A former member of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP), who is planning to contest the next general election as an independent, has accused the Freundel Stuart-led Government of not taking the advice of its own economic advisers.
And, according to Randall Rouse, the party that forms the next Government will have to make some tough decisions as a result.
Rouse, who will seek to win the St Joseph seat when the election bell tolls, criticized Government for not properly tackling the growing fiscal deficit.
“The Government is not listening to anybody. They are not listening to the unions, the private sector, the Opposition. They are not even listening to the persons who are advising them on economic matters,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“Until I see a change of attitude and better communication from this Government, I have no real means to say that they are doing anything positive, because from this standpoint they are doing nothing that is positive at this present moment.”
Rouse, who entered elective politics back in 1994 as a member of the now defunct National Democratic Party before aligning himself with the DLP, ran on the latter party’s ticket in St Joseph in three consecutive elections, but lost each time.
Speaking at the opening of his constituency office in Sugar Hill yesterday, Rouse warned that the controversial increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy from two to ten per cent on July 1, would result in a bleak Christmas season for many Barbadians, because of the noticeable price hikes in supermarkets and retail stores.
He said he hoped that whoever won the next general election, which is constitutionally due next year, would make reasonable and necessary decisions to save Barbados’ economy.
“No matter which party wins the next general election, we have to bite the bullet. We have things we need to correct and there is no getting away from it. There is no magic wand that will be swung [after] the general election and everything will be back to normal,” he warned.
“Whenever the next government is formed, serious decisions will [have to] be taken [regarding] the economic wellbeing of Barbados.”
For his part, Rouse said if he won the St. Joseph seat, he would ensure that residents would benefit from better roads, bus access and health care.
Although he has so far failed to convince constituents to elect him as their representative, he is confident of a win this time around and has dismissed talk that the incumbent, the Barbados Labour Party’s Dale Marshall, will bury him at the polls.
“I hope that Dale Marshall knows that I am very much alive. I will be a thorn in his side; and rather than talking about burying me, I think he should be talking about representing the people of St Joseph,” the community activist pointedly said.