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We need the best brains (2)


rhondathompson, [email protected]

We need the best brains (2)

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IMAGINE A BARBADOS where most households feel comfortable knowing their friends and family who are public servants are not victims of the worst economic recession known to man.
A country were school children can travel free on the public transport despite shrinking resources, and old age pensioners can have their electric bills paid through a caring Government.
   This is no dream or vision. It is occurring right here in our little Bim under the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) – a case of 21st century solutions to a 21st century economic crisis that is authored by uncertainty.
   These solutions will lead to a 21st century government having to restructure and reorder the way we do business. It is clear the previous administration lived for the day, with the expectations of future generations paying.
   In a recent address to Barbadians living overseas, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart assured Barbadians all was well and as country we had no reason to go the International Monetary Fund. These comments were recently confirmed by Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler. He predicted that Barbados’ annual growth will be about 2 percent while unemployment will come down to single digits.
   These comments were in tandem with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s outlook. We quoted from Sinckler and Stuart because these are two members of Team DLP who share the same view of what is taking place.
   Team DLP has been on the job delivering.
   On the other side there is the widening gap between the current Opposition Leader Arthur and his predecessor Mia. There are clear signs that all is not well in the hierarchy of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
   The constant emphasis on the rolling back of the state’s involvement in provision of social services has become the mantra of the Opposition. The only recognizable point of convergence in their public utterances is idea of dismantling our social safety net by outsourcing and privatizing.
   The irony of the debate placed in the public space by the Opposition is its political hypocrisy. Here is a political party that collected more than $200 million in value added tax at the time of its introduction and had a windfall of revenue during times of plenty. Now, during times of scarcity they are advising that we go after the poor and vulnerable. We are already aware of the austerity measures under the guise of “transform or perish” that have been penned to usher in an era of reform similar to that experienced in Greece.
   The Governor of the Central Bank review indicated we were on the right track. He reported our fiscal deficit was reduced from 9.1 percent of GDP to 5.4 per cent of GDP at the end of last year.
   However, he emphasized our major challenge was “international uncertainty, particularly as it affects the financial markets”.
   This concern is quite different from the vision of the Opposition, whose members believe we live in a bubble and our solution is to transform or perish by charging for services which currently cost taxpayers $50 million. They have constantly bombarded our public with this notion that our domestic agenda is not impacted by the international environment.
   We continue to see the slip of the Male Club-dominated Opposition and the intentions of the tested and tired Arthur.
   Of course, no one will attack the private sector for agreeing with the Governor’s comments. We will continue to ensure we stay on track as a 21st century caring Government applying 21st century solutions.
• Douglas Leopold Phillips is a pseudonym for the Democratic Labour Party.

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