by WADE GIBBONS
STOP BELLYACHING and tell Barbadians how their country will get out of this economic crisis, says former prime minister Owen Arthur.
Speaking at a joint Barbados Labour Party (BLP) St Michael North East/St Michael Central meeting at Combermere School last night, Arthur said it was time that the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government stopped talking about the mess it had inherited and show what recovery programme it had to move Barbados forward.
Arthur said there were indicators that other countries around the world were starting to emerge from the global economic crisis, but there was no sign that the current situation in Barbados was getting any better.
He said far from inheriting a mess, it was the strong economy and $2.1 billion in reserves left by the BLP that was now keeping a floundering DLP administration alive. He charged that in just two years in office, Government was now faced with a serious cash flow problem. He noted Government’s complaints were just an excuse for ineptitude and inertia.
Arthur said rather than holding weekly constituency meetings telling people what they had not done, the DLP should hold one meeting where the populace was informed about a recovery plan.
The former BLP leader said he was fearful about the “drift” in Barbados where there were no policy initiatives to bring about a recovery.
“There must be a change in their mindset or Barbados will face an even more grim future,” he said.
Arthur said the DLP needed to go back to the policies that worked for Barbados between 1994 and 2008. He said even if Government now felt ashamed to have to rely on the ideas of another administration, they should swallow their pride and do it in the interest of the country.
In any event, Arthur added, the little that the DLP Government had done since coming to power were things left by his administration to be implemented or were already in place.
The St Peter MP noted the justice project and the Four Hills housing initiative in his constituency were among several BLP programmes. He said the hoopla from Government over the recent Cultural Industries Act failed to indicate that it was a BLP initiative. He said Government would soon be coming with the Financial Services Act which they had also inherited.
Arthur said his administration had left plans for the development of agriculture, energy and the off-shore business sector, and they were all viable.
He questioned planned Government initiatives such as the acquisition of Sam Lord’s Castle. He queried from where the money would be obtained to purchase and develop the property, adding it was still heavily indebted.