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FULL STORY: Arthur may leave BLP

Tim Slinger

FULL STORY: Arthur may leave BLP

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FORMER PRIME MINISTER Owen Arthur has hinted he may very well call it quits from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
Speaking to the WEEKEND NATION yesterday, Arthur, who was the only one of the Opposition’s 14-member parliamentary group not to participate in his party’s protest march yesterday, said he had become fed up with being always targeted as a source of discord.
“I am tired of being the source of discord in the Barbados Labour Party and I am going to have to put myself in a position where I am no longer in such a context,” he said.
The former prime minister added that he would make a determination on the matter very shortly.
He also said his absence from the march against the municipal solid waste tax was a position of principle, since under his leadership of Government he had introduced an environmental levy to deal with a wide range of issues facing the country at that time, including the “Mount Stinkeroo” situation.
“I am the only person in Barbados who could not with honour have been part of a march which could take action against the Government for seeking to raise resources to finance environmental solutions,” he added.
Arthur noted that he had not called for a total repeal of the solid waste tax “because I recognise that if you have a $1.8 billion problem some of the solutions may be difficult”.
However, the former Prime Minister said he was opposed to any proposal to tax water and as a result could not support his party’s proposal on the matter, which called for a complete repeal of the solid waste tax and a suggestion to hike water rates.
“I don’t support what my party is proposing because what my party is proposing in my view is worse than what the Dems have suggested and therefore I abstain.”
Arthur also spoke about recent statements from the party’s economic adviser Clyde Mascoll that the country could soon be on its way to a set of measures instituted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“I want the people of Barbados to know that if that is what we have to do, that the resulting policies would be worse than any solid waste tax or any tax on water,” he added.
Arthur said his stance on certain issues always left him in a position where he appeared to be a source of discord within the party.