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DLP: Removing curfew not enough

DLP: Removing curfew not enough

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The Mia Mottley administration must do everything it can to “to safeguard lives and livelihoods by keeping Covid at bay” because removing the curfew alone is not enough to sustain employment and get Barbados back on track.

That is the message coming from the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in a statement issued on Wednesday evening.

The DLP said Government did not fully enforce the travel protocols in December last year and that resulted in a “six-month setback to our economy”.

“As we look set to reopen the country come the 1st of July, it is hoped that the Mottley led administration has learned from the mistakes of the past and will not play fast and loose with the travel protocols going forward. Because let’s face it – Barbadians have obeyed the directives and followed the guidance of the medical practitioners,” the statement said.

It recognised the difficulty the entertainment, transport and leisure sectors endured with “no meaningful stimulus package” being declared and they needed a lifeline.

The full statement follows:

The Democratic Labour Party is pleased with the progress the country has made since lapsed travel protocols and complacency in December last year resulted in a six-month setback to our economy.

As we look set to reopen the country come the 1st of July, it is hoped that the Mottley led administration has learned from the mistakes of the past and will not play fast and loose with the travel protocols going forward. Because let’s face it – Barbadians have obeyed the directives and followed the guidance of the medical practitioners.

Government must now do all in its power to safeguard lives and livelihoods by keeping Covid at bay, particularly as variant strains have already shown up on our shores.

We need no reminder of the enormous difficulties small and medium-sized businesses experienced during the last six months, particularly those related to entertainment, transport and leisure, and for whom no meaningful stimulus package has been declared.

When set alongside the body blows dealt by the rising fuel prices – which impact on the cost of everything from utilities to storage and transport – and recognising that entrepreneurs, smalls and medium-sized businesses contribute significantly to the provision of sustainable employment in Barbados, it is our hope that the Government will recognise that simply removing the curfew is not enough.

The economy will not fix itself; a lifeline needs to be thrown to these businesses which have been hemorrhaging in the last six months. If there is to be any hope of recouping the approximate 20 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and thousands of jobs lost during the lockdown, no efforts must be spared in protecting this nation while supporting the revitalisation of our economy.

The Democratic Labour Party wishes all Barbadians well and a safe return to normalcy. (PR/SAT)