updated 7:26 PM PDT, Jul 19, 2017
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Hands Off Line of Credit

Leader of the Opposition Hon. Andrew Fahie is constantly seeking an update from Government on its use of the $25M operating Line of Credit at the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank. The most recent update was sought from Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith during the 13th June sitting of the House of Assembly.

However, the Premier noted that since March the Government has not used any funds from the Line of Credit. Hon. Smith said: “Madam Speaker, the total amount expended to date from the $25M loan facility from First Caribbean International Bank remains the same as was reported in this House at the Sixth and Seventh Sittings, $16.3 million.”

The $25M Line of Credit that was approved by the House of Assembly last year for the purpose of providing working capital support for the Government was accessed three times to cover public expense.

On 25th April 2016 the House of Assembly approved the Motion that established a $25M operating Line of Credit at the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank. Since then Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith disclosed that the money was accessed three times.

The disclosure was made by Premier Smith during the House of Assembly on 18th April in response to a question from Hon. Fahie.

In response Hon. Smith said: “Madam Speaker, the line of credit has been accessed three times since January 2017 - on 11th January, 23rd January and 14th March.  The monies drawn went into the Consolidated Fund and used specifically for what it was designed for, that is to cover operating expenses during slow revenue collection periods, and were not allocated for any specific purpose within any Ministry or Department.”

The Minister of Finance told the House of Assembly that the total amount expended to date from the $25M loan facility from First Caribbean International Bank is $16.3 million. He also mentioned that $8.7 million is the remaining balance.

Fraser Concerned For Local Companies

Opposition Member Hon. Julian Fraser has expressed grave concerns for local companies.

He believes that the rigid financial bills being brought to the House of Assembly will affect locals businesses even though it targets offshore firms.

Hon. Fraser asked Premier and Minister of Finance Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith to state when legislation will be brought to this Honourable House aimed at liberating Local Companies, especially small Local Companies, from the raft of onerous Regulations aimed at non-resident offshore companies, and the investment of offshore funds, whose sole purpose for being here are the benefits derived from the Territory being an Offshore Financial Center.

Premier Smith in response said government has plans to protect local companies.

"I have consistently shown my commitment to supporting local businesses and their growth," he said.

Premier Smith added, "This Government will continue to review how it might further help to grow this sector including reviewing legislation which could detract from this."

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