recovery in sight

Recovery in Sight

recovery in sightRecovery In Sight

In the interest of the people of Barbados, this Democratic Labour Party administration will remain committed to our goals of restructuring the economy of Barbados. We will also continue to govern by doing what is in the best interest of the people of Barbados. As we go about the process of restructuring the economy and carry out the measures in the fiscal consolidation programme, some of the medication which we have to take may be bitter but in the end it is for a good cause.

The 19-month fiscal consolidation program was introduced in August 2013, thirteen months ago. Towards the end of the presentation by the Minister of Finance, he rallied Barbadians to support the measures recognising that they would redound to the benefit of the nation. He stated, “It is crafted to protect the things we hold dear and create new platforms for future success. It will not be easy nor will it be painless, but it will be worth it in the end. For the pain we bare now, will be the gain we secure in the future.”

In dealing with the Global Economic recession from 2008, this DLP administration insisted that we must maintain the social safety-net. When we look at what we have done during the time, this administration has managed to sheild Barbadian from the full blow of the economic downturn.

An examination of unemployment figures across the Caribbean would reveal that Barbados had fared better than others during this recession. With the exception of Trinidad whose unemployment rate stood at 5.9% at the end of 2013 all the other territories had unemployment rates above 13%: Jamaica – 16.3%, The Bahamas – 16.2%, St. Lucia – 20%, Grenada – 33.5%. At the end of 2013 the unemployment rate for Barbados stood at 11.4%. As a result of the decision by the Government of Barbados to reduce the size of the Public Sector in an effort to reduce the expenditure of the Government, the unemployment rate has increased to 13.2% in 2014. Government’s efforts to maintain the social safety nets have helped to keep Barbadians gainfully employed through most of the economic crisis.

The introduction of the 20% payment of tuition fees by the students of the University of the West Indies was another of the fiscal consolidation measures introduced to reduce the expenditure of the Government. This was done in an effort to put government’s funding to UWI on a more sustainable level.

The Consolidation Tax and the Solid Waste Tax were introduced as part of the Government’s revenue earning measures to help to reduce the fiscal deficit. We all know the level of debate and the marches which took place especially with regard to the Municipal Solid Waste Tax. However, these measures were deem necessary to put the economy of Barbados on a better footing.

Government has also done all that it could to stimulate the private sector and revive the tourism Industry. The consessions which were offered to Sandals we heavily criticised and chastised by the opposition and some sectors of the private sector. However, we can see today the benefit of allowing the Sandals brand to set up in Barbados. Many eager Barbadians will be anxiously hoping to be employed at the new property when it is reopened in January 2015. We are sure the Jobfair scheduled for October will be well attended.

We remain committed to developing a green economy in Barbados and that is beginning to thrieve. It is all part of this administration’s efforts to restructure the economy of Barbados.

For many of us it appears that the Government is doing what is necessary to restructure the economy and deal with the economic challenges facing Barbados. Even the IMF in their most recent assessment in June 2014 recognised that the Government of Barbados had a programme in place to deal with the economic challenges, recognising that the government had implemented most of their announced budgetary measures and urged them to do any necessary adjustments to meet the targets.

In the Article IV consultation in January 2014 the IMF gave a green light to the fiscal measures, indicating that if they were fully implemented they should stabilize the debt levels by 2016.

From the last Central Bank report in June 2014 the reserves have stabilized. The fiscal consolidation programme yielded an estimated 51 million in the first quarter of the fiscal year. With 6 months remaining in the 19 month fiscal consolidation programme allow the measures to work. Government has come through the darkest part of the economic recession with a home grown remedy which is far more palatable than any IMF induced programme. We will see the fruits of our hard work and determination soon!

education uwi correction

Prudent UWI Correction

education uwi correction

Prudent UWI Correction

 

It is the duty and the responsibility of the Government to ensure that the resources of the country are spent in the most prudent manner. In a situation where the resources are already under pressure, government has to take the tough decision to ensure the viability of the service being offered. The area of education has been one of the areas where Government has taken the decision that an intervention was necessary to halt a runaway budget before it collasped the entire educational system.

