The Barbados Co-operative Credit Union League (BCCUL) is distancing itself from a recent call by one of its former presidents for credit union members to vote for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the May 24 general election.
The BCCUL said while it respects everyone’s right to vote for any candidate they deemed fit, the BCCUL was not in support of influencing anyone’s vote.
On Friday, longstanding member of the credit union movement Ashton Turney told Barbados TODAY he welcomed promises made by the DLP in its manifesto, to introduce a suite of relief measures aimed at the credit union movement.
Among the measures, the DLP pledged that should it emerge victorious in the poll on Thursday, it will remove the asset tax on cooperatives which it introduced in 2014; re-introduce the income tax deduction for credit union share and deposits; provide insurance on deposits at cooperatives; and support the establishment of a credit union owned and operated commercial bank.
As such, Turney, who is a former president of the BCCUL as well as the Barbados Workers Union Cooperative Credit Union, said he believed the membership of the credit union movement would increase as a result.
“I am saying based on this as a former president of my credit union and also the league, I am of the view that the membership of the movement should vote for the DLP so that they can benefit from these measures,” Turney said.
However, in a clear-the-air statement this afternoon, the BCCUL said while it “continues to respect the opinions of our members, we wish to reiterate in the spirit of democracy and fairness, that Mr Turney’s opinion does not represent the views of the BCCUL as a whole”.
“While Mr Turney and indeed all members of the credit union movement are free to exercise their democratic right to vote for any candidate or party they deem fit, we wish to reiterate that the BCCUL is in no way endeavouring to sway its members in support of any political entity. It is critical to ensure that the credit union movement maintains its integrity as a politically unbiased financial body; and although members may express their personal views, such are not to be attributed to or affiliated with the BCCUL,” it stressed.
However, the BCCUL suggested that it also welcomed the announced measures to benefit the credit union movement.
“Our policy has always been one of openness and transparency, and while we support any measures proposed to help credit unions, we cannot impose any partisan preferences or beliefs – or use our influence for that matter – to give credit to one or discredit another political party, especially during a political campaign,” the BCCUL explained.
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