By Theresa Goodwin
Another dispute between the Barbuda Council and the Central Government may have to be resolved in court, Barbuda Member of Parliament Trevor Walker has indicated.
This time around, that matter is related to the non-payment of outstanding subventions that are due to the council.
During an Observer AM interview, yesterday, Walker acknowledged that although the council received a total of $800,000 — in two instalments — since the start of the new year, that amount is “way short of what is required to take of our obligations”.
He added that, “we are going to try to push and do what we can do even if it means taking the government to court to get our money that is legally due to us”.
The Barbudan MP said the Council has to represent the people and cannot sit by and watch as the government continues to slash its contributions in half.
He said this has also affected its ability to cover arrears owed to the Medical Benefit Scheme, Social Security and Education Levy.
“We have engaged Social Security in terms of how we plan to move forward and we are going to continue these talks to see whether or not we can continue on a way forward that is beneficial for both parties,” Walker said.
While he was not in a position to provide an estimation of the amounts owed to the three statutory corporations, the MP said it is a huge amount of monies which dates back to a number of years.
This is not the first or second time the Council is taking the government to court over specific issues. Currently, both sides are at odds over the controversial Peace, Love and Happiness (PLH) project along with attempts by government to amend the Barbuda Land Act. Issues relating to these matters are pending in the court.