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Mottley: Share ownership of state enterprises

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Mottley: Share ownership of state enterprises

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7 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 29, 2010 – Open ownership of the Transport Board, the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOC) and the airport and seaport to “ordinary Barbadians” and institutions.
That’s the advice from Opposition Leader Mia Mottley to Government.
The suggestion was made earlier today as she addressed members of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry at Hilton Barbados.
She says Government should not continue to wholly own and manage some of its facilities. To do so, she says, will “challenge its ability to afford other services and benefits which are more important to us as a society – like affordable health care and free tertiary education”.
Her recommendation is that Government allows credit unions, individual small investors, pension funds, medium and large corporate entities as well as workers to share in the ownership of a number of state-owned enterprises.
On the Transport Board, she asks: “Why should government invest another $100 million in debt to purchase equipment (buses) and operational expenses over the next decade when it can contract out its routes to private operators for a fixed fee monthly in a highly regulated environment….?
“Why can’t the men and women who have been driving the buses for years be empowered to become owners along with other private investors in the sector?”
On the BNOC, she says Government can continue to own part of it through the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
Mottley says if Government maintains ownership of the airport and seaport to ensure security, that safety can be provided no matter who owns these facilities.
The BLP leader says the need for Government to make major changes in its economic model as the economy continues to face tough times. (TY)