Bajan opposition sees secret deal between gov’t, IDB

(Barbados Nation) The Opposition is charging that Government is preparing to borrow US$183 million as part of a “secret deal” with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The secret deal, according to chief Barbados Labour Party (BLP) spokesman on the economy, Clyde Mascoll, was the current Fiscal Consolidation Programme (FCP) that Government had negotiated with the IDB and he warned it could have permanent tax consequences for Barbadians.

But Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler responded last night saying that the accusation of a secret deal was “nonsense”. He 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.

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”.

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