Government “is sending” home workers but is too cowardly to tell Barbadians so.
Calling it “the great betrayal”, Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley said the first signs of this emerged last week when 36 Barbados Water Authority workers were put on the breadline during debate on the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
She was speaking last night at National Heroes Square during a Barbados Labour Party meeting on the topic Budget 2013- All Against Come And Say No.
“They are so cowardly they don’t want to come and say that they are sending home anybody,” Mottley said.
“So what is (Minister of Finance) Chris (Sinckler) doing? Tell the (Permanent Secretaries) send them home, tell the chairman of the board send them home, tell the CEO send them home. Do you believe that you can cut $200 million in 18 months from statutory boards and not result in jobs being lost?
“Who are you trying to fool? I say it is the great betrayal and little by little by little, just as happened with the (Barbados) Water Authority on Thursday, Budget ain’t done, 36 people gone home at the Barbados Water Authority… right off the bat. But this country needs leadership and this country needs inspired leadership,” she added.
Mottley also said by its actions government had shown the Budget was about stabilizing the economy while protecting the interests of the ruling Democratic Labour Party.
She referred to “at least $20 million in political spend that this government is trying to protect”, naming $6 million for Constituency Councils, $6 million for summer camps, and $8 million for free bus fares.
“From 2008 we told David Thompson ‘you cannot tax an economy back to growth’. We told them that this economy needed to grow, that you needed to put oxygen back in the economy, you needed to put money in people’s pockets to get spending going again because we know how Bajans behave,” she said.
“If you have a capital program and people (are) working on construction sites they go and they take their money and on a Friday evening they hold a little drink, …and then they hold some money for the children mother and the money spends from the shop to the supermarket to all bout.
“But this government insisted not on developing and spending money on entities that would hire people in the future like we did with the sea port and the airport and schools and all of that, this government insisted on spending money that you couldn’t get back, dead money.”
The BLP leader said while her party was conscious Barbados was “in a serious situation” that “there has to be adjustment”, it should be done in way that “honour the values that are Barbadian, the things that mean something to Bajans, and then cut in a way that does not hurt the very same Bajans who we are trying to protect and … that creates a platform for growth”.
“This is a wicked government and I make no apologies for saying so because the people you have chosen to attack are the people who can least afford the attack,” she stated. “I accept that people making money in this country got to pay something, but you cannot so impose all of the burden on the same people and then you come to the very people at the bottom and you cause them now to pay what little they have.” (SC)