away from the public glare. The governance policy of the IADB does not accommodate secret deals. John Public wonders therefore why the country could not have been spared the exchanges between the chief spokesman on economic matters for the opposition and the government.

Given the challenges which Barbados is facing in the prevailing economic climate, it is incumbent on Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and government to communicate unambiguously about all matters of finance. It is not difficult in an age where information is at the finger tips of John Public that any government and its opposition should manufacture discussion points which only serves to polarized the country.

In the Nation newspaper report Sinckler is quoted as follows: The Finance Minister said the Freundel Stuart administration had the option of borrowing up to US$183 million but it was only requesting US$50 million which would be submitted to the IDB in August/September to support its efforts at fiscal consolidation and reform “particularly in the areas related to tax collection and efficiencies, revenues from direct and indirect tax and expenditure reviews”. [BU’s emphasis]

Here is an excerpt from the IADB document p4, Section 3.2 which explains particulars about how the loan will be disbursed to Barbados under a Fiscal Consolidation Program arrangement.

The programme is structured as a Policy-Based Programmatic Loan (PBP) with three operations over the next three years. The first operation for US$33 million [4] dollars will be disbursed in a single tranche, subject to the provision by the authorities of evidence of compliance with specific policy measures that support the achievement of the programme objectives. The other two operations will tentatively total US$150 million.

[4] The government and the Bank are exploring options to increase this first operation to US$50 million. [BU emphasis].

In summary the PBP is a three year arrangement with a phase I which will see a drawdown of USD33 million. According to note 4 of the IADB document and Sinckler’s clarification statement, phase 1 of the drawdown is to be increased to USD50 million. However the PBD is a USD150 millions dollars arrangement to be disbursed in tranches over 3-years to complete the Fiscal Consolidation Programme for Barbados.

There you have it!

68 thoughts on “IADB Secret Deal Or Deal?

  1. what is the moral of your story? what impression is it intended to convey? tell me, do not leave me to guess. was there a deal to borrow 183 million from the iadb over a period of three years under certain conditions and was the deal drawn to the attention of john public prior to mr mascoll’s revelation. the political swords between the two erstwhile political colleagues does not interest me at the momen, only your view.

    • @balance

      Was it not obvious?

      Here is a story which should be fact driven, instead we have the two political parties squeezing political juice out of it.

      When this story first broke it should have been a simple exercise for local media to go to the source and clarify the issue for Barbadians.

      Now that is the angle to the story BU has taken and you are free to share your view.

  2. If the terms and conditions were not given to the public, then it is a secret to them? Yuh think? if the terms and conditions affect the public adversely and they were not informed, then it was deliberate act to withold such information from the public. In addition the attempt to misead the public, not just hide was his hints and suggestions that there would be consideration of removal of the VAT sometime soon, when he KNOWS that part of the condition is to make the VAT and allowance tax increases permanent. What a smuck!

    • @Bajan Truth

      How can a deal be secret when any Barbadian with Internet access can navigate to the IADB website and read the PP document?

  3. A non-issue in my opinion, because this is what politicians do. I remember Thompson had a gathering of thousands of Barbadians at a political meeting, where he was supposed to reveal the contents of a secret deal between the BLP and the IMF. At the end of the day, it was a hoax, but Thompson had no real fall out on that issue.

    I think that we really take politicians too seriously. However, I find that every time Mascoll speaks on any issue, even cricket, he seems to draw the wrath of many, and more so the supporters of the DLP. If four persons, including Mascoll, comment on an issue, it is guaranteed that a hostile critique will be given of Mascoll’s comments only.

    • @Artaxerxes

      Don’t understand your casual response. The country is in the grip of an economic challenge, the worst in our history. Shouldn’t we expect a coherent and cogent dialogue from our political leaders on economic issues? It is not a game, it is the lives of current and future generations at stake. Shouldn’t our leaders have learned from the Thompson fiasco to which your referred?

  4. David; You’re right. There could be no secret deal with the IADB once the loan agreements etc are published. The secrecy, however, might be in the details that the MoF apparently sought to withold from the public when challenged. What were the conditionalities?

    Just politics as usual but here the public gets to know a bit about the circumstances of the loan, through you.

    We really need some good investigative journalism in the traditional media.

