’10 000 without jobs’
DEPUTY?OPPOSITION?Leader Dale Marshall thinks that Barbados has changed from a prosperous nation to one where there “is an overpowering sense of poverty and helplessness”.
Speaking in the House of Assembly on Thursday night in response to the 2011 financial statement and budgetary proposals, Marshall said that more than 10 000 had become jobless over the last three years.
“Barbados has changed from a nation that enjoyed the best employment rate in the region and among the best in the world to having lost 11 to 12 000 jobs in the last three years.
“We have changed from a manageable deficit to unmanageable deficit. We have changed from good governance to near a year now without a Chief Justice. We have changed from pride to desperation and from optimism to despair,” he said.
According to Marshall, some Government ministers disappointingly did not even deal with issues that concerned their ministries.
“The Member for St James Central talked about all kinds of things but didn’t say a single word about international business; the Minister of Tourism spoke on a variety of issues but on no occasion did he touch on any of the incentives or promises made in this budget which touched or concerned his ministry; the Minister of Housing didn’t do it and the Ministry of Agriculture didn’t do it,” he said.
Marshall said his administration had incurred a national debt of $3 billion over a three- year period as compared to the $3 billion debt that the current administration had incurred over the last three years.
“This administration has borrowed perhaps in the region of $1 billion a year, but what do they have to show for it. We borrowed $3 billion but we have much to show for it? We have a new Coast Guard headquarters, we have a new Coast Guard fleet, we have a prison, we have a highway, we have the Hilton Hotel, we have Edutech, we have Kensington Oval, we have the airport expansion project.
“Barbados has all of these things which they can hold up as being proof of the debt that this country incurred under our administration. But when we ask what it is this country can hold up over the last three years, we are given the Government’s favourite oxymoron, something called free bus fares. We are given constituency councils and we are given summer camps,” he said.
The two-term Member of Parliament for St Joseph said that Barbadians were reeling under a vast increase in prices which he said ran entirely counter to the promise by the Government during the General Election of 2008.
“No growth in the economy. High unemployment. High cost of living. What’s there in any of these proposals for any of the sectors of Barbados that are productive?” Marshall queried. (MK)