 

In the presentation made to the DLP’s Annual Conference, Prime Minister Stuart articulate what has been the DLP’s longstanding policy as it relates to UWI education:

 

 

“One area in which the stridency was very evident was that related to the contribution by student to the cost of their education at the University.

This measure, in which government still continues to meet 80% of the cost, was described variously as a declaration of war on the poor, a cutting back of the opportunities available for persons to access university education, a repudiation of Errol Barrow’s legacy, and an attempt to undermine the viability of the university itself…

The response of the Democratic Labour Party in government to this particular challenge has a history which needs to be told.

As long ago as October 1980 the DLP in Opposition had been reflecting on what its policies should look like on its eventual return to government. Through its Academy of Politics, the Party hosted a series of lectures under the theme “Social Problems We Face”. One of those lectures was delivered by Dr. Leonard Shorey who spoke on the subject: “Perspectives on Education in Barbados” Amongst the views clearly expressed in that lecture, Dr. Shorey insisted that to avoid the proliferation of imbalances produced by the tertiary education system, a future government of Barbados should link funding for students to national priorities and manpower needs.

Five years later when the Party was celebrating its 30th Anniversary, it produced an 84 page publication bearing the title “30 Years and Onward” which highlighted both its achievements for the first 30 years of its existence and what it proposed to do on its return to office. At page 60 of that publication it stated as follows: “A DLP Government will work more closely with the UWI so as to determine where priorities lie and to determine how many places will be funded in each faculty, based on plans and manpower projections.” I might add that the foreword to that 84 page publication was written by Errol W. Barrow. The Party has never contemplated funding university education for all students indefinitely.

It has always contemplated some students assuming responsibility for their education at some stage. For that reason it passed the Student Revolving Fund Act in 1976 to facilitate student loans. Present policy is in keeping with that commitment and also with the Barrow legacy.”

Over time it will be seen that the decisions taken by the government to right size the budget of the University of the West Indies will work out to the benefit of the students and the people of Barbados. What could would the University be to the country if it had been allowed to continue on its trajectory with an unsustainable financial model? It would have led to the collapse of the educational system in Barbados.

This measures also brings into focus the importance of the University to meet the demands of the students and the workplace by focusing more on quality as oppose to through-put. A university education was never intended to be a factory production line where the focus is on the number of units produced. A university education should be tailored-made and hand crafted. Creating specialty pieces which meets the needs of the end-user and which over all benefits the environment where it has been deposited.

The focus of the University of the West Indies should be on creating programmes where students exiting the campus are equipped with the skills and knowledge which are in demand in the workforce; placing them at a competitive edge locally, regionally and internationally.

Finally, it must be noted that UWI cannot be the single largest beneficiary of the resources of the Government. It is time that greater emphasis is placed on the other institutions such as: the Barbados Community College, The Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, The Secondary Schools and the Primary Schools as well as other technical and vocational training centres so that they too can assist in the development of our workforce to exceptional world class standards.

leave a legacy

A True Legacy

leave a legacy

A true legacy

Every time a leader is called to govern a jurisdiction, many look upon that leader and ask: what will be his/her legacy?

The very same leaders do ask themselves what legacy they will leave when their tenure comes to an end. Do these entities, both the leaders and the people that are being led, understand the true meaning of a legacy? If so, what is their perspective of a legacy?

Many of us believe that a leader should leave something that is tangible in nature in order to be considered a legacy. Moreover, this ideology of a legacy has been drilled into our heads by influential people and by highly certified professionals, who constantly refer to the tangible legacies of former leaders such as Errol Barrow. However, even though these legacies have their positives in assisting the people socially and somewhat economically, such legacies tend to make the people heavily reliant on them and, over time, heavily dependent on those who are maintaining these tangible legacies.