    • @checkit-out

      Indeed, the thanks need to go to those members of the BU family who make information available for posting. BU’s regret is that we don’t have the resources to follow through on all the assists we get.

  5. Commentary: Dr Kenny Anthony delivers an a la carte policy statement of hardship and inadequacy

    By Therold Prudent

    In a desperate bid to save face, following his grand political promise of “better days”, Dr Anthony may have delivered a magician’s budget that makes Mao Tse Tung’s “Great Leap Forward” of 1958-1961 seem pale by comparison.

    The Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) has no doubt that this magician’s budget is a recipe for economic disaster, and believes that the people of Saint Lucia could well be heading towards a state of “en misere”, or perpetual dependence

    Unfortunately, Dr Kenny Anthony’s 2012/2013 policy statement is, at best, anaemic, and appears quite unable to support the developmental challenges of Saint Lucia.

    In his 2012/2013 statement, Dr Kenny Anthony’s estimates of Saint Lucia’s revenue and expenditure show little difference from that of the King administration

  6. Shaw wants answers on ‘tight’ budget

    OPPOSITION Spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw says that the Government will have to explain today how it plans to deal with the fact that the debt-servicing costs included in the Estimates are $10 billion more that the budget increase.

    “Debt-servicing costs have been increased by $86 billion over last year but the overall budget has only increased by $76 billion, that is something they will have to explain,” Shaw told the Jamaica Observer.

    “This means that, in real terms, the non-debt side of the budget has been cut to accommodate the increased debt payments,” Shaw added, pointing out that the cut is “even deeper” when inflation is included.


  7. all a sudden Aarson pun some heavy threads…..how much money a community councilor gets anyway ? 1000, 1500, 2250 ?anybody know ?

  8. @all
    The bigger picture is the blatant discrepancy between what the MoF said (only 50 with an option) and what thr bank’s official document says (agreed to a full policy based loan, separated in 3 tranches equal to 183 million).

    The other bigger picture is “what policies are we agreeing to?”. What policy documents will we have to provide? Why once again has the most important minister in a recession been once again caught with egg on his face trying to “weasel” out an explanation for something that is either factual, or not factual. Honestly it seems to be his standard modus operandi of late (or of always).

    Just observing

  9. @Artaxerxes
    How can you say Thompson had no real fallout in 1994 when he invited the party faithful to Queens Park where he was going to reveal the details of a secret deal Arthur is supposed to have made with the IMF.The electorate spoke and spoke with thunder and lightning!Almost all the DLP lost their deposits.
    They got 2 seats.”I will neither lie, cheat nor steal”famous last words.History is about to repeat itself.

  10. Ever wondered, how life is. Thompson undermined Mascoll and forced him to resign from the DLP. Now Thompson dies, and the head corner stone the DLP rejected they would want NOW. Mascoll is partisan but no one can reject his statements on the economy. He is a professional and has sbeen accurate on many instances. Same goes for Peter Wickham. We may no t like the fact that he likes to push the homoxexuality rights etc but as a professional he has been accurate several times.

    Morale of the story: Focus on the message not the messenger.

  11. Is this the real reason that the PM went to Washington and not to address a few Barbadians to tell them that everybody want to suck on “his” nipples and that they are getting sore?? Is it not true that only the PM as head of government would have been able to sign the dotted line?

    Knowing how the MOF gets on in the House and on the political platform, my vote goes to Mascoll as the one telling the truth!

  12. @ Prodigal
    When I drew this to all and sundry…the day he left..the whole of GIS must have gone berserk….but I hope nobody aint catch a heart attack…..Hey you Govt employees…It wasn’t rocket science….this Govt is so transparent that I could tell you when elections….’as soon as all the money runs’ out…..dem that stupid !.

  13. Another bad sign….the NIS money about to run out..check this….hear Stuart calling on all self employed persons to contribute…..another excuse in the making …watch for when it hit rock bottom.What the hell you all dipping in pensioners’ money in the first place…..real money management Uncle Jasper….Wall st experience right ?

  14. @David So if I have employees and I change their terms and conditions and put it on the internet, would the union consider that I have informed them? If half of them have internet have I informed them? If C.O.Williams is fixing a road andit will close, and he put the info on the net but does not include the details in his pubic service announcments, have I informed the public? Stupse.

