Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

Angry Taxpayer

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on August 29, 2003

There’s an article in the Guardian today about the government’s continuing obsession with being a crutch for BWIA. Ken Valley states the rather obvious fact that BWIA is going to be depending on government handouts for a loooooong time. I don’t really want to get into the details of my feelings on BWIA at the moment, except to say that I think that most companies that have made profits for about 3 or 4 of over 60 years of existence are probably not sound investments. Two bits of the article require comment, though. Here’s the first…

Asked to define what equity meant, Valley said: “Hard cold cash – to provide further equity, to provide a sustainable platform for the airline. We may ask tax payers to contribute part of that.”

Um, “part” of that? Won’t taxpayers be footing the ENTIRE bill, almost by definition? Won’t all of it be money that could be better spent fixing schools and hospitals instead? Maybe Valley plans to foot the bill himself. How noble! Anyway, the truly amazing statement is this one:

He said Zwaig looked at several options for the airline, including either liquidating all of its assets or restructuring its operations, as if this country has the kind of Chapter 11 protection for financially-troubled companies similar to that in the US.

Asked which option Government preferred, Valley said: “The preferred option was to restructure as though we have Chapter 11, in spite of the fact that we don’t have Chapter 11.”

I’ll ignore for the moment that that was probably the most poorly written paragraph of the year. What is Valley on about? What sort of consultant goes around suggesting options that aren’t legally possible? Trinidad probably should have some Chapter 11-like legislation, but that’s not what’s being suggested here. Instead, everyone seems to suggest that we attempt a Chapter 11 restructuring without the correct legal framework, which I imagine would be disastrous since if the courts ever needed to get involved, there’d be nothing upon which they could base judgment. That, or they’re just whining about not having the legislation, a state of affairs over which Valley’s government has COMPLETE CONTROL. Any way you slice it, Valley decided to say a lot of moronic things yesterday, and I certainly am not reassured about the level of thought put into the government’s BWIA policy.

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