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Atherley declines invitation to join meeting with IMF


Atherley declines invitation to join meeting with IMF
Leader of the Opposition Bishop Joseph Atherley. (FILE)

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Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley has turned down an invitation to participate in an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting with the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament scheduled for 2 p.m. today.

Responding immediately after the announcement of the meeting was made by Speaker of the House of Assembly Arthur Holder this morning, Atherley advised the Speaker that “the Leader of the Opposition will not participate in this meeting with the IMF”.

“The Government of Barbados has been in an arrangement with the IMF for the past three years plus months; several engagements with IMF teams have taken place both physically and verbally. On no occasion up to this point has the Leader of the Opposition been given the courtesy of a call, a letter, a conversation, a dialogue with any representative members of the IMF teams that have been to Barbados. I find this to be grossly out of order,” Atherley said.

However, he said his “beef is not with the Government”.

Leader of Government Business in the House and acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw said she understood the Opposition Leader’s sentiments, but pointed out that the request was made by the IMF and not the Government.

Bradshaw said items on the agenda for discussion included: “the role of Parliament in discussing and approving the preparation  of the budget; the role of the Public Accounts Committee in scrutinising the reports of the Auditor General and challenging accounting officers as well as Government on the execution of their budgets”. (GC)