The Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) has formally filed its objection to the request by the Barbados Light and Power Company (BLPC) for an adjournment in the ongoing rate hearing.
BARP President Marilyn Rice-Bowen said the request was “unacceptable” and that BARP members were “already struggling to pay the increased interim rates”.
Rice-Bowen also noted that last year, the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) denied BARP’s request for an adjournment to allow the new Public Counsel – who had been on the job for three days – to apprise herself of the case.
“The FTC said then that every extra day would be a cost to taxpayers,” Rice-Bowen said. “We believe that the same principle should apply in this case.”
Rice-Bowen expressed sympathy with Senior Counsel Ramon Alleyne on the passing of his father but opposes the motion for adjournment, citing the involvement of another attorney for the firm, Senator Kevin Boyce in the proceedings.
BARP is asking the FTC to deny BLPC’s request for an adjournment and to continue with the hearing as scheduled. In the affidavit, the association notes that expert witnesses are available for virtual participation in the proceedings.
The affidavit also mentions the ongoing class action suit against Cable & Wireless, involving some of BARP’s members, which overlaps with the BLPC rate review case.
BARP’s objections to BLPC’s request for an adjournment were filed in an affidavit with the FTC, which was sworn by BARP President Rice-Bowen. Among other points, the affidavit states that:
BARP has a membership of over 22 000 people, the majority of whom are pensioners.
BARP’s members are already struggling to pay the increased interim rates.
The FTC denied BARP’s request for an adjournment last year, even though the new Public Counsel had only been on the job for three days.
BLPC has the resources to present its case without an adjournment.
BARP is asking the FTC to deny BLPC’s request for an adjournment and to continue with the hearing as scheduled.
The FTC is expected to rule on BLPC’s request for an adjournment in the coming days. (PR)