There are leaders who become so caught up of being revered among those former leaders that they forgo the needs of the country and implement their tangible legacies without properly considering the social and economic consequences. An example of this can be drawn from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) during 1994 to 2008, where the former administration’s leader wanted to be known as the one who has placed a university graduate in every household. Although that endeavour is ideal to both political parties in Barbados, to pursue such tangible legacy has to take into mind where and how the funding will be obtained and the necessity of having a UWI graduate in every bajan home. Unfortunately, unlike Mr. Barrow and Mr. Sandiford that set up revenue earning mechanism to finance their tangible legacies or built such legacies which would contribute to government’s revenue income, the Owen Arthur led administration resorted to excessive borrowing. They abolished policies which made the acceptable number of Barbadian students to the University of the West Indies (UWI) directly proportional to the amount of money that the Barbados’ government can afford to pay; and by encouraging UWI Cave Hill Campus to make unnecessary expansions. These measures, over time, resulted in the outstanding arrears by government to UWI as well as an increase in the cost of operations at UWI.

Luckily for Barbados, there is the Democratic Labour party (DLP) that is renowned as having leaders who neither seek to be famous nor seek to implement tangible legacies (willy-nilly) to please the masses. But rather implement non-tangible legacies that will empower and enlighten Barbadians, and also implement tangible legacies that are needed and that are feasible.

Reference can be made from 2008 to 2010, where the late Prime Minister David Thompson established non-tangible legacies such as the Constituency Council to empower our communities, as well as the introduction of courses for Minivans and ZR operators at the Barbados Community College (BCC) so that these operators would become more costumer friendly. Tangible legacies such as free bus ride for school children in uniform to deter students from the notorious minivan culture and to encourage students of the poor to go to school.

In addition, many ask what legacies will the present Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart leave, focusing solely on the tangible side of it. If one looks carefully, this present leader is not concerned on leaving tangible legacies, but rather those that are non-tangible. Specifically, the leader is constructing a legacy of being a humble, collegial leader, and a strong leader who is focused on doing what is necessary for the good of his people and his country. Moreover, the leader is building a legacy of making his people to become true craftsmen of their fate in terms of entrepreneurship, whether they hold a university degree or not.

Thatcherism is a terminology that is used to refer to the tough, though necessary changes that Britain’s first female PM, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, made to maintain the UK’s economy. The word is used internationally to refer to similar policies that Mrs Thatcher had implemented. Similarly, in time to come, the Barbadian terminology, “Stuartism”, shall be a non-tangible legacy of Mr. Stuart, which shall refer to as creating a country that is socially balanced, economically viable, environmentally sound and characterised by good, honest governance.

Now, is that a legacy worth leaving?

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Education minister jones

The Way Forward

The importance of Education to Barbados and its people and economy has been recognised by the Democrat Labour Party (DLP) through Barbados’ history of governance. In addition to the positive impact on the economy, the value to society from the income of educated persons is much higher than costs incurred while they are being educated, confirming that net returns are positive. In Barbados, education has proven to be a means of avoiding poverty and creating upward mobility, both at the individual level and at the national level. Through its cumulative ability to assist in the delivery of a higher quality of goods and services it raises the country’s standard of living. The importance of education is therefore unassailable. The questionable issues often are: what should be delivered? How should it be delivered? And who should fund its delivery?

Nursery & Primary Level

Since 2008, the DLP Administration has enhanced both the social and physical infrastructure for the 21st century of education in Barbados. This Stuart led government carried out 75 assessments on primary and nursery schools across the island. It was found that due to 14 years of neglect, the schools were in an unhealthy state. The DLP therefore began to rectify this situation during the past 6 years. This was done through the following measures: the construction of the Blackman Gollop, St. Ambrose Primary School and the Maria Holder Nursery School; the completion of Reynold Weekes Primary School; and the establishment of the Thelma Berry Nursery School; among others. All of these have been done in making primary and nursery education more productive and assessable during the worst economic crisis that this country has ever faced since independence. This DLP government should therefore be commended for still having the educational development of this country and its people as a top priority, albeit with scarce resources.

 

Secondary & Post-Secondary Level

Minister Jones fully endorsed the DLP conviction that education is the greatest liberating force in human life, and therefore recognises the importance of secondary and tertiary education. As a result, this government has implemented polices and projects such as: the construction of an Information Technology wing at Harrison College; a new 14-classroom annex at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP); the completion of the Language Centre at the Barbados Community College (BCC); the establishment of the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy; to name a few. Most recently, the BCC has announced plans to upgrade some programmes to the bachelor degree level. Moreover, both the BCC and the SJPP are making it easier for students to work and study.

