Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler last night depicted Opposition Leader Mia Mottley as an abysmal career failure and warned Barbadians of the dangers of entrusting the reins of Government into her hands.
Speaking at the launch of the Democratic Labour Party’s 2018 general election campaign at Waterford, St Michael, Sinckler advised voters not to be fooled by a politician for whom perception and impressions were more important than facts. He said that if Barbadians had to plot the coordinates of Mottley’s 20-plus years as a politician, the facts of her tenure would speak for themselves.
Sinckler said in her quest for political power Mottley was now making impossible promises to Barbadians. He dismissed as “absolute rubbish” Mottley’s promise to raise non-contributory pensions from $75 to $225 every fortnight. He said such a move would collapse the National Insurance Scheme. He explained that Government currently spent $23 million annually on non-contributory pensions and Mottley’s plan would mean a $300 to $400 million burden on an already struggling economy. In explaining the potential impact of Mottley’s pledge, Sinckler said non-contributory and contributory pensions were linked and if non-contributory pensions were raised, contributory pensions would also have to be raised.
Sinckler stated that along with the pension promise, Mottley was also promising Barbadians to return Value Added Tax to 15 per cent and to get rid of the National Social Responsibility Levy.
“Barbadians need to keep Mia Mottley as far away from Bay Street as humanly possible,” Sinckler advised.
He said the BLP leader had failed with Edutech as Minister of Education, and had failed as Attorney General and Deputy Prime Minister with respect to both Her Majesty’s Prisons at Glendairy, St Michael and Dodds, St Philip. He said Mottley had failed when then Prime Minister Owen Arthur placed her in charge of the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
“And you would want to take a whole country – Barbados – and give to Mia Mottley . . . to do what with?”
Sinckler charged that the late evangelist Gordon Matthews who had interacted professionally with inmates at Glendairy Prison had warned Mottley of the likelihood of insurrection at that institution and she did nothing. He added Barbadians were now saddled with an annual $30 million debt to repay for the construction of the Dodds facility because of her negligence.
The incumbent representative for St Michael North West said during the 2007 World Cup, Mottley oversaw a situation where taxpayers spent significantly to charter a plane from India to Barbados which never came. He noted the island spent a great deal of money on a ship that was to bring persons to Barbados for the World Cup but sailed into local waters without passengers.
Sinckler charged that rather than take advice on the building of a new cricket oval at a price tag of $40 million, the Cabinet of the day of which Mottley was a member, rebuilt Kensington Oval at a cost $150 million. He said Mottley’s trail continued to the new Supreme Court complex on Whitepark Road, St Michael, which was built and subsequently occupied without industrial cleaning being done and that had now led to environmental issues.
“He who comes to equity must come with clean hands and Mottley cannot present clean hands, clean clothes, clean face, clean nothing, when it comes to governance in Barbados because her management, her governance, her thoughts, her deeds, have all been short and come short of the glory of God in Barbados. That is an unmatchable fact,” Sinckler said, adding that Barbadians had to determine the quality of leader they wanted.
He explained that leadership was about trust and values and noted the Democratic Labour Party had a leader in Freundel Stuart who all of Barbados could trust.