Historian and university lecturer Dr Henderson Carter says Barbadians should pay the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, but march for cheaper university fees.
Delivering a lecture on the role of women in the 1937 rebellion last night, Carter said payment of the tax is about righting the economy and preserving affordable education and health care and will ensure that the country never returns to the socially repressive times of 1937.
“I am one who believes that we should pay the Solid Waste Tax and I believe that because the Government wants revenue. I would rather pay the tax than to have the currency devalued and to have my money that is in the bank worth nothing. So I rather pay $200 or $300,” he told the audience in the Public Library, Fairchild Street.
“I think that we ought to come together as a people; as a country band ourselves together and rescue this economy . . . I’m very worried about the downgrades, I’m very worried about the unfavourable Central Bank reports, I’m very worried about the IMF [International Monetary Fund] medicine that could come and what could happen to the economy.”
The historian cited Barbados’ high standard of living which outshines most countries in the hemisphere, and credited affordable education and health care for that achievement.
“I believe we should be marching for these things, not marching, because we don’t want to pay Solid Waste Tax at $400 or so,” he said.
“When you look at the arithmetic of it, if you have to send a child to university, you pay over $6,000. That is greater than $400 and, rightly, we have to march for that.”
Following a presentation on the outstanding actions of women in the 1937 rebellion, which he said was a protest against depravation and social inequality, Carter drew relevance to actions today that must preserve the gains of Barbadians.
“This rebellion occurred 77 years ago. What must be our agenda today? Our agenda for women, and for men too, must be to agitate, educate, and rescue. Women must continue to strive for a policy of access to health and education for all in Barbados, even if we have as a society to pay a special tax for these things,” Carter said.