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Marshall: Estimates reflect failed policies


Marshall: Estimates reflect failed policies

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THE FIGURES IN the Estimates are indefensible and are not worth the paper they are printed on.

Former Government minister Dale Marshall levelled those harsh criticisms yesterday as debate on the Estimates in the House of Assembly moved into day three.

The Member of Parliament for St Joseph said the document clearly paints a picture of failed government policies, even though efforts were made to disguise this by having what he called feel good measures.

Marshall contended that the administration was engaged in initiatives aimed at distracting Barbadians from the real hardship they are facing, a process he described as bread and circuses.

He spoke candidly about the water shortage problem facing residents in his constituency and other parishes, juxtaposing this against the celebration of Barbados’ 50th anniversary of Independence, which is projected to cost in the region of $5 million.

“The people of my constituency do not have water today. They did not have water yesterday. I have constituents who have not had running water for 68 consecutive days. Individuals in Airy Hill who are now into day 32, but although this is happening the people of my constituency and St Thomas ad others are to be treated to parish by parish celebration telling them “Oh how good life is” when in truth and in fact they know they did not even have water to take a bath,” he stated.

Marshall also took issue with the reduction in funds to the Rural Development Commission (RDC) to $4 million and the Urban Development Commission (UDC) to $8 million.

He said $11 million was set aside for the RDC in the 2006-2007 period, while the UDC was given $13 million plus an additional $11 million for poverty alleviation.

Additionally, the Opposition member said he was looking forward to debate on the heads.

“We want to get to the heads and we want to hear about agriculture. We want to hear about the $500 million sugar factory to be built in Andrews when the production of sugar for this year is expected to be about 7 000 tonnes,” Marshall told the House. (WILLCOMM)