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Opposition gets a knock

Carol Martindale

Opposition gets a knock

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THE OPPOSITION got a public scolding on Wednesday night from Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Lands Patrick Todd for being “highly irresponsible” in presenting a notion of doom and gloom to Barbadians.
In his response to the Budget Reply delivered by Opposition Leader Owen Arthur which was delivered just hours earlier, Todd said he was “rather disappointed” in the approach of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to the exercise.“I frown upon this completely,” he said.
Referring to Arthur’s repeated statement in his presentation that he wanted Barbados to succeed, Todd said he felt the BLP only wanted Barbados to succeed if they were in office.
Todd took issue as well with Arthur’s absence from House sittings, noting that last year he (Todd) “exposed the naked truth” that the BLP leader made few appearances in Parliament.
The City MP said that if Arthur, who he claims makes a six figure income, was no longer interested, he should give up his position, pointing out that taxpayers were paying the office he holds.
“The public will be left to judge the lack of interest of the Opposition,” he said.
In his open chiding of the BLP, Todd said members were confused in their vision of the way forward, adding that their inconsistencies would not deter the Government from forging ahead with its plan.
The MP, who spoke of the job well done by Finance minister Chris Sinckler on Tuesday when he delivered the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposal, said of particular significance to him was the energy grant of $5 million.
He underscored its importance in protecting the most vulnerable in society, particularly the elderly and those below the poverty line. “It is a hand-up, not a handout,” he said. He said it was also a measure to help people lift themselves out of the vicious cycle of poverty.
Todd said that all hands must be on deck right now, with each person trying to lift the other up.
The Minister of State also outlined some of the upcoming plans for some districts across Barbados. For example, he said, Government would be improving trenching in the Garden Land, while areas like Pile Bay, Gall Hill Number 2 and Ruby in St Philip were earmarked for some basic infrastructural road work and green spaces.
He said, too, that The City would not be left out, with areas like Cats Castle and Greenfields scheduled to benefit from an Inter-American Development Bank.