Government Senator Harry Husbands is recommending a “one stop shop” to deal with the speedy implementation of an offer from the Maria Holder Children’s Charity, for the construction of several nursery schools in Barbados.
Addressing the Upper Chamber during the 2013 to 2014 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, Husbands, the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, noted the bureaucracy involved in the acceptance of this offer.
“We should establish a one stop shop, made up of housing, town and country planing to make a decision. It makes no sense sending the Maria Holder Trust to housing, town planning… They are in the business of charitable donations, not land acquisition; that is my recommendation if the programme is to be successful,” Husbands stated.
The senator advised that the schools would not cost taxpayers anything and that the Government should use the most efficient way to accepting this gift from the charity.
He also disclosed that the Government itself planned to build new nursery schools at Sayes Court, St. Albans, Holders Hill and in St. John, adding that these new schools would solve, in part, the problem of a lack of space.
Husbands also announced that a settlement criteria for the debt Government owed to the University of the West Indies had been worked out and was now before Cabinet.
“Payment will be made immediately,” he added.
On another issue, Husbands told the Upper Chamber that real economic growth for Barbados could not occur unless it is export led. He was at the time “dismissing” the Opposition “notion” that real growth came through construction.
“This is a no-brainer,” Husbands suggested.
He said he was of the view that there was economic collapse during one period of the previous Barbados Labour Party Administration, because “the BLP growth came from construction”.
The former educator and trade union leader observed that the Barbados economy was too small on its own to have sustainable growth. In an apparent reference to former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, he said the “grand daddy of all economists who sat at the feet of the various economists throughout the region … why is it so self-evident to me and I didn’t study it?” asked Husbands rhetorically.
He described the BLP’s criticism of the Government’s policies as the kitchen sink approach, where if the administration went left, the Opposition would say it should go right and visa versa.
Husbands reminded the chamber of the Government’s vision for the future development of Barbados as recorded in its 2013 manifesto.
“Socially balanced, economically viable, economically sound practices and based on good governance,” he recited. (EJ)