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Jan 14, 2015

No Petrocaribe Rollout to Replace Fairtrade Monies

Wilfred Elrington

While it has not to our knowledge become an official inquiry, there is increasing discussion in the B.S.C.F.A. asking government to roll Petrocaribe monies into the Association. According to officials, thanks to the forced disbursement of Fairtrade monies recently, there will be almost immediate layoffs and the shutting down of projects. They figure that since the industry is the lifeblood of the north and so critical, G.O.B. could see fit to hand over some money to replace that which was disbursed. So this morning we asked Ministers Elrington and Hulse for their thoughts. Let’s just say that if they speak for government, it’s not going to happen.

 

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“That would give me great trouble. It would give me great trouble to do that largely because when you get funds that are designated for a specific purpose they are supposed to be used for that specific purpose. If you don’t the people who provide the funds are going to sanction you. There are always consequences to be paid. And I can’t see how one would want to reward people who take that position. You know, deliberately, this is the situation…this is what the money is there for. You can’t just do what you want with it and say government come bail me out.”

 

Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration

“Well first of all I have to say my friend that fifty-two million dollars of Fairtrade money went to that association. Every last penny! The miller got none. Last year they got eight million. The amount of Fairtrade quantity sugar was increased from fifty thousand tons to sixty-five. So they got eight million dollars. They’re only giving away, as far as I know, four plus one point five, which is five point five…they should have two point five left. I don’t see them breaking up because of that at all.”

 

As you heard earlier, Chairman Ezequiel Cansino said that the issue of Petrocaribe monies has only been brought up by one branch.  

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