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No time ‘to waste’


HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, [email protected]

No time ‘to waste’

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THERE WILL BE NO GRASS GROWING under the feet of Prime Minister Mia Mottley and her 26-member Cabinet.

Yesterday, she signalled to hundreds of people who had gathered at the Bay Street Esplanade for the swearing-in ceremony, that she and her ministers would be hitting the ground running from this morning with a meeting with members of the Social Partnership and another in the afternoon to “confront the situation of our debt”.

“There is no time for pause and there is certainly no place for triumphalism and exhortation. We have serious work to do and serious problems to solve,” she declared yesterday.

As such, she revealed Cabinet would be meeting twice weekly, starting from tomorrow.

“We are eager to work first thing [this] morning in the full service of the people of this country. [This] morning we shall meet with the Social Partnership and as I promised in the absence of an Opposition, that I shall meet with the leadership of the Social Partnership twice a month until we have got Barbados back to a position of safety and stability.

“And similar [this] afternoon after that, we confront the issue of our debt and foreign reserve issues to allow all ideas to contend, because we accept that our decisions and actions must be urgent to stave off the worst,” she said.

The Prime Minister further revealed ministers would be meeting to discuss the South Coast Sewage Treatment Plant and its issues; bus and transportation problems, as well as the woes plaguing the Sanitation Service Authority.

In addition, Mottley announced a number of changes, including that parliamentarians would have to declare their assets but that information would be held confidential until integrity legislation had been passed; there would be regular
post-Cabinet briefings to keep the public informed, and ministers would not be accepting their ten per cent salary cut until public workers had been taken care of.

Question Time

And parliamentarians would find themselves fielding questions not only from fellow parliamentarians, but from the public as well in what she called Question Time.

In addition, Prime Minister Mottley said they would be enacting fit for purpose freedom of information legislation, and would remove the current provisions in the General Orders that prohibited senior public servants from engaging with the media.

The island’s first female Prime Minister also issued a warning to her fellow Cabinet ministers – slip up and they would be dealing with her.

“I do assure the people of Barbados that their recent generosity towards the candidates of the Barbados Labour Party would not be misused or abused,” she told her cheering audience.

“On the contrary, I have already warned some of my parliamentary members that if I ever find it necessary in the interest of fair play and balance,
I am perfectly willing to convert myself into the most formidable leader of Opposition,” she declared. (HLE)

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