The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is welcoming the Government’s decision to reopen Barbados fully to business on July 1, but has warned the Mia Mottley administration not to “play fast and loose” with travel protocols as visitors come to these shores.
In a statement, it charged that the country had been subjected to six more months of economic hardship owing to “lapsed travel protocols and complacency in December last year”.
But, it added: “It is hoped that the Mottley-led administration has learned from the mistakes of the past and will not play fast and loose with the travel protocols going forward.”
“Barbadians have obeyed the directives and followed the guidance of the medical practitioners. Government must now do all in its power to safeguard lives and livelihoods by keeping COVID at bay, particularly as variant strains have already shown up on our shores,” the party said.
The DLP also urged the Government to throw out a meaningful lifeline to the small and medium-sized enterprises that would have suffered the most since the start of the year.
“We need no reminder of the enormous difficulties small and medium-sized businesses experienced during the last six months, particularly those related to entertainment, transport and leisure, and for whom no meaningful stimulus package has been declared.
“When set alongside the body blows dealt by the rising fuel prices – which impact on the cost of everything from utilities to storage and transport – and recognizing that entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses contribute significantly to the provision of sustainable employment in Barbados, it is our hope that the Government will recognize that simply removing the curfew is not enough. The economy will not fix itself; a lifeline needs to be thrown to these businesses which have been haemorrhaging in the last six months,” it added.
In wishing all Barbadians well and a safe return to normalcy, the DLP concluded: “If there is to be any hope of recouping the approximate 20 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and thousands of jobs lost during the lockdown, no efforts must be spared in protecting this nation while supporting the revitalization of our economy.” (DH)