Monday 16 July, 2018

No backtracking! BLP to reinstate high fines to stamp out corruption

Dale Marshall at the Cabinet swearing in. (FILE)

Dale Marshall at the Cabinet swearing in. (FILE)

The Barbados Labour Party-government has admitted its wrongdoing and assures Barbadians that it will make amends.

Making this abundantly clear as it relates to the fines, which will be incurred if one breaches the Integrity legislation when it comes into play, was Attorney General Dale Marshall.

Speaking on the Integrity in Public Life Bill, 2018, in the Lower House earlier today, he said that Barbadians are not sitting idly by and letting the wool be pulled over their eyes, not even by their government leaders.

“We put a draft before the people of Barbados that had a high level of fines - $200 000 and $500 000, and for certain reasons, the Bill that came to parliament had a far lower level of fines, and the people of Barbados quite rightly said, ‘Well your slip is showing Barbados Labour Party, because yuh said one thing tuh us before you went in to de Elections and you’re now doing something else…

“Well I am chastened and I want to assure the public of Barbados that the fines that will see themselves being inserted into this Bill when it comes for amendment will reflect the fines that we committed to the people of Barbados.”

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He said that though there is an explanation for the drop in fines it is not an excuse. And he went on to assert, it is “has nothing to do with political will, but at this point in time, I don’t think any explanation matters. The point is that the people of Barbados weighed in on the subject and that is why I am proud to say that it isn’t that we were backtracking, but I am happy that people are once more feeling it is their responsibility to speak truth to power.”

Previously, the old Prevention of Corruption Bill from 1929, had maximum fines of $2400.

Marshall assured all person who were doubting the commitment of the Barbados Labour Party to tackle the issue of corruption, "and who felt that by apparently reducing the fines, we were already trying to preserve our own interests and protect them, thank you for your observation, but that is not the case.

“And the level of fines will go back to what we promised the people of Barbados they will go back to.”