The introduction of new taxes and pending job cuts as Government undertakes its economic recovery programme have seemingly failed to dent the confidence of Barbadian voters in the new Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration.
A visit to The City today to gauge sentiments towards the administration after 100 days in office left Barbados TODAY challenged to find a single person who was critical of BLP’s performance.
In fact, they were generally pleased with Mottley, whose public relations efforts seemed to be paying off, as virtually every one said she was doing a good job of communicating with the country.
“She is trying to be honest with the public to make sure the public is aware of what is going on. She has let us know that the country is in a bad state and she brought in the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and she let us keep abreast of what is going on and I think she is on the right track,” one person who identified himself as Doughnut Man said, stressing that the ruling party had been keeping its manifesto promises.
“I think that is what she said she would do in the manifesto. She dealt with the sewage system, [it] seems [she got] it under control and it is working. It is not quite finished but she is working on it. She said she would give civil servants a raise and [increase] pensions. The integrity legislation, she is working on that,” he said.
Still, Doughnut Man advised the administration to move quickly to attract investment in order to help pull the country out of its dire economic state.
“I have always said the Government alone cannot improve the country. They can bring all the taxes, they can bring all the incentives and all the different things to improve the country but what they need is investment.
“They need to put the appropriate measures in place to encourage investment. Investment is what is going to drive the economy, create employment and get the money moving. Once we get those things to move the barriers people are going to start investing again,” he said.
One of Mottley’s economic advisers said last week up to 1,000 public servants were likely to be severed as the administration pursues the restructuring of state owned enterprises.
This did not deter a public servant who identified himself as DG.
“I think they are doing a good job because they are giving you more information in the last three months than they [the Democratic Labour Party] in the past ten years”, he said.
“Actually, I am a public servant so hopefully I would not be one of them [to be cut]. But, I can understand because I see what went down before elections . . . . There are people who should not be in Government,” he stressed.
Phillip Joseph, a vendor at the Marhill Street Public Market, also threw his full support behind Government’s economic recovery programme, saying a way had to be found to drag the country back from the economic brink.
“I don’t see nothing wrong with what they doing as the country needs coming up. So she is trying to get things back together,” Joseph said.
Another vendor, who gave her name as Rita, said the administration needed time to fix the economy, telling Barbados TODAY Mottley had “come in power a few days ago it is nothing much that she can do”.
At the same time, she called for urgent steps to ease the ongoing woes faced by commuters in the bus terminal on evenings.
“When I go in the bus terminal, if you go in there six o’clock and they send a six o’clock bus they don’t send a seven and sometimes you get a [nine o’clock bus]. I would like to see that changed,” she said.
Like Rita, vendor Priscilla St Mark-Gamble said the BLP administration was “doing their best” amidst challenging economic times.
“They can only do their best. Well, everything takes time. Before you do anything so we have to be patient. You cannot rush and do everything, you have to be patient and see how things will run,[you] know. She has done her best,” St Mark-Gamble said of the Prime Minister, a sentiment also shared by a bread seller who gave her name as Ann.