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BARBADOS - Prime Minister Owen Arthur

PRIME MINISTER OWEN ARTHUR and wife Julie in Birmingham.   

Compliments of the Nation News August 2006

WHILE BRITISH LEADER Tony Blair is soaking up the sun, sea and sand in Barbados on vacation, Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his new bride have been making the rounds in Blair's Britain. < Read more >

Web Posted - Tue Mar 21 2006 Compliments of the Barbados Advocate

Prime Minister Owen Arthur arrived at Parliament to lead debate on the 2006-2007 Estimates of Expenditures and Revenues yesterday.

Prime Minister Owen Arthur arrived at Parliament to lead debate on the 2006-2007 Estimates of Expenditures and Revenues yesterday.

PRIME Minister Owen Arthur yesterday sounded a warning that he expects financial prudence to prevail in the redevelopment of Kensington Oval for next year s Cricket World Cup.
Presenting the 2006/2007 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, the Prime Minister said that while his Government will be spending $28 million to further prepare the country for the event, it will not be giving an open-ended cheque.

We expect financial accountability to prevail, the Prime Minister said in his opening remarks on the Estimates debate.
He recalled that when Government first saw the project, the estimated bill was between $90 million to $100.

However, recent estimates suggest costs running as high as $170 million.
He said that he had a duty to intervene to make sure that the project did not transform itself from being a $90 million to $100 million project which we said we could afford, to a $170 million which we knew we cannot afford .
The Prime Minister further said that there has been intervention to ensure the country does not end up with a Kensington Oval that is glorious in its features but could not be justified from a financial point of view.
Arthur remarked that there have been times when he was accused of being a dictator for becoming involved in the project.
According to him, I am prepared to be a financial dictator if it means that a project that should cost no more than a hundred and small does not end up costing $170 million . He reasoned that beyond a certain financial stage and point this project will no longer be justified.
Prime Minister Owen Arthur

 

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Prime Minister photograph compliments of the Nation NewsThe Prime Minister insisted as well that there must be no features built into Kensington Oval that were not in the original design unless they are approved specifically by the Board.
He explained that he has seen a recent projection of $6.7 million to provide lights although there are no provisions for Barbados to host night cricket matches in the tournament.
Prime Minister photograph compliments of the Nation News
These are the kinds of things our interventions have been designed to stop. Do that only which is necessary, rather than which people feel should be done, the Prime Minister advised.
Arthur stated that while the Government is committed to hosting a World Cup and while they will move heaven and earth, this will be done in a financially responsible way.
He argued that there is too much of a tendency on the part of some to believe that because Barbados is committed to hosting the event the country would turn a blind eye to things that are financially unsustainable.
The government expects financial accountability and financial discipline in relation to all matters related to the redevelopment of Kensington Oval as the venue for the hosting of the World Cup, Arthur told the House of Assembly.
He said that his administration is keeping a very close eye on the project and that he is receiving weekly reports on activities at Kensington Oval.
It is the determination of the government and the Ministry of Finance that although we are committed to presenting the very best facility at Kensington, we are not willing to do so at any price and we are not willing to do so by accepting conditions and circumstances that suggest financial discipline has been abandoned, he maintained.
The Prime Minister explained that his government had become involved in the ownership of a company with the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA). Government owns 90 per cent of the company.
We have left, however, the company to get on with the business of developing the facility. We have a short time within which to do so and we expect that from time to time decisions will have to be made ... to get the job done.

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