  15. As the saying goes six is half a dozen.In this story who is right and who is wrong is of little importance.What is though,is the fact that for the obvious reasons persons with a vested interest in a better Barbados will never again put trust in Clyde Mascoll.

  16. If what has been reported in the Nation Newspapers recently that Mr. Clyde Mascoll has termed the present IADB arrangement as being a “secret deal” with the government of Barbados, it is clearly not true that it has been a secret deal.

    Clearly, Mr. Mascoll has misspoken.

    Such public business could never have been a secret!!

    Perhaps Mascoll has been reliving those times when he was a member of ths now dreaded DLP faction, in 1994!!

    But did he not learn from the political fall out that the late David Thompson suffered on making such a charge then?

    What is however ugly is that such a fiscal consoldation programme arrangement has not been as yet put before the House of Assembly and Senate for debate and public scrutiny.

    Down with the Damned DLP and the Blasted BLP.


  17. “[Mr Mascoll] is a political stepney . . . that is the reality that everybody in Barbados is stating. There is no conviction in anything that Mr Mascoll says.
    MAY 19, 2003 – Arthur on Mascoll:

    One thing about the BLP bloggers – as soon as you join them, you become the best thing since slice bread! Stupse.

    • It appears Ronald Toppin was tossed out of the House because he referred to the Governor as a yardfowl.

  18. Suppose the funds in NIS have finally neared bottom. Could one begin to comprehend the chaos that would ensue ? Pensioners, injured, unemployed. Why is the PM all a sudden chastising the self employed to join and make contributions? For years now was this not an option to the self employed. Why are they being chided now ?Again I say this is reason for concern…..where are the whistle blowers ?

  19. Another loan, $17m, from the NIS to an entity (BTA) that does not generate revenue. What deficit reduction what!!!

  20. Some excitement in parliament a moment ago, Deputy Speaker Best asked Ronald Toppin to withdraw from the House for off mike disparaging comments he made about the Governor of the Central Bank. Toppin refused to withdraw the remarks.

  21. onions,

    David has clout with Dr Justin Robinson and he should really press him to produce the NIS’ Financial Statements, even if they are not audited.

    We can start a chain going……. for persons to add to the chain when they remember monies taken out of the NIS by this government, so that we can understand how this fund is being raped by this government. Do we now have to wonder why Phony Marshall’s contract was not renewed??

    You are right onions, when all the money gone, Fruendel will then call elections. I see a flurry of activity going on and all I keep asking where is this money coming from. They are finally paving the roundabouts at Frere Pilgrim and Coral Ridge….this is testimony to how poor this government has performed….four years to do two roundabouts and only the good Lord knows when they will finish Warrens…that whole project needs investigation! Talk about cost over runs!!! They are now starting the walk over by CBC and I see Ronald Jones finally getting the Montrose Road finished after starting it years ago, I forgot how long.

    So onions, elections may be soon after Crop Over.

    Now to the raping of NIS funds.

    UWI…….Dr Justin can put in this ongoing figure

    QEH……The Minister of Health just declared $15 million was used

    Four Seasons………$60 million, dont know if US$ or BDS$

    BTA…….This was announced today

    Credit Union………I forgot how much they got to give to CLICO for the mortgage company, was it over $100 million?

    Transport Board…..Again Dr Justin can put in this ongoing figure

    Salaries and wages……Again Dr Justin can tell us how much monthly is used up and how much so far.

    And to think Fruendel still has to use more to out into Redjet and if they are going to put into Almond.

    Wuhloss, is there any money left to pay Almond workers unemployment or to pay all the thousands still on unemployment plus monthly pensions? No wonder the PM is going after self employed people to contribute!

    • @Prodigal Son

      Clout, What clout?

      Dr. Robinson is one of the few academics, he and Karl Watson who comes to the blogs sometimes.

      Outside of that there is no clout.

      As you know BU posted a blog recently (NIS Vigil) asking for NIS Financials.

  22. Oh I wish for the day when what a man says is considered and not the man himself. Viva Clyde Mascoll!

  23. @!

    “[Mr Mascoll] is a political stepney . . . that is the reality that everybody in Barbados is stating. There is no conviction in anything that Mr Mascoll says.”

