The St George South branch of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has sought to warn the country that despite her clear mandate, Prime Minister Mia Mottley will not be able to deliver on the promises made in the recent general election campaign.
These include a repeal of the National Social Responsibility Levy; an increase in old age pensions; a repeal of tuition payments for Barbadian students attending the University of the West Indies and a salary hike for public servants.
In a post made this week on its Facebook page, a spokesperson for the branch, which is led by former Minister of Labour and Social Security Dr Esther Byer Suckoo, also accused Mottley of seeking to blame the former Freundel Stuart led Government for everything.
“Clearly, she set about to deceive the people,” the poster said.
“Well, we have her and her team now and therefore will have to tighten our belts. But in all fairness, do not blame the DLP for the policies which are about to be wrought upon this island by the Mottley crew,” the writer insisted.
The DLP spokesperson also took Mottley to task over her handling of the 2017 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Report, which she released to the public immediately after the BLP victory.
The Prime Minister had expressed alarm over the contents of the report in which the Washington-based lending institution warned that the Barbados economy was slowing, following its recovery in 2016, reflecting an increased pace of fiscal consolidation and policy uncertainty, partly related to the recent general elections.
It said that international reserves, which were already low, continued to decline.
And while there is significant progress in reducing the high fiscal deficit, Government would fall short in meeting the ambitious fiscal adjustment targets set in the May 2017 Budget.
“The adjustment, if maintained, will lead to a decline in the debt-to-GDP ratio, but debt will remain unsustainable. Further delays in privatization will lead to a continued decline in reserves, while large financing requirements remain a serious challenge,” the report added.
However, the unidentified spokesperson for the party’s St George South branch said Mottley was well aware of the state of public finances while in Opposition.
“[Therefore] for her to come and release the IMF Article 1V report the day after elections is a joke. She has had it in her possession for several weeks prior and even quoted from it during the campaign as proof of how bad the economy was,” the poster said, stressing that “as a parliamentarian she was acutely aware of the levels of foreign and domestic debt.
“So to come now and behave as though this is all a surprise is an insult to all Bajans,” the poster added.
Similar sentiments were expressed by former DLP Cabinet minister Donville Inniss about Mottley’s handling of the IMF report when he addressed a recent meeting of his St James South supporters.
However, the former Minister of Commerce said while the BLP must be congratulated on its clean sweep of the May 24 polls, the ousted DLP had nothing to be ashamed of.
“Even in the midst of such an electoral defeat we need not hang our heads in shame,” Inniss later told Barbados TODAY, while maintaining that “what we did was right and in the best interest of the island”.
Nevertheless, the former St James South representative congratulated his opponent Sandra Husbands on her electoral victory, as well as Prime Minister Mottley who he said “has been given a clear mandate to govern and as such, I wish her all the best”.
In terms of his own DLP, Inniss said “our first order of business as a party is to focus on rebuilding and rebranding,” adding that “I stand ready to help in that exercise”.
Addressing his St James South supporters, Inniss said he would be eternally grateful to them for allowing him to be their parliamentary representative for ten years and gave the assurance that he would remain with them for the foreseeable future.
“My relationship with St James South residents goes beyond party politics. I have learned a lot from them and will always be among my people,” he promised.