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The following Independence message was submitted by president of Solutions Barbados, Grenville Phillips II.

This wonderful little island has been well positioned to succeed as an independent nation. We were provided with well-managed public services, a professional civil service and an active economy.

Then we were allowed to develop as an independent nation.

We have done well, despite our elected representatives’ habit of overspending. No matter how much they put us in debt, we were always able to bear the high taxes and pay our creditors.

There must come a time in our development when we realise that this cycle of overspending and severe austerity is not normal. It is simply bad economic management. We should not be paying some of the highest taxes of all nations on this planet.

If we are to prosper as an independent nation, we must all learn to work together outside of the election period. The Government seems to understand this and should be encouraged in its responsible efforts. However, those positive efforts can be overwhelmed by the constant negative political rhetoric.

During this time of austerity, the public needs some objective assurance that their sacrifices are not in vain. Solutions Barbados’ hope is that all opposition parties would publicly support Government’s good policies, provide practical improvements to its weak policies, and vigorously oppose its bad policies. All citizen should provide the Government with their best advice – even if it is rejected.

To facilitate this hope, the Government needs to start leading and stop blaming the last administration for every little thing. It was not a lost decade, only a badly managed one, as was the decade before that.

If we do not pull together, regardless of who is in Government, then we will pull this nation apart.

Happy Independence, everyone, from Solutions Barbados. (PR)