Mottley sends message to business community from Golden Square
Vendors who dot the landscape in an everyday struggle to earn a living, should find solace as the first law to be dealt with by a new republic Parliament on Friday is aimed at giving them an ease.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the legislation will create a new deal that will stop making them criminals for wanting to support their families.
“This has been in the works for over six decades and the stories of how many people in this country are only here, because of the extent to which their parents and grandparents were able to take sun and rain in order to sell so that they could keep you in school and keep you in body and soul together; it is time, it is time, it is time,” she told the audience at Golden Square Freedom Park during the bestowing of the Independence Day honours today.
To the business people she said no one owed them a living and that they must earn their way first within the Caribbean single market and also beyond in the Americas and the wider world.
Mottley stated that while the business owners have become accustomed to selling here and living well, the last ten to 12 years had shown “that no matter what we did locally it was not sufficient in order to create goods and services to maintain our quality of life”.
With a broad smile, she told CARICOM visitors attending the ceremony, including representatives from Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua and Barbuda, if they saw Barbadian business people coming, treat them well as we have done to them.
Mottley again called for direct bridges to be built with Africa to “remove the middle passage, the middle man and the middle leg to allow for direct engagement with our brothers and sisters”.
The Prime Minister also sounded a word of caution to business operators.
“I ask you as businesses to recognise that without your workers you can do nothing and therefore the first respect must be paid to those who work with you and for you,” she said.
Against this backdrop, she said there would be no apology offered for not serving up labour as the sacrificial lambs when difficult decisions had to be made to stabilise the economy when they took office in 2018. (AC)