A new social partnership protocol is needed for Barbados. Prime Minister Mia Mottley said there has to be a protocol between Government, the labour movement, and the private sector, involving civil society and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
Speaking Saturday evening at the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) 82nd Annual Conference Rally at the St George Secondary School, Mottley said considering that Barbados is working with a social partnership protocol crafted since 1991, a new one is necessary to allow for job opportunities created through national infrastructure projects, to be shared among Barbadians.
“This Government is prepared to walk the extra distance to take the difficult decisions to do the complex things that would allow us to take money, and instead of only giving people the opportunity to reap large dividend, to ensure that that money can be spread as far and as wide as possible, in order for people to move forward,” she said.
“I have come to talk about Golden Square, The City, as a metaphor for what I expect in a new protocol between Government, labour and the private sector. I have come to talk about it because it means that there are some principles that we must put down over the course of the next two years, between now and March 2022.
“Barbados has to be managed by putting our people first at every step of the way. We have to be able to put jobs at the top of the list. We have to be able to support Barbadian production. Before you go to buy something, look for what was made in Barbados first because you are putting food on tables,” Mottley added.
The Prime Minister also indicated during her remarks that her Administration has to conclude the last of supplementaries that Cabinet Minister and economist Ryan Straugh will present to Parliament on Tuesday.
“We have had to adjust Government expenditure in order to meet the fact that this country now has seen the largest number of unemployment claims before the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) that has ever been seen since the NIS was established in this country. Not because of anything we have done.
“But because none of us could have ever dreamt that tourism could have reached a day with not a single cent coming into hotels in March and April, and May and most in June and July, unless Minister of Health and Wellness Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic was using them as a quarantine facility,” she said. (AH)