Opposition Member of Parliament Kerrie Symmonds has accused the Government of being half-hearted and uninspiring, and has cited frequent breaks from Parliament as an example.
Addressing a Christ Church East branch meeting of the Barbados Labour Party yesterday evening, he contended that the Government had no interest in having serious political discourse in Barbados.
“In fact, if you look at the state of play of this Government, then you are going to find that it has been a very lackadaisical and lacklustre performance in a critical time in this country’s development,” he said at the St Christopher Primary School.
As an example of what he sees as the Democratic Labour Party administration’s laid-back approach to governance, Symmonds, pointed to meetings of the House, which usually begin on Tuesdays
“Tuesdays are wasted days as far as Parliament is concerned,” he said, adding: “We are scheduled to begin by 10 o’clock. Hardly do we ever start by 10:30. By 12:30 you’re off to lunch. Lunch runs until 2:30.
“In 2001, the concept of a two-hour lunch was unheard of,” the MP said, reflecting on the time when the BLP commanded a majority in the House, and held the responsibility for ensuring that time for breaks between sessions were limited to that given in parliamentary rules. He said that in those days MPs were not allowed a break of over 45 minutes.
“So this idea of rocking back and doing nothing for two hours when the day comes is something that is new. And is one of these things that small though it may be . . . we’ve got to start to talk about it, because this is how the Government shies away from serious scrutiny and serious discussion.”
Further, he stated: “Easter came and we did a five-week break, and we came back to Parliament on [last] Tuesday to put arrangements in place so the Government could get its hands on another $1.3 billion, and we will now take another break for another three weeks”.
Contending that Barbados’ economics sectors and society were in need of urgent attention, he lamented: “The Government of Barbados has taken an eight-week period of long leave, a month or two before they go on their summer recess.”