The high cost of gasoline in Barbados has been likened to “a rape” with the use of protection.
That was the view expressed by Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate Andre Worrell, who spoke at Belleplaine, St. Andrew on Sunday in support of his colleague Oldwin Skeete who is contesting the seat last held by the Barbados Labour Party’s George Payne. Worrell insisted that there was no need for gasoline to remain as costly as it is, when government has the power to lower it.
“It ain’t easy to get from St. Andrew to Bush Hall, so I know wunna does spend ‘nough money in gas. And you would think that a caring government would reduce the fuel tax, especially when they recognize that the cost of fuel at the pump is nearly $4. They could have given us an ease by shaving at least 25 cents off of that fuel tax.
“And when you ask them to reduce the fuel tax – I asked them to do it, Paul Gibson asked them to do it, the Democratic Labour Party pleaded with them to do it and they didn’t hear. You know why? Because they do not care about you. Miss Mottley’s focus has long since shifted from Barbados to overseas,” he stressed.
During his remarks Worrell also took issue with the plight of “many civil servants” who worked for years and were looking forward to their retirement and receiving their gratuity in cash.
“But you know what this uncaring government is doing right now? Looking to force civil servants to accept part of their gratuity in bonds, with no interest-bearing value. I’m certain that if you retire Mia Mottley on the 19th, you cannot give her her gratuity in bonds. She ain’t going take it, but she wants you to take it.”
He implored those in attendance to stop accepting this “two Barbados thing”.
“Over the past three years the privileged got to do as they like and you and I, the average persons, had to settle for the crumbs.” He felt that much of the blame for the upsurge in the number of persons contracting COVID-19 had to do entirely with Prime Minister Mottley wanting to make sure that visitors can come here without having to quarantine for a few days or without having to test again. He claimed that Mottley also wanted to make sure cruise passengers could “dock at the port and run rampant”.
“That is why we have the Omicron variant spreading rampant,” he said.
“How you can call an election now at this time with Covid running rampant? And to think of all the things we were denied an opportunity to do over the past year and a half. You realise that we had a curfew in Barbados for an entire year and it was not even absolutely necessary? But you can call an election and don’t even consider moving the curfew? You can call an election now and still have not given the churches an opportunity that they can go back to having their concerts and having their regular church service?
“You can call an election now and our children cannot go to this primary school behind there (A. DaCosta Edwards Primary) for face-to-face classes which they need desperately, because a number of our children are falling behind as a result of the online classes. A prime minister that really cared for this country would make sure that its citizens are able to live freely here and not manage COVID to benefit the tourism sector or to benefit corporate Barbados, when we the people of Barbados are suffering.”
Worrell added: “A lot of our young people are depressed because of the time they have to spend inside. They have not been able to go on the field at Belleplaine to play football because they say it could not be done due to Covid. Yet still we can have a snap election in the middle of Covid. All of these are double-standards which this Barbados Labour Party administration has inflicted on the people of Barbados,” he continued. “All like now you’re not even talking about the persons who cannot vote on the 19th because they’re Covid-positive. You should have thought about all of those things before calling an election.”
Turning his attention to unemployment which he deemed “already too high,” Worrell questioned what the incumbents had done so far to stimulate employment in Barbados. “They talked about a medical transcription programme. Up to now that has not got off the ground. They talked about digitizing the records in government which would employ a number of young people. Up to now that has not gotten off the ground,” Worrell concluded. (SDD)