Bajan identity at risk, says Mottley
Barbados as we know it is now at stake as a result of the measures outlined in the 2013 Budget, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has warned.
In her response to yesterday’s presentation by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, Mottley wasted no time in criticizing the Budgetary Proposals as a set of “lucky dip measures” that were not connected, cautioning that they would cement intergenerational poverty, pauperization of the middle class and consolidation of wealth in the hands of the few.
She identified one of the most controversial measures – Government’s decision to stop paying tuition fees for University of the West Indies, requiring people to pull their own pocket – as one of the measures which would not augur well for the future of this country.
But Mottley said it goes much further.
“Our identity as Barbadians has been questioned and put at risk by the measures delivered by the Minister of Finance last night and it wasn’t only in the removal of fees for university education – the ultimate betrayal of not just his party but of this country – but it was also in the inability to appreciate that his measures constitute a lucky dip of measures designed to achieve one thing, the unlocking of US$50 million in the first instance from the IDB, but without a coherent strategy to reposition a country,” she said.
“It caused us, Sir, to recognize that that identity and what it means to be a Barbadian, to work hard and to be given a fair chance to achieve have been put at risk . . . such that the outcome of these initiatives may well be the cementing of the remaining intergenerational poverty in this country which, by their own study, has moved from 13 per cent to 20 per cent; the pauperization of the middle class, in particular those who are 55 and over who fear that they may lose all that they have worked for and do not have enough time to regain before they stop working in the life the Lord has given them to live; but, worse of all, the consolidation of wealth in the hands of a few.”
The Opposition Leader contended that for there were many Barbadians whose dreams had been put to an end by the measures in the Budget. (DP)