Tertiary Level

Meanwhile, it has been a year since government had announced that it will no longer pay the full tuition cost of students at the University of the West Indies (UWI), starting from this year. This came with much back and forth debate. This measure, which the Minister of Finance took in the last budget, was measurable and was not merely to impose unnecessary hardship. This move came as a part of restructuring our economy as we face this economic crisis. Nevertheless, the fact remains, that some students would not be able to afford these fees. As a result, the government under the competent leadership of Prime Minister Stuart, like a caring government would, heard the concerns of the people by making 3000 bursaries available to UWI students. For this, the entire Cabinet should be commended for continuing to look out for the masses of this country, especially the young people of Barbados.

At the moment, the DLP administration has the massive responsibility of safely navigating our country through the most challenging period of the country’s history. It faces a difficult decision on whether to make cuts within the educational sector or continue to fund it entirely, which is evidently unsustainable! In spite of such a challenge, this competent and success driven administration has not given up, and has remained focused on the task at hand. As the start of a new school year approaches, thanks to this competent government, all primary and secondary schools will be reopen on time and children will continue to travel on Transport Board buses free of cost. As it relates SJPP, BCC and UWI, Barbadian students will continue to pursue their tertiary education. Sadly, there are some people in this country who seek not to contemplate solutions to the problems that are facing the country, but rather to cry down governments’ polices and to put their political agendas before the interest of their country. Nevertheless, the Government stays focused in exploring new ways to facilitate and finance the high cost of education.

Confronting realities

DLP column 220814 - confronting realities

Last weekend the DLP successfully concluded the 59th Annual conference. Following is an extract from the speech delivered by party President and Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart, Q.C., M.P.:

The truth is that the time has come for us to confront certain not always pleasant realities in Barbados. A little history can help us here.

The Democratic Labour Party was formed just ten (10) years after the issuing of the Moyne Commission Report into the disturbances of the 1930’s. That Report was made public in July, 1945, sixty-nine (69) years ago.

The most cursory or casual reading of that Report will disclose that whether you were talking about health or education or housing or public transport, or facilities for the aged, or nutrition for children or adults, or access to water, or protection for workers, or a proper network of roads, or availability of work, or a respectable level of wages or any other social amenity, very little had changed in Barbados between 1838 when slavery ended and 1937-1938 when the disturbances happened, that is over a hundred year period.

It took the efforts of newly formed political parties and trade unions to reverse and correct many of those social and economic short comings. The formation of the DLP 59 years ago has to be seen in that context. The response of the DLP in particular to the depressing story contained in the Moyne Commission Report was: The provision of free secondary education; school meals for children at primary schools; equalisation of pay for men and women at the workplace; a national insurance scheme; modern and revolutionary succession legislation to protect the rights of single women in their relationships; severance pay for workers; easy access to university education; modern housing; easier access to water and waterborne facilities; a guaranteed work week in the agricultural sector; modernisation of the economy and the development of the tourism sector; construction of a number of secondary schools to increase the number of places available to our young people; the establishment of a community college; a hotel school and a polytechnic to broaden opportunity for our young and not so young; amongst many other initiatives.

These initiatives were undertaken generally at a time when men and women were casual labourers since they worked by chance. During the sugar cane crop season, they worked with the plantation or the sugar factory. Out of crop, they either worked farms at the plantation for very modest wages, worked occasionally as artisans or maids or did not work at all.

It is for people in this precarious situation and for their children that the state in Barbados assumed full responsibility in those times.

In the concluding sentences of his 1971 Budget Speech, Prime Minister Errol Barrow said, in part, as follows:

The decade of reconstruction has been successfully negotiated. It has not been easy. The society which we have inherited bears within it many social and economic contradictions which material advantages such as we have secured cannot alone eradicate. Those of us in public life ought to concentrate on the upliftment of our people who still have such a long way to travel rather than devoting our efforts to the personal destruction of those whom we envy. Some of us will have to mark time to allow those who have been kept back to catch up with us.”

