Clement Payne Movement Denounce the DLP Decision to Privatize the BNTCL
Dear Sirs / Madams,
The Clement Payne Movement sent out a Press Release yesterday pertaining to the Fair Trading Commission’s decision on the proposed sale of the BNTCL to the SOL group of companies and other related matters. Unfortunately we were operating on the basis of erroneous information published in the Nation Newspaper about the said FTC decision. Now that the content of the FTC decision has been made clear, we have amended and revised our Press Release as follows :-
The Clement Payne Movement denounces the decision of the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration to privatize our state-owned Barbados National Terminal Co. Ltd. (BNTCL) by selling it to Mr Kyffin Simpson’s SOL group of companies, and we applaud the recent decision of the Fair Trading Commission NOT to approve the said sale.
Indeed, we consider the actions of the Freundel Stuart administration to be particularly disgraceful, in light of the fact that they contested (and won) the 2013 General Elections on an anti-privatization platform .
Not only did they solemnly promise the Barbadian people that a re-elected DLP Government would preserve our state-owned enterprises, but they also assured us that they were saving us from dastardly BLP privatization intentions!
Needless-to-say, they shamefully betrayed this solemn undertaking by entering into a contract with Mr Simpson’s conglomerate to sell it not just “a” state-owned enterprise, but to sell it the single most valuable and profitable enterprise owned by us, the people of Barbados .
But, not only is the Stuart administration guilty of deceit and treachery, it is also guilty of being captive to a very backward and reactionary right-wing concept of governance.
You see, Mr Stuart’s administration– like virtually all other elements of the current Barbadian political class — seems to believe that a government must be run solely and totally on the basis of taxation. In other words, that the revenue the administration needs to provide government services must come solely from taxing the people and firms of the country.
Indeed, they are so captive to this backward idea that they are seemingly incapable of understanding the necessity of a Government possessing profitable state enterprises that can earn revenue for the Government — revenue that can be applied towards providing the services that the people need.
Clearly, Mr Kyffin Simpson’s company wishes to acquire the BNTCL because it is a profitable enterprise that will earn valuable revenue for the SOL group of companies for many many years into the future.
Well, why can’t Mr Stuart and Mr Sinckler appreciate that we — the citizens of Barbados — wish to continue to own our BNTCL for precisely the same reason ? We are not merely interested in receiving a one-off payment of sixty or eighty Million dollars for our BNTCL ! Rather, we wish to continue to have ownership of this valuable company and have it deliver annual profits for us for many decades to come.
Over the past twenty-five years Barbados has been plagued by silly and treacherous governments that have privatized and divested such valuable and profitable state enterprises as the Insurance Corporation of Barbados, the Barbados National Bank, Barbados External Telecommunications, and the Pine Hill Dairy. And now they propose to sell off the “jewel in the Crown” — the BNTCL.
The message that the successive pro-privatization Administrations have been sending us is that they are of the view that all profitable enterprises that are capable of earning revenue for their owners must be in the hands of the Private Sector, and that Government is to only own unprofitable, loss-making enterprises !
How stupid and backward this thinking is !