The fallout from recent layoffs in the public sector has knocked the new shine off the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government following their 30-nil sweep at the May 24 polls, says political scientist Peter Wickham.
This morning Wickham told Barbados TODAY that the Mia Mottley administration is feeling its most negative blowback since taking power as a result of the more than 1000 workers restructured in the roll out of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Programme.
“As far as signs for concerns go, the reaction to the layoffs is one of them. As she [Prime Minister Mia Mottley] would see, some of the promises that she would have made, like giving people a check at the same they got their letter have not been fulfilled and she would have acknowledged that this has been one of their disappointments. When this hits home, it’s going to have some really negative repercussions,” said Wickham.
However the founder of the Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) is confident that the BLP is nowhere close to losing the confidence of Barbadians, whom he believes were still willing to let the Prime Minister follow through with her plans for the country’s economic recovery.
Wickham’s assessment comes on the heels of the BLP’s annual conference over the weekend where Mottley maintained her party had fulfilled most of its signature promises in just under six months of taking office.
On Saturday, Mottley presented her Government’s five-month report card, on the progress made on its mission critical agenda, even as she urged supporters to stay focused.
Delivering the feature address at the BLP’s 80th Annual General Conference at The Lodge School auditorium, the political leader said her party was given a mandate like no other in the history of the county.
The Prime Minister pointed to Government’s handling of other “mission critical” issues, citing the removal of the National Social Responsibility Levy, the road tax, the “iniquitous” tax clearance certificate, the south coast sewage issues and others, saying, “promise made, promise delivered”.
“I am happy that I can stand before you today to be able to report progress on the mission critical agenda. Have we gotten a hundred per cent? Not yet, but . . . six months is not over yet either, the BLP leader stated.
Wickham concurred that the BLP had indeed fulfilled many of its campaign promises and by so doing made good use of their honeymoon period.
“You could argue that the afterglow of the election has been used wisely to conclude their agreements with the general public in a very short period of time,” he said.
While the political scientist noted the speed at which the BLP kept its promises, he described the political tactic as unconventional.
“The vast majority of her [Mottley’s] promises were dealt with up front and that is an interesting strategy on the part of the BLP because historically a Government upon taking office in a change election implements austerity then deals with the promises later. So to me it is an interesting strategy and it puts her on a good page,” he said.