A call has been issued for Barbadians to form a national assembly to counter the economic policies being pursued by the Freundel Stuart administration.
The suggestion is coming from University of the West Indies, Cave Hill lecturer Dr Tennyson Joseph, who insists that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), rather than Government, is behind the fiscal adjustment programme being instituted in the country.
Joseph, a political scientist, said social democrats such as political activist David Commissiong needed to present an alternative plan to the people in light of what he viewed as a crisis facing the ruling Democratic Labour Party, the main opposition Barbados Labour Party and trade unions.
“This group will present an alternative agenda and say how you manage yourselves in an economic crisis and you maintain a social economic agenda,” the political scientist said, as he warned of the likely effects of cutting free tertiary education and other social benefits that Barbadians had long enjoyed.
“The ultimate decision maker is the International Monetary Fund and the other external controllers of capital that determine what’s an appropriate policy. If the IMF makes policies and the Government implements it and there is no national resistance then all is well and good. If I tax you 25 per cent today and you didn’t resist, I will tax you 35 per cent tomorrow; and if you don’t resist, I will tax you 40 per cent the next [time]. But if there is resistance at the bottom, the Government will find itself incapable of doing what the IMF wants and then you had a different conversation,” he told Barbados TODAY
“The working people in their own spontaneous arrangement have to ignore the leadership and act spontaneously. When you begin to do that, you break the whole of the political party, you break the whole trade unions,” Joseph added.