The following statement was issued today by General Secretary of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) George Pilgrim.
FULL TEXT OF STATEMENT
A general election will be called in Barbados in the coming months. The people of Barbados will be asked to choose between candidates from different political parties. The recent comments on public transportation from a key spokesman on economic policy from the Barbados Labour Party provides voters with a clear example of the philosophical divide between the Democratic Labour Party and the Barbados Labour Party. The guest speaker, who is a key person in the Barbados Labour Party economic team, sought to link the amount of cars on the road to a reduced need for access to public transportation. The logic of the statement is that because more Barbadians now own cars, it is legitimate to privatize public transportation and put hundreds of hard working public sector workers on the breadline.
The irony of the statement being made is that the lecture was held in the auditorium of the Barbados Workers’ Union. The very same movement that embraces the Transport Board as a bastion of support and yet not a word from the Councils of the union. The alliance of party and union has been so real that a threat to the union membership can be issued on the grounds of the BWU.
The Democratic Labour Party is asking the public to dissect the speech delivered by the spokesperson on Finance and acknowledge the Opposition’s loud calls for a return to the failed Edu Tech programme and a relationship with the road building company of 3 S. Two distinguishing features of the former administration which help to define their politics of inclusion.
The Opposition’s slip is beginning to show as the declared intentions towards the Treasury are now public. The spokesman in a very cavalier manner addresses the issue of flyovers bridges and tunnels as if these are obtained in LEGO Land.
“If physical infrastructure improvements are required whether flyovers, bridges tunnels …let us get them done and move on …. If it meant introducing a toll system, that measures should be taken ..”
The DLP is pilloried by special interest groups for keeping the International Monetary Fund at bay, we are balked at for keeping jobs and marched against for spreading the responsibility of taxes. However, without telling Barbadians how funds are going to be raised, a key opposition spokesman is rolling out a suite of major expenditures, while hinting at a toll tax.
The Democratic Labour Party is on record as reminding Barbadians, the government is focused on finding ways and means of spurring growth. It is within this context we sought to develop two new sectors the Renewable Energy, Cultural Industries and the internationalization of education through off shore medical schools.
We will not allow a narrative which seeks to erode the gains made in the toughest of times by a small section of Barbadians who feel entitled.
The Democratic Labour Party is committed to maintaining public sector jobs, and to finding financially responsible ways to ensure those who can’t afford a car, or choose not to have a car have access to decent and affordable public transport. The divide and the choice is clear. We shall continue to preserve your jobs.