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Honour pledge to protect seniors


HENDERSON BOVELL

Honour pledge to protect seniors

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IN ITS 2008 MANIFESTO, the Democratic Labour Party gave a commitment that it would treasure this country’s seniors in their golden years and further stated that it was committed to caring for all Barbadians in their senior years.

Members of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) – all of whom are over 50 years old – must be wondering if the DLP had them in mind when it made that statement and exactly how committed is the DLP to what it wrote in that manifesto.

This is particularly so now that the actions and decision of the same DLP Government are making it extremely difficult for them to get their investment – made through BARP – out of Clico.

As a former chairman of the National Assistance Board, I wonder whether in its haste to protect Clico, the decision and actions by this David Thompson-led Government – do not constitute elder abuse.

Elder abuse is often defined as a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust that causes harm or distress to an older person.

Inexcusable breach Recent events seem like an inexcusable breach of trust on the part of the DLP towards older Barbadians, especially members of BARP who will now find it difficult to get their nest egg out of Clico.

The DLP must be reminded that financial abuse can rob a senior of self-esteem and trust, as well as of his or her means of subsistence.

And, although financial exploitation does not leave physical scars, it is a serious and shameful act, especially by a Government that had already given a commitment to protect seniors in their golden years.

It is why the silence of the minister who has responsibility for families and for elder affairs is puzzling. Is this the society the DLP is manufacturing where the state and its friends – take the lead in the financial abuse of senior citizens?

I therefore call on the Government to do the Christian thing and remember and honour its manifesto pledge to seniors and to also do all in its power to protect our senior citizens, especially since this DLP administration has already unkindly cut the vote to the National Assistance Board and the Welfare Department.

HENDERSON BOVELL

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