The question that confronts the DLP in its 59th year of existence and Barbados in its 48th year of independence is this. In 2014, does the state in Barbados owe the same duty to the graduates of secondary and tertiary institutions, living in modern housing with water borne facilities, driving one or other of the 113,000 motor cars on our roads, and in generally steady white collar or blue collar employment as it owed to the man or woman wending his or her way to the cane fields or the farm with broad-rimmed hat, crocus-bag tied around the waist and a hoe or fork across the shoulder having just left a modest chattel house without running water and often on rented land?

If the duty of the state is viewed as the same in relation to both categories, the next question is – can the State afford it?

Those two questions could have been framed differently, that is can the State in the year 2014 and beyond, pursue its social democratic agenda in the same way in which it pursued it in the ‘60’s, ‘70’s, ‘80’s, ‘90’s and in the first decade of the 21st century?

 

Having empowered the majority of our men and women through education and expanded opportunity, are we still under a duty to treat them as though they were not empowered?

Job vacancy

Vacancy: Opposition Leader

VACANCY – LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

 

A few weeks ago in the article titled ‘Its Friday Mia!’, her bluff was called regarding the change of strategy from attacking The Minister of Finance to the Prime Minister. As usual, nothing happened.

 

In that article as well it was predicted that there will eventually be a political obituary entitled ‘The Self Destruction of Mia Mottley’. The Freundel Stuart administration in protecting Barbadians from the self aggrandizing megalomaniac BLP members have created many a political duppy and Ms. Mottley seems adamant that she wants to join this group. The irony is that like Ceaser, she has to fear that by the Ides of March she too might become politically irrelevant.

 

Regarding leadership, Mia has failed dramatically. As the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, she, after being part of the planning committee, has decided to ‘boycott’ the 375th anniversary of the Parliament of Barbados, which is one of the oldest Parliaments in the entire Commonwealth. Imagine the embarrassing implications this has for the Barbados Labour Party, that their leader would boycott a grand international occasion that involves the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Prince Edward that helps the image of the country just to try to divert attention unto herself and claim she is doing it for Barbadians. So the question is, does anyone care if she goes?

 

Persons have seen the value of recognizing the 375th anniversary and have even encouraged Bridgetown to have attractions and good store prices as well as encourage cruise ship passengers to come and see a momentous occasion as we highlight heritage tourism, but of course it would shed a positive light on the Government instead of herself, so she puts her foot in her mouth, once again. We imagine that Leader of Opposition Business Kerrie Symmonds and former Prime Minister Owen Arthur would be there though, showing their face for imminent appointment of a new opposition leader. Of course, she could always be two faced as usual and show up after reading the article.

 

The situation is so dire that the rank and file of the Barbados Labour Party have started to show dissent in many ways, far from a united front, far from having a leader at all.

 

Information has been going around from credible sources that after claiming that the unions are not doing enough to represent the workers of Barbados, she is going around behind the scenes trying to get their support to talk at her ‘People’s Assemblies’ which the nation and the BLP supporters are growing tired of. Her advisors are sitting back and laughing with glee as she sharpens her own knife to be plunged in the back of her political career. Her desperation is apparent. Will she ever learn?

 

It is clear that due to the recession the BLP see and opportunity and everyone is trying to break for themselves. Their representatives have praised our policies, including the soon to be established Revenue Authority. Seeing the eventuality of the vacancy, they have once again began to pick sides.

 

It is reported that when she goes to meetings she can only get her minions to follow her, in particular a political neophyte, a political duppy from the south and one referred to as a ‘dilapidated chattel house’ by her predecessor, who might be auditioning for the role once again.

 

Indeed she, it is reported, has been asking persons to speak on information that they should not have as it has yet to be laid before Parliament. Imagine the dangerous implications this could have on persons.

 

The time is running out. Her situation is dire. It has been her last chance to prove herself and she has been failing miserably and like crabs in a bucket, it will not be long before the crabs in the bucket begin to claw and pull her down as they rise.

