Why can’t National Lotteries meet its own expenses? – Eustace
February 17, 2015

Why can’t National Lotteries meet its own expenses? – Eustace

Why is the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) borrowing money from the National Insurance Services (NIS)?

This is one of the questions Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace would like answered, in relation to $6 million that the NLA is borrowing from the NIS.{{more}}

Eustace was speaking on the New Times radio programme yesterday, when he mentioned that the NLA was expected to borrow this sum to facilitate the development of sporting facilities in this country.

Saying he is not opposed in principle to the NIS lending money, the Opposition Leader, however, opined that the NIS is currently not in a state to facilitate that kind of loan.

“I am tired of this borrowing from NIS. Not that NIS shouldn’t lend, I don’t want anybody to get me wrong. NIS has an investment portfolio provided for in the legislation. So, they earn income from people’s contribution and they earn income by investments,” he said.

“I can’t see why the National Lottery is not making sufficient money to deal with the issues that confront them. Equally, or more so, I can’t see why they should be going to the National Insurance to borrow money.”

Furthermore, Eustace stated that the loan is a “pure election gimmick” and that the Government is not concerned about the interests of people in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“You just started to increase the contribution to the NIS, increasing people’s retirement age because the NIS needed that boost and you still going to make these kind of loans here? Why can’t the National Lottery meet its own expenses? It’s getting money every day. What is happening at the Lottery that caused them to borrow from the NIS?” Eustace questioned.

The Opposition Leader also questioned whether the loan being taken will be paid back at an interest rate of 6.5 per cent or more, which is stipulated in the NIS investment portfolio.

“You are having reforms at the NIS taking place now. That’s why people’s contribution rates have gone up. You want them to go up again? I haven’t heard the interest rate on the loan they giving to Lottery. Is it below the 6.5 per cent target?”

The Opposition Leader also asked why it was necessary for the NLA to have to borrow money and why haven’t they gone to their bankers.

“Their bankers not prepared to lend them? What we going to do, endanger the NIS more than it is endangered already?”

When contacted by SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, chair of the NLA board Murray Bullock was not in a position to address the matter at that time. He, however, committed to commenting on the issue at a later date.(BK)