Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Mia Mottley has suggested she was not losing any sleep over the emergence of three new political parties here in recent times.
The United Progressive Party (UPP) under the chairmanship of former BLP senator Lynette Eastmond was the last of the new parties to emerge when it was launched last week, following on the heels of the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) and Solutions Barbados.
Both BIM and the UPP are said to comprise disgruntled BLP rejects, while Solutions Barbados has said it was interested in successful business leaders only.
With the BLP preparing to celebrate its 79th anniversary next month, Mottley told reporters on the weekend she was not bothered by the new parties.
“We have seen parties come and we have seen parties go; we have seen people come and we have seen people go; we have been the official opposition twice and had that removed from us on two occasions, yet we went on to win the Government,” she said.
The Opposition Leader made it clear her attention was on her party and doing all she could to have the BLP returned to office for the same of Barbadians.
She contended that whenever the BLP was in office people’s lives were improved, and she listed a number of accomplishments, including the establishment of various tenantries, to back her claim.
At the same time, she said the governing Democratic Labour Party had done little for Barbadians, even after the Grotto and Valarie housing projects were taken into consideration.
Mottley also pointed to the issue of the cost of tertiary education, reiterating the BLP’s position that the party was opposed
to the imposition of tuition fees on
Barbadian students attending the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).
In a bid to reduce the transfer to UWI by $42 million a year, the Freundel Stuart administration announced in 2013 that for the first time in post-Independent Barbados, Barbadians would have to pay tuition fees to attend the university, leading to a steep decline in enrolment.
“We’ve been very clear since August 2013 when the Government announced it.
We do not believe and we will not be charging fees at the University of the West Indies for Barbadians,” Mottley vowed.
“People take education seriously if they want to succeed, and no child in this country, whether poor or middle class, should be deprived of education. We have to make sure that every child in this country, regardless of where they come from, has the ability to be able to be the best that they can be . . . and that is without compromise, the basis upon which our development should proceed,” she added.