 

We wonder if she was ever exorcised of the demons Owen had referred to. He certainly doesn’t seem to think so with his recent ‘Not me and Mia’ comment. Gilded and arrogant he is perhaps sticking around to have a second coming as he desperately wants to be Errol Barrow, a man whose stature he cannot even begin to compare to, much less copy.

 

In light of the imminent end, we urge Barbadians to wrap themselves in the flag in these difficult times. We are Barbadian first and foremost. The constant attempts to create tension and agitation to force a result will not work as at the end of the day the power belongs to God, not man. It is not the will of the people, whether DLP, BLP or neutral to have an election at this time. Only that of the power hungry Mia, who will be looking for a new role in her political life as there is an imminent opening for the Vacancy of Leader of the Opposition approaching.

dlp election victory

First Year Achievements

First Year Achievements

 

One year ago today, the people of Barbados went to the polls and elected the Democratic Labour Party for a second term of Government. We went to the people of Barbados and gave an account of our stewardship in the first term and shared our plans for the development of Barbados as we continued on our pathway to progress. The people of Barbados accepted our manifesto and chose to go with the Dems again for another term.

 

After serving for one year we continue with a track record of achievements.

 

Ever focused on the development of our people and country and the restructuring of the economy of Barbados during the year we have passed some ground breaking legislation and established policies which would see Barbados being a leading small island developing state.

 

In June, The white paper on ageing was laid by our Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, The Hon. Steve Blackett. This outlined the policies to help guide the establishment of measures to adequately cater to the country’s ageing population. With a growing ageing population policies are required to safeguard the rights of older persons; provide legal protection, promote and preserve the dignity of older person, while creating an enabling environment that is safe and free from exploitation and abuse of others. Currently 13.7% of the population is over the age of 65 years and this is expected to rise to 20.4 percent by 2025. The policy was dedicated to the memory of Barbados’ late super centenarian James Sisnett.

 

In August the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, The. Hon. Christopher Sinckler presented the 2013 budget. The budget outlined a 19-month Consolidation and growth Strategy. In the budget we held ourselves accountable for the timely implementation of the measures. So far we have stayed on track being the first administration in Barbados’ history to make serious headway in removing the implementation deficit which has plagued previous governments.

 

In October the Minister Culture, Sports and Youth, The Hon. Steven Lashley brought the long awaited Cultural Industries Development bill to the House of Assembly. This bill forms one of the components in the growth initiatives for the economy of Barbados. Finally the Cultural Industries had a bill providing the same suite of incentives which were made available to grow the tourism industry. This bill opens the doors to the development of a new economic sector in Barbados. Already we can see the benefits of such legislation and recognise that when it is fully implemented and utilized it will create new avenues for employment and economic development for Barbadians, especially the youth.

 

Another ground breaking piece of legislation was the Electric Light and Power Bill which was piloted by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in December. This legislation provides for the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources thereby building another sector for economic growth and development in Barbados. It provides businesses and households with an opportunity to sell energy in to the national grid. This legislation forms part of the growth strategy for Barbados. It will reduce the fuel import bill and create employment opportunities for Barbadians.

 

Outside of Parliament team DLP have been steadily at work. Our Minister of Tourism and International Transport, The Hon. Richard Sealy successfully closed the deal to have the Sandals brand established in Barbados. We are already beginning to see the benefits of its presence with the planned US$65 million investment over the next few months in the “Sandalisation” of Sandals Casaurina. We are also seeing a bumper winter tourist season and talks of increased airlift for Barbados for the 2014 winter season. Things have already started to pick up. Soon we will have the establishment of the Barbados Tourism Product Authority to further enhance the product of Barbados.

 

The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. The Hon. David Estwick will soon complete the deal to start the work on the New Sugar Factory at Andrews which will establish a Sugar Cane Industry in Barbados and creating a tremendous stimulus to the agricultural sector in Barbados. Only this week ground was broken on the long awaited pipeline project by the Barbados Water Authority which will inject some $30 million into the economy over the next year.