    Point taken. With that in mind, what is your take on Jeptor Ince?

  24. Artaxerxes,

    Nothing, they would pull Clyde Mascoll down because he left their party. But economics idiots like Jepter Ince and Chris Sinckler are good. Can you imagine a man who claims he is a financial guru could come on national radio and talk about physical deficit four times when he should say fiscal deficit. That cannot be a slip.

    Sadly enough, these are the people in charge of our economic destiny.

  25. David,

    Ronald Toppin does not have to fear, the people of St Michael East will soon toss Kenny Worst out of the Parliament. Toppin will have the last laugh.

    But look what Barbados come to……… a mediocre policeman who went on to study law, aided by his former wife who helped him write his papers, who does not know how to speak standard English, could become Deputy Speaker in our esteemed Parliament to be able to throw a BLP MP out of the House. Well, I never!!!!!!!!!

  26. @Prodigal Son
    Kenny Best’s wrestling with the English Language reminds me of Dennis Lowe proudly boasting on the DLP TV news that having been appointed Minister of Waterworks,he had established a special team to fix leakages quote”SO THAT WHEN A PIPE ‘BURSES’ ….A poor rakey parliament indeed,but its the fault of that cheque…..

  27. Wow, David, I really thought he was not going to survive this. But to hold on to power, his men certainly bit their lips and voted for him. Power, strange thing!

  28. @Prodigal Son

    Takes a special courage to cross Party line, it is why BU has a health respect for Sir Roy, Wes Hall et al in the Sandiford no confidence affair.

  29. Richard,
    ….and we are living to regret that fateful night when thousands of Barbadians believed a lying man aided and abetted by a man who dubs himself as a kingmaker. All they wanted was to win a government, they had not a clue how to govern. God is so good that he found a way to deal with the liars.

    The Dems went through two CLICO debates in the House and never showed a little respect to Barbadians by telling them how much of CLICO’s monies they got, as for sure the cheque the dead king bandied about was minimal compared to the 34 MILLION Peter Wickham told the Americans the DLP got. I wonder if Freundel even had the guts to ask Mara how much money is in the FAMILIES FIRST account, you know, the dead king put all the monies is this, his account where he was the only signatory, not in the DLP coffers.

    No wonder, one of the grouses of the GANG OF ELEVEN was that Freundel had not been doing anything about campaign funds in 2011 when the dead king had campaign funds for the 2008 election in 2006. But wait, gang of 11, was not Mara a gang member, did they ask her how much money her husband left in FAMILIES FIRST account before saying that DT had campaign funds for the last election since 2006? Is she not the executrix??

  30. @prodigal
    Its called loyalty. Coupled with underestimation and weak strategy by the opposition

    I’m not sure courage is the word to use to describe that action back then.

  31. @Prodigal,
    Clico is like a mill stone around the DLP’s neck.A big enquiry going on in Trinidad with lots of damaging and damning details coming out of that Clico hell hole and Barbadians are hearing nothing but words of praise from the DLP, like who is who friend and who ain’t no leper, seeing them all smiling and chatting with Mr Big Shot Clico man like all is well with Clico and Baico policyholders in Barbados.When the time comes,there will be no mercy shown by the electorate of Barbados.It will be brimstone and fire raining down upon this unjust bunch of buffoons and clowns masquerading as a government.The Barbadian people voted in 2007 and up to this day,this DLP government cannot understand what the Barbadian people said.They are simply stumbling from one mistake to the other.See them on DLP TV everynight as God send,lips moving,hands moving like they putting out a fire and nothing of substance forthcoming.Last night several hours wasted on TV about a knight in copper armour.No mention by the King of the Privilege Pump about the shortage of petrol in Barbados; all the small shopkeepers who went out of business as a result of his all advised policies.No mention of the warning of Dr Scholsberg on an HIV epidemic;of the wastage of the public funds at one location while the QE did without.This is a sickening and dying set of poor rakey DLP
    parliamentarians that would embarrass the Rt Hon.

  32. Now with all the commotions on and about…..its almost a certainty that elections will be this year…..its not completely in their hands…the money is quickly running out and the long bloated and over due issues (like sh#) rises daily to the surface. ..It is most politically expedient to call the election THIS YEAR ( 6 mths left)…..fools would do otherwise……good thing is the opposition ready.


