DLP Govt at standstill
OPPOSITION LEADER OWEN ARTHUR recently painted a picture of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government as one mired in inertia.
Addressing supporters on the final day of the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) 72nd annual conference at Deighton Griffith Secondary School on Sunday, Arthur said the Government now found itself in a position where it could not implement any of the main economic proposals in its Manifesto, Medium Term Fiscal Strategy For 2008 Budget.
“The inertia in the implementation of plans and programmes that were intended to support the development and growth of the economy, especially, included most of the measures contained in David Thompson’s 2008 Budget,” he said.
Arthur went through a series of promised initiatives where he deemed that “nothing had been done” and raised a similar chant from the crowd as he read the list of DLP proposals.
Among these included: proposals to significantly reduce the cost of doing business in Barbados; the building of jetties and theme parks; the building of two five-star hotels every two years; the creation of islands off Barbados; concessions to taxi operators; the construction of a terminal for private jets in the north; the building of a new cruise pier and facility in the north; the investment in a regional ferry service; development of offshore and gas resources; and the establishment of a foundation for corporate social responsibility and philanthropy.
“They have all turned out to be sound bites or pipe dreams,” Arthur said.
But he added that measures proposed in the same Budget to impose an Environmental Levy on local manufacturing and a tax on mobile phone subscription had caused “pure confusion”.
He said Barbadians would do well to recall that the DLP’s response to the 1991 crisis was to take the form of major new investments in tourism-related capacities at Kingsland, Christ Church, and Bushy Park, St Philip.
“If Barbados’ prosperity depended upon those projects coming on stream, we would now be sucking salt,” he added.
The St Peter MP suggested that the effectiveness of the DLP’s response to its crisis of 2008-2010 might come to be judged by the outcome of the investment at Pickering in St Lucy. (WG)