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BLP COLUMN: More DLP waste

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

BLP COLUMN: More DLP waste

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BLP legacy: progressively reduced land tax rates; wrote off $5.3 million in land tax arrears, interest and penalties; introduced a 25 per cent corporation tax for qualifying small businesses and a 150 per cent manufacturers allowance of the cost of purchasing plant and machinery; and reduced corporation tax rate.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s recent pious declaration that the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) “feels the pain” of Barbadians being devasted by the abject failure of his administration’s economic policies has come to be regarded as the “Dems mekking mock sport at we”.
This follows the disclosure by Opposition Leader Owen Arthur that the DLP was once again hell bent on another bout of cynical political extravagance at the expense of a people being made paupers by its money-sucking taxation and other decaying policies.
The bitter memories are still fresh in a resentful public’s mind of how late last year the DLP shamelessly spent and flaunted at least $335 710 of increasingly scarce taxpayers’ money on the David Thompson Memorial Community Soccer Classic.
It was designed to repolish the image of the late Prime Minister Thompson and that of the Stuart Government severely blemished, for example, by the sordid mess of CLICO, the Four Seasons project, broken promises to reduce the cost of living, ever climbing unemployment and a stagnant economy.
Now the country has been shocked into disbelief that having already treated the public to the Big Beach Bash, the DLP could be so barefaced as to propose to stage another circus of doubtful sporting merit.
This time, the plan is to mount the Calypso Democratic Franchise T20 Championship (cricket) at the same Kensington Oval the DLP had labelled a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) white elephant, for which the BLP is demanding clear assurances that it will not directly or indirectly be financed by the cash-strapped public.
This DLP cricket tournament is at this stage projected to cost the public $513 000, but we are very familiar with the Dems’ concept and practice of “hidden costs and unforeseen eventualities” where public spending is concerned.
Apart from the fact that one thing that Barbadians are not demanding is more T20 or any other form of cricket, is the fact that each of the eight franchises will cost $50 000, thereby automatically excluding the “small black man” the DLP once claimed to champion until it came to the awarding of housing and other building contracts.
But the BLP is not surprised since, as was the case with the football exercise, the DLP sees the role of small businesses in the coming cricket tournament to being restricted to vending which it pathetically sought to promote as its solution for generating economic and job creating activity.
Meanwhile, Owen Arthur has committed a new BLP Government to the removal of DLP taxes on allowances to bring relief to the middle class and help stimulate and rebuild the economy.
The public recognises this self-serving DLP attempt to divert focus from their worsening economic state by staging cricket after Crop Over.
Stuart, who speaks much about circuses, knows that “feeling good” from partying and cricket will not erase the 2011 Auditor General’s report on financial violations of the Constituency Councils and further increases in gas and diesel prices.
• Beresford Leon Padmore is a pseudonym for the Barbados Labour Party.