DLP COLUMN: Don’t trust the Bees
Britain is forcing Stephen Jobling, 27, a nurse at Lincoln County Hospital in eastern England, and his stroke patients to defend the nation’s AAA credit rating. Staffing where he works was reduced by about half in Britain’s deepest drive since World War II to shrink its deficit. Austerity doesn’t pay.
During some shifts, staff reductions have left 20 patients in the care of him and two assistants, down from seven or eight workers, he said. In one case, he and two assistants struggled to care for a patient who had stopped breathing as another was choking on dinner. “It’s just crazy,” Jobling says. “We had to choose which patients to save.” Austerity doesn’t pay.
“The goal was to avoid losing the top credit score, which might risk higher interest expenses,” according to the government of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.
Nobel laureate economics professor at Princeton University, Paul Krugman, said: “You’re kind of in an endless downward loop here, where you cut; and the fiscal prospect looks worse, so to keep the rating agencies happy, you cut more.
“ . . . The austerity policies prized by the rating companies have the global economy on the brink of renewed recession . . . . Their austerity is leading to depressed economies, which is worsening fiscal prospects,” Krugman said in an interview on May 9.
The government of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron seeks to shrink its deficit to avoid losing the nation’s AAA credit rating.
The Democratic Labour Party is asked by Owen Austerity Arthur to please S&P and abandon the people. The governor of the Central Bank in Britain, Mervyn King, was recently quoted in an address to lawmakers earlier this year as saying: “I don’t think we should be slaves to the ratings agencies.”
The Democratic Labour Party will not be devaluing the dollar and the Government is not likely to default on its inherited debt obligation. The global governance institutions (IMF/WB) are revisiting their projections of growth throughout the Eurozone as a compendium of economic woes continue to unfold in Spain, France, Britain and Greece.
The policy agenda of the current administration has been to be fiscally responsible.
Our policy measures to reduce the fiscal deficit, lower government debt and expenditure and improve revenue collection cannot be flawed. We have kept our policy in place with regards to employment in the public sector, a policy criticized by the Opposition. The biggest increase in public sector employment came in the 14 years of BLP’s rule – all of whom are still employed. We have heard the news coming out of Britain’s Office for Budget Responsibility where the government has plans to cut more than 700 000 public jobs, which will include teachers, nurses, prison officers and police.
The Opposition has asked that we stick slavishly to the dictates of the rating agencies, which according to some are doing more damage than good to economies. It is the Opposition’s belief the economy drives people, as opposed to our people driving the economy.
Our call to office is not defined by putting money in the pockets of a few, but putting people first. Every single policy that uplifts our people as enunciated by the Freundel Stuart-led DLP Government has been criticized by the BLP for the sake of opposing. The politics of opportunism, the blood that flows through the veins of the Opposition, is throbbing. We will ensure our political vessels don’t burst. Barbadians, beware the stinging Bees!
• Douglas Leopold Phillips is a pseudonym for the Democratic Labour Party.