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Mottley: Working together is key

Gercine Carter

Mottley: Working together is key

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St. Michael North East MP Mia Mottley has suggested Barbados look beyond  these shores and consider offshore land reclamation and land lease in Guyanaas a means of boosting the island’s economy.
In her reply to the 2011-2012 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals laid in the House of Assembly Tuesday, Mottley warned “..if we don’t reclaim land off St. Lucy for manufacturing and heavy industry we will condemn ourselves to an energy industry that only gets taxation and royalties rather than starting to make fertiliser and ammonia and other downstream industries..”
She asked “why are we not having an initiative before us to capitalise a company that  leases a million acres in Guyana to buttress Barbados’ food security; that helps to build port facility off the Pomeroon in Guyana… going into the Rupununi and opening up Brazil to the Caribbean sea?”
Mottley called  for “a new governance and a new approach to the politics of development” and appealed to both sides of the House to work together to solve what she described as “the intractable problems of Barbados  such as garbage, productivity, the ability to effect the expansions and development needs of the country” all of which she said required  required a united approach.
“We in here, we oppose but we know in our heart of hearts that we can only fight down and wrestle down the problems of this country if we work together.” she said.
Mottley commended some features of the Budget, specifically citing those measures targeting the creative industries and motor racing. She viewed the latter as “an untapped event for niche market tourism as well as for domestic economic activity and (one which employs) the skills of our people who may be proficient in cars and rallying and mechanics but may not have 10 CXC’s.” Howver she charged  there was an absence of the fundamental  things in the Budget that made the future brighter for the average household and the average business
Mottley said even the combined efforts of the government and the Opposition would not be sufficient to raise Barbados from these difficult times and she chided Barbadians for a certain complacency. The Opposition member said  too often the population was prepared to stand back  and let the government and the Opposition and political parties do what they want to do, though the political parties did not have all the resources to stabilise the country.
Referring to the  budgetary measures related to land tax, Mottley claimed land tax would increase for some people rather than decrease according to the proposed formula in the Budget. Giving examples of how she perceived tax rates would be negatively affected by the proposed measures, Mottley called on the Minister of Finance to review his proposal in this area, saying she was not sure that a mistake had not been made.