I listened to the Economic Advisor, Dr. Patrick Antoine on a recent radio and television programme and realized that the government was serious about some kind of a distress funds for hotels on the island.
To me this was an election gimmick by the NNP to get monies from the hoteliers but it is apparent that the government is serious about giving the big boys in the south some more free money.
It goes against my grain to see my government take taxpayers money and give to the hotel boys under the guise that they were distressed because of the financial crisis facing the world.
If not taxpayers money, where is this money coming from? The government cannot be foolish enough to refuse to pay its creditors and go out there seeking to borrow more money to pay hoteliers.
If a pin drops in St. George’s bet your last dollar that someone on Wall Street will hear about it. The government will not be able to hide the fact from our creditors that they cannot pay them but still for all making monies available to so-called distressed hotels.
A friend of mines in the Ministry of Finance told me that when the government announced that it had paid some monies to CCC to get the Feeder Road project going that the Creditors were on their case.
It is simple this: If you can find money to pay CCC and others then you can find money to pay me, another creditor.
Mr. Prime Minister, to be honest with you, I am not in support of government giving any money to the hoteliers.
Let us take a look at the life style of some of these people because quite a few of them are driving around in big expensive cars and giving off the impression that they are living it up in poor Grenada.
Quite a few of them, Mr. PM are not minding their business in the correct way. They frequent some of the most expensive bars in the country and play Golf almost every day while their hotels continue to go downhill.
It is no fault of the small man in the country who pays the bulk of the taxes in this country through VAT that they should be made to pay for the folly of the hoteliers.
What did a lot of the hotel owners do with their monies over the years? Did they invest in upgrading their stock or spending it on expensive things like holidays and buying big, expensive cars?
These are the same people who do everything to bring their business to the ground but yet complain that they cannot afford to pay GRENLEC for electricity. The world is moving to energy-saving bulbs but some of the hoteliers refuse to invest in one single energy-saving bulb.
These are the same hoteliers who run down their business but continue to bad mouth and bad-talk Sir Royston Hopkin who is always minding his business and doing whatever it takes to keep his hotel business on the right track.
It is only in Grenada that some of the hoteliers could get away with such stupidness and look to government to always bail them out.
The hoteliers and them behave as if Grenada owes them something. The people do not owe them anything because when they were living it up nice in the good days, they took all their profits for themselves and did not save anything for the rainy days.
Mr. PM, let market forces decide this thing with these hoteliers. If you government give them money as part of the distressed fund, they
will use it up and still look to another government to give them more distressed funds.
The hoteliers will only become a distress on the national purse. If the government follow through on its promise to give money to hotels
then some of the shares must go to we the taxpayers because nothing
from nothing leaves nothing. If you give something then you must get back something in return and do not tell me that they need money because they provide jobs in the country.
Mr. PM, this country can do without a return to the days of the Garden Group in which the State pumped in and wasted millions with another group of hoteliers.
If these hoteliers cannot run and effectively manage their properties
then please invoke Dr. Antoine’s charge that Grenada is open for business, please bring your cheque book and come.
The point I am trying to make here, Mr. PM is that the market must be open for foreign people who might be better at operating hotels to come in and buy up those hotels that are not performing and run them better than some of the local jokers.