 

The DLP administration has continued the good work into its first year of a second term. The team is working hard continuing on the pathway to progress for you, the people of Barbados.

 

IMF artilce 4 report

It’s Friday, Mia!

IT’S FRIDAY, MIA!

 

 

The Government of Barbados is pressing ahead with the people’s business. Whilst no individual would want to be laid off, persons have accepted that it is a necessity for the survival of the country and for their future and their children’s future. They have started looking at innovation, entrepreneurship, retraining and creativity in order to continue to make a contribution to their country and enhance their livelihood.

 

Contrary to the picture the fans of the BLP are trying to paint, i.e. laid off persons are now left with no hope and outside naked to the elements, persons who would have had to be laid off would have received and/or due to receive packages which would include necessary vacation and severance payments, gratuities where applicable, as well as the NIS to support them for 6 months whilst they put their skills and creativity to use to continue to make a living.

 

The Government has invested $10 million in a retraining fund as an option for these persons who were laid off and those who pursue it will receive a stipend, as outlined by the Prime Minister of Barbados in St Andrew last Sunday.

 

The Leader of the Opposition, perpetually living in her own world, in her usual bullying way of issuing idle threats, has once again called on the PM to remove the Minister of Finance, the Hon. Chris Sinckler or else she will then proceed to attack him.

 

Now the folly of the logic is quite laughable. Firstly, the BLP and their cronies do nothing but attack the DLP and the Prime Minister in particular in their forums and the print and social media. Therefore it’s not anything we are not used to. Secondly, she seems to have a very short memory of that horrible exercise she called a no confidence motion which in turn had the opposite effect of showing that her colleagues in fact have no confidence in her. We already have the public declaration of ‘Not me and Mia’ from the patron saint and saviour of the Barbados Labour Party, Owen Arthur.

 

This methodology of thinking of this political power hungry paranoiac as brilliantly described by the Prime Minister during the launch of the James Tudor Institute of Politics must not be taken lightly. Indeed it shows us just how dangerous her way of thinking is. An eminent persons group in her mind is a throwback to the glorification of the bourgeois class and highlights the oppression mentality that she has; illustrating that she does not believe that Barbadians are not fit enough to control their destiny and the ‘mistake’ made at the polls can be corrected by those who she would see fit to circumvent government and advise on how the affairs of the country should be run.

 

Additionally, the hypocrisy of Mia and the members of Parliament for the BLP continue to reach new levels of ignorance and show their motive each and every time. In Parliament on Tuesday they were challenged to table an amendment to the Constitution which would allow a reduction of salaries to be possible in order to help to save some of the jobs and the Government would support it. They refused. They spoke about showing solidarity with the people for Government to take a cut in their salaries and the Government in turn proposed to take a 10% cut in MPs salaries across the political divide and they refused to support it. Now, are these people who really care about their country or seeking cheap political points through rhetoric?

 

As the wise old people say, it makes no sense arguing with fools, because you can never do right in their eyes. It makes no sense arguing with empty rhetoric which still does not provide alternatives but simply relies on who can holler loudest and longest to try to convince persons that they are leaders. There has been no clearer indication in history of empty vessels making the most noise as what is currently going on with the BLP.

 

In times like these, we get to see the character of people. Those who would put their country first and those who are only out for themselves. We get to see those who would turn their backs and join bandwagons of perceived courts of public opinion (created by them for their own benefit), and betray their ideals like political prostitutes and harlots. But the future of Barbados is bright and there will be more to come from the greatest political party in the Western Hemisphere. We ask simply for the three of the most important features in human life – faith, patience and kindness. It is not the time to tear down the positives and cause confusion. We have made it through before and we shall again, and all hands on deck will be needed as we take Barbados forward.

 

So its Friday Mia! What will you do? Nothing again? Continue to bring resolutions to waste time instead of something constructive? Continue to commit political suicide? At this rate we can predict in the near future that there will be a political obituary titled ‘The Self Destruction of Mia Mottley’.

