Citing further worsening of circumstances in the country, Mia Mottley last night renewed a call for Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to establish a group of leading thinkers to find a way out.
The Opposition Leader repeated the call, first made one year ago, as she lamented a worsening of the economy, pointing to downgrades by international rating agencies, layoffs, university students unable to get promised bursary assistance, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s chronic debt to suppliers, and the recent Sagicor announcement that it intends to move its domicile to a country with a better international financial rating.
“I say the time has come for us to demand [that] Freundel Stuart form a group. If you don’t want to call it the eminent persons group, you could call it whatever name you want,” Mottley said at a meeting of the Barbados Labour Party’s St Lucy branch at the Darryl Jordan Secondary School.
Insisting that she wanted to see the country’s economic problems addressed in a partisan manner, the Opposition Leader added: “The country is bleeding . . . and we have to put every allegiance aside to stop this country from bleeding . . . Bring the best and the most caring and let us get to the task of saving Barbados such that the fate of this country would not be the same fate as Sagicor in leaving this country’s domicile after 175 years.
“When we finish stop the bleeding then we can take back up [political] positions for the country to decide who can truly govern this country and take it to the next level.”
When Mottley first made the call in January 2014, former BLP leader Owen Arthur publicly dismissed the idea.
Mottley acknowledged that last night but insisted, “the Barbados Labour Party still believes that all hands on deck are needed”.
“We do not believe that we have all the answers but we believe that we have the confidence of the people in the country and are secure in ourselves to relate to the people of the country,” she said.
“The intent of my speech is to say that Barbados is bleeding and we need an intervening act. There has to be an intervening act because people can’t take three and a half more years of this.
“We have reached a point now where time is running out on us,” Mottley added, accusing Government of making empty promises while more Barbadians fell into hard times.
“In the name of the people of this country, I say to Freundel Stuart, do decent by Barbados. This is not about an electoral victory . . . This is about serving our country and protecting a way of life,” the BLP leader added.