DLP COLUMN: Two Arthurs, one Bim
Call the election now! This was the immediate response from Opposition Leader Owen Arthur to news of the latest downgrade of the country’s investment rating by international rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P). Arthur also called on Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell to resign, saying the country had lost confidence in his financial advice. “This situation is serious,” he said in appealing for fresh elections.
“Tell the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and Standards & Poor’s that we have been elected as the people’s representatives to look after the people’s welfare. The same way that President Obama could find the resources to fix the banks and the car industry, we on a lesser scale but equally responsible understand our duty to the poor of our country,” said the Opposition Leader in response to the IMF and S&P at the Barbados Labour Party’s meeting at Sayes Court last Sunday.
Hear Prime Minister and Democratic Labour Party leader Freundel Stuart on the occasion of the 57th annual conference of the party on August 19 . . . .
“Some of the critics of the Government fail to acknowledge the limitations of their economic training. They pretend to demonstrate a divinely inspired belief in the correctness of their normative analyses. The Government understands that in the realm of public policy, choices must be made.
“My approach to this task is guided by a philosophy to ensure that any choice we make maximizes the net social benefits that will accrue to the society. The Government’s decision to invest in taxpayer-funded public transport for children of school age and summer camps represents prime examples of our approach to decision making . . . .
“The task of designing and implementing a plan for the transformation of our economy has fallen to the Government of the DLP now under my leadership. Such an undertaking is, ordinarily, best implemented during a period of robust economic performance . . . .
“The sugar which was the leading sector that generated the surplus required for financing our infrastructural development over the years has been experiencing a deep structural decline since the 1980s. The tourism and hospitality industry, which has taken up the slack created by the decline in the sugar sector, continues, however, to demonstrate dynamism. The Government has seized every opportunity, therefore, to enlarge airlift, expand and diversify market access, diversify the industry and create new attractions . . . .
“Our continuing contribution to education and training is critical to the creation of an environment that will facilitate the pursuit of entrepreneurial activities by our youth, and ensure the evolution of a more highly diversified economy capable of ensuring high valued added goods and services account for a larger share of foreign earnings and national production.
“We commenced the important task of addressing the environmental and balance of payments challenges associated with the high prices of fossil fuel energy products by encouraging the use of alternative sources of energy. The Government is leading by example.
“We are committed to a green economy policy which is expected to create new employment opportunities, enhance environmental quality, contribute to safer food supplies and enable us to take our place in the world with other nations in the multinational drive to moderate global warming.”
• Douglas Leopold Phillips is a pseudonym for the Democratic Labour Party.