 

 

captions blackman on arthur

Corrective Measures

Corrective Measures

 

It is worth repeating- Sandiford’s structural adjustment programme of the 90s right-sized the public service of Barbados. It is worth stating that the Owen Arthur administration from 1994 started the process of inflating the ranks of the public service of Barbados. Growing the government; to the detriment of the private sector of Barbados – an unsustainable economic policy. He failed to take the advice at the turn of the century to reduce the size of the civil service by 10,000 spread over 10 years. The warning signs were there. But he failed to take the corrective measures.

 

Owen Arthur would not want anything to do with Mia Mottley’s eminent persons group. He knows that such a group would point fingers at him for failing to continue the restructuring of the Barbados economy which he had inherited from Sandiford. Like the prodigal son, for 14 years he partied, feasted, and feted spending the surplus revenue from the VAT and money borrowed for a rainy day, wasting billions of dollars on dead-end projects (Greenlands, Dodds Prison, Highway Expansion, Kensington, Crab Hill Police Station, and Eastry House). He also presided over decisions which left us with very little space to manoeuvre: the sale of the national bank, the insurance company and selling off the private sector of Barbados to foreign interest. Not to mention the first three downgrades of Barbados’ credit rating.

 

When you are managing an economy in good times you are expected to make provision and savings for hard times. Arthur did not do this. This was his greatest failure as a leader. He did not have the vision or foresight to adequately prepare for the future.

 

In 2008, the Barbados Labour Party was voted out for their mismanagement of public funds. Do we remember the cost overrun bill which stood at over a billion dollars? That was money which was wasted, spent and not saved. What a difference it would make today if the Owen Arthur administration had been able to save that money for a rainy day! One of the things which make the Singapore economy great is that they actually save their surplus budget and set it aside for a rainy day. The Arthur administration, which had the opportunity, never did it. When Ms. Mottley advised him as the Minister with responsibility for Economic Affairs she too did not have the foresight to suggest such. What a difference it would make to civil servants if those rainy day savings were available now.

 

Not only did Arthur fail to save, he failed to invest in projects which would put the Barbados economy on a sustainable growth path. Why is it that we have to wait until now in 2014 for the Sanitation Service Authority to invest millions to construct a Waste-to-Energy plant? Why didn’t Arthur invest the millions spent on Greenland on such a project?

 

Why is it that we have to wait until 2014 to invest millions of dollars in the construction of a purpose built designated cruise pier to expand Barbados’ potential in cruise tourism and also create a hub for the expansion and development of our cultural industries in Barbados?

 

Why is it that we had to wait until 2013 to revolutionise our energy generation capacity in Barbados by passing legislation and creating a suite of investment incentives to grow the renewable energy sector in Barbados?

 

Why is it that we had to wait until 2014 to put serious plans in place to revitalize the sugar industry in Barbados? By building a multipurpose plant capable of producing a number of by products from sugar cane we will be developing a sugar cane industry.

 

Why is it that we had to wait until 2013 for the Sandals brand to join the Barbados tourism product helping the country to boost airlift from the Canadian and UK markets? Soon, Sandals will be investing over US$65 million into the economy creating over 1000 jobs in construction during the “sandalisation” of Sandals Casuarina.

 

Why is it that we had to wait until 2008 to recognise that NHC was wasting millions of dollars trying to build office complexes and could do a better job of building housing accommodations for Barbadians?

 

The answer to those questions – the Owen Arthur administration lacked vision. They did not know then how to restructure the economy of Barbados and they cannot offer today a solution to the economic challenges which the economy is presently facing. That is why Owen wants nothing to do with the eminent persons group. That is why in his opinion Mia was just about political gimmicks. He knows that the only thing that comes from her mouth is, “march!” Marching does not solve economic or financial crisis.

 

To all Barbadians we are making sacrifices to put the Barbados economy back on track. It is our hope that the sacrifices which are being made now will be brief. The Barbados economy will revive and you can help it to grow. We encourage you to grasp the opportunity for training and re-tooling during this time. Sharpen your skills and help us to build a stronger and more sustainable economy and society. We need to put our minds and talents to creative uses. We need to produce, we need to be creative, and we need to be innovative.