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Cost of living top priority

Carol Martindale

Cost of living top priority

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Barbadians have been assured that the concerning issue of the rising cost of living is getting the full attention of his Government.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says the aim is to “keep basic food in easy reach of average consumers”.
His comments were made tonight during a televised interview with CBC which was aired at 8.
Stuart said last Thursday’s Cabinet meeting devoted much time to this issue.
“The cost of living is a very critical problem especially where it relates to food,” he said, realising that people are more concerned with food prices when discussing this issue.
He said officials are now looking at the basket of goods with a view to expanding it, noting that some items are still subjected to Value Added Tax (VAT). He said they were also looking to have some items in the basket zero-rated.
The Prime Minister said they were also trying to sensitize the public so they can make the distinction between their wants and needs. He also noted that given the importance of diet and nutrition, it is important that the cost of food be within the reach of the average consumer.
Stuart said commodity prices of grain, wheat, corn and rice have experienced “dizzying increases”. He said this was obviously a cause of concern as Barbados was import-oriented and would feel the effects.