The following New Year’s Message is from the United Progressive Party:
The year 2020 will carry many negative memories globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic and primarily the associated economic fallout.
The risks to which our own frontline and essential workers have been exposed highlights the commitment and discipline of Barbadians during a time of crisis. The United Progressive Party salutes you for your continued dedication to the survival of our nation.
The recent escalation in local transmission of the virus means it is imperative for the Government to prioritize the health and safety of our citizens while aiming to strike the delicate balance between potential economic gains and exponentially increasing our positive COVID-19 statistics. We recommend an immediate strengthening of the visitor protocols to eliminate apparent loopholes and also consider temporarily suspending arrivals from high risk countries.
As a new year of hope arrives and we reflect on the past, three notable issues which came to the fore during 2020 are worthy of contemplation.
Firstly, violent crime continues to rob our society of young men and nation builders. It is unfortunate that number of homicides were six times greater than our total coronavirus related deaths. While economic hardship is usually a contributing factor, it’s about time to stop the bloodshed through reorganizing our communities into positive support bases.
Secondly, this pandemic has reminded Barbados of the need for economic diversification where tourism and related industries alone don’t carry the country. With international business failing to meet the revenues of the past due to ever changing regulatory factors we must consider leveraging the use of technology to boost alternative areas, particularly the Orange Economy.
Finally the greatest impact of the pandemic lockdowns and subsequent layoffs has been felt by the labour market. The experience of over 40% unemployment is unprecedented in a post-Independence Barbados and again a reminder of the volatility of these uncertain times. Consequently, affected workers resorted to protests in an effort to coerce disbursement of their due compensation and entitlements. Their actions expose a weakness in support systems.
Our future survival will depend heavily on our ability to think outside the box in the way we conduct business and in our daily lives. More so, let us remember 2020 for the lessons learnt.
– In a crisis it is our community which will provide us with the support we need,
– we must learn how to plant and so contribute to our own food security,
– the bottom line is that good health practices as a way of life will hold us in good stead whatever the medical emergency.
In 2021, let us endeavor to see the silver lining from our experiences of 2020 to fuel entrepreneurship and self-reliance, and lay the foundation for a progressive future.
A Happy and Healthy New Year from the UPP!
United Progressive Party