The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has launched an initiative to give Barbadians an opportunity to express concerns affecting them.
Speaking to the media at the launch of the programme at the Lower Broad Street Taxi Stand in The City on Friday, president of the party Dr Ronnie Yearwood said the Listening Tour was about getting to better understand the needs of people in different sectors.
“I said we were going to start a Listening Tour where we go out to hear different sectors of the country, understand what their needs are and then we will be able to take that back and process it and come up with ideas and policies to assist them,” he said.
Yearwood said each person had an important role to play in the development of Barbados and it was necessary to hear directly from citizens what they think could be done to improve Barbados.
The party leader, who was accompanied by party supporters in the Bridgetown tour on Friday, engaged some taxi operators on the issues they face in that industry.
Dr. Yearwood said the price of fuel was a major concern.
“Fuel is still an issue so Government’s VAT (Valued Added Tax) cap is failing because it is not bringing down the fuel to acceptable levels that would allow these men and women to support their families and themselves.
“You have a situation where some taxi drivers are paying between $800 and $1 000 per week in gas and they still have to pay loans for the taxis, maintain them and they’re still expected to make a profit to feed their families.
“So the reality is that these men and women are calling for a reduction in gas.”
Yearwood said the most effective way to bring down the cost of fuel was to reduce the amount of taxes, especially the excise tax and he reiterated the DLP’s appeal to Government to do so.
Next on the Listening Tour agenda is to have discussions with market vendors and small business owners.