The Fair Credit Reporting Bill is designed to make it easier for persons to do business in this country.
This assertion has come from Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, who has insisted that the legislation will not deny any citizen access to public goods or services, as was suggested in a circulating WhatsApp voice note.
In a statement released today, the Minister maintained: “There is absolutely no truth at all that the legislation will bring about an inability to pay utility bills, water bills, light bills or anything in relation to vaccines. I categorically say to Barbadians that any assertion that this is so is completely untrue.
“As a matter of fact, I believe it is a wicked and a nasty attempt to deliberately mislead Barbadians, at a time when persons are going through the worst impact of this pandemic. There is nothing in the legislation seeking to deny anybody anything in this country. It is about making it easier for persons to do business.”
He stressed that Government remains committed to making it easier for persons to get access to credit, as he pointed out that officials were working hard to resolve that long-standing issue.
“We have set up the Trust Loan Programme to help small, medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals be able to establish a credit history, such that they are able to improve their circumstances and expand on any business proposition.
“The Government has also introduced a National Financial Literacy Bureau, which is also intended to help Barbadians to be able to better make decisions of this nature and to improve the general business climate in the country,” he said.
Mr. Straughn also rejected the criticism of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley in the voice note, saying she was working assiduously to bring this country back on track, as he commended her astute leadership.
“I think the worst aspect of the voice note, however, is the reference to the Prime Minister selling out the country to whatever interests that are out there. The Prime Minister has done yeoman service to this country in putting Barbados’ reputation on a global stage and advocating for the appropriate policy space for any Government of Barbados to be able to utilise in the future.
“I am disappointed that we have persons in this country who will seek to pull down, not just the reputation of the Prime Minister, but certainly seek to infer that the Government is in some strange collaboration or cahoots with persons to sell out the country, which is blatantly untrue,” he stated.
Mr. Straughn encouraged Barbadians to visit Parliament’s website and read the legislation, which is located in the Order Papers section.
He noted that an educational programme on how the legislation would impact Barbadians, etcetera, would be rolled out.