By Anesta Henry
Scores of people greeted Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, members of her Cabinet and other members of the House of Assembly on Tuesday afternoon when they arrived at Parliament to hear her deliver her 2023/2024 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
When Mottley arrived around 2:45 p.m., dressed in a navy blue pants suit, the waiting crowd cheered loudly and she greeted and had a brief chat with those gathered, most of whom were dressed in the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) colours of red and yellow.
The Prime Minister, who was presented with flowers before she headed into the chamber to begin her presentation at 3 p.m., expressed gratitude to supporters who told her they were confident that she would deliver a “good budget”.
Before heading to her seat, she told members of the media they should expect an optimistic budget.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources Santia Bradshaw, who arrived moments before Mottley and her other colleagues, also interacted with supporters.
Barbados TODAY chatted with some of them. Many expressed hope for some tax relief and measures that would lead to price reductions in the supermarket.
Cytomia Worrell was among those who said she was hopeful but also acknowledged the impact of global developments on the rise in the cost of living.
“But I know that my Prime Minister is a caring Prime Minister and she would give of her best. And we all know that when somebody gives of their best, you can’t ask for more. Once she looks out for her people, we will be satisfied,” she said.
Anthony Lindo said he intended to listen to the budget with an open mind and an awareness that Mottley “is a fair person and she is going to do the best she can”.
“Seeing what is happening in the world today, we can’t expect more than her best,” he said.
Lillian Williams, a constituent of Christ Church West, added: “I expect it to be a very good budget. People always depend on Prime Minister Mia Mottley to be good to the masses. So I am looking forward to a very good budget. I am just hoping for the best and I know she will do her best.”
Member of the BLP’s Christ Church East branch, Ellen Bourne was