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Atherley: Keep people informed

HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, [email protected]

Atherley: Keep people informed

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Let the people know the pain they will have to bear as a result of any measures taken to revive the island’s flagging economy.

And, said the island’s new Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley, don’t let the people bear that pain alone.

“I would want to call on the Government very early, as far as they are able to do, let us know what is the pain we will have to bear. Let us know what will be the social costs or outfall resulting from a programme with the IMF. Barbados needs to be prepared for this as well,” he declared.

Atherley made the comments at a Press conference in his new role in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Buildings yesterday.

The representative for St Michael West, who won on a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) ticket before crossing the floor after the BLP was swept to power in a 30-0 routing of the Democratic Labour Party, said he supported Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s approach to “frontally address our dire economic circumstances as reflected in our high debt levels, both domestic debt and foreign debt, and the perilous state of our foreign reserves”.

But he urged Mottley to stick to a campaign platform promise to keep Barbadians informed about the sacrifices they will have to make to put the island’s economy back on an even keel.

“If we can shape a robust, homegrown and viable homegrown programme in the context of a relationship with the International Monetary Fund, I believe that will buy us some economic breathing space,” Atherley told the media yesterday.

“It certainly will create a situation where we will become more attractive to investors and it will make it perhaps a little more easy for us to present ourselves to international borrowing partners.”

As a result, he said, he supported the measures as they related to the “context of the partnership with labour and the private sector and other entities”.

Warning that there were difficult times ahead for Barbadians, Atherley urged the new Government to remember that it had said that when the pain was to be borne and sacrifices made, they should not all fall on the shoulders of the workers of Barbados. (HLE)