Saturday 31 October, 2020

Gooding-Edghill has words for critics against fire station's move

Probyn Street Fire Station in Bridgetown, St Michael (FILE)

Probyn Street Fire Station in Bridgetown, St Michael (FILE)

Chairman of the National Insurance Board, Ian Gooding-Edghill is refuting claims by the Opposition that the Government is wasting public funds. 

Earlier this week, the Mia Mottley-led administration received sharp criticism from Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn about the relocation of the Barbados Fire Service headquarters to Pine Plantation Road, St Michael, away from its Probyn Street location in Barbados' capital of Bridgetown. Speaking in the Upper Chamber, Franklyn described the move as “ridiculous” and “madness”. 

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In a brief comment, Gooding-Edghill sought to shut down critics while speaking at the unveiling and official opening of the Worthing/Hastings Police Station in Hastings yesterday evening.

“A $20 million real estate investment in a fire station cannot undermine the solvency of a $4.5 billion Fund,” he said while adding that the construction of the new police station was part of a $43.3 million-Citizens Security Project, which also included the construction of the Cane Garden Police Station, refurbishment of the Black Rock Police Station and the main barracks at the Central Police Station.

The Chairman of the National Insurance Board asserted that the funds from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) will be used towards “productive and socially enduring purposes” and national development.

“I wish to confirm that the same policy will be followed whenever sustainable and enduring opportunities arise. I wish to make clear that we are prepared to continue and even expand such an approach to other areas of national life including housing that are clearly crying out for attention and support to be able to maintain improved social security, cohesion, and upward mobility,” Gooding-Edghill said. 

“Let me assure all Barbadians who look to and depend on this institution [the NIS] that the quality of service in improving their pensions and benefits will not be sacrificed but will be continually improved as our current thrust is improved,” he further emphasized. 

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