  33. I put another spin to the airing of the Knight in a Copper Jacket last night….having listened to it while on the blog….what resonated was “The Best Minister of Health ” Bajans have ever seen……for those who follow where I am going….at an election time……Stuart’s latent way of deflating Donville’s SAILS…..More of recent, he was making such claims.

    [David help me here, insert a link of BU thread St. Joseph Hospital Scandal with findings. BU is highlighted using Google a search…interesting readings]

    Link updated


  34. “what resonated was “The Best Minister of Health ” Bajans have ever seen”
    THE DLP USED TO TRUMP sir brandford as the best ever minister of health in barbados. congrats mr inniss for dethroning sir brandford with the bessings of mr stuart.

  35. ‘How can a deal be secret when any Barbadian with Internet access can navigate to the IADB website and read the PP document”

    COME ON DAVID BE SERIOUS AND STOP SLITTING HAIRS.if the nation’s porincipal spokesman on financial matters enters into an agreement with an entity to obtain funds almost a year ago and it only comes to light recently. then it is logical to conclude that the arrangement was not meant for public consumption. to suggest the public accesses a website to obtain such critical information is nothing short of disengenuos. and then you quibble when important announcements are made in new york before bridgetown.

    • @balance

      You obviously refused to accept the more relevant point that a deal cannot be negotiated in secret with IADB.

  36. @David
    I do not think that you have missed the point I just think that you have omitted to analyse it, The real point is that one of the conditions of the loan determined that the 17,5 % vat remained in place when all along the MOF was pretending that it would be removed. Why negotiate for $183M when you only wasnt $50M. And why would you not lay bare all the facts of the loan. The word of the MOF must be like Caesar’s wife beyond suspicion. Yuu need to check Sinckler’s words with his deeds, Is he a man of unvarished truth? Think on these things

    MR KING- YOU MUST BE JOKING.DID mR LOWE ACTUALLY USED THE WORD ‘BURSES’ OR DID YOU HEAR HIM INCORRECTLY? and to think he masquerades as a doctor. must be a doctor booby.’

  38. “you obviously refused to accept the more relevant point that a deal cannot be negotiated in secret with IADB”

    haven’t you noticed that i have deliberately avoided the use of the word”secret” in my comments lest the salient point that the arrangement was constructed without the knowledge of public opinion and only became a talking point upon the revelation by mr mascoll. that makes it secret to me but obviously not to the iadb personnel.

    am i to understand that you knew about the arrangement since lat year and didn’t feel it sufficiently important enought to share with your loyal commentators?

  39. “It appears a little silly to many that any government would expect that dealings with an international financial institution could operate under the cloak of secrecy.”
    Spokesman for the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) on economic matters Clyde Mascoll has accused the government of entering a ‘secret deal’ with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler responded with a clarification statement that there was ‘no secret deal. In fact he referred to the accusation as nonsense. ”

    spin the comments by mr mascoll as much as you like but it appears very silly to many that a loan arrangement entered into with an important international financial institution in 2011 but only became common public knowledge to those in whose name it was negotiated in 2011 can be described as nothing else but ‘secret’

  40. @ David
    but it appears very silly to many that a LOAN arrangement entered into
    with an important international financial institution in 2011 but only became common public knowledge to those in whose name it was negotiated in
    2011 can be described as nothing else but ‘secret’
    Valid point…. balance……very valid…[Lord Denny lol]…….David why that means secret in my books , how else can we describe it..
    Also no notation of the TIME FRAME was given in the intro to guide readers…….why ?

  41. For those who don’t understand the above submission…………its called sarcasm…..lol..balance me thinks you ,,,,shhhhhhhhh

  42. “You obviously refused to accept the more relevant point that a deal cannot be negotiated in secret with IADB”
    that it would be impossible for an arrangement or deal with a reputable international organisation with no axe to grind to remain a secret is no in doubt; but failure to disclose the contents of the agreement could be construed as secretive. don’t you think?

  43. so you agree then that the contents of the deal were indeed secret.which in my view would have been the pith and substance of what mr mascoll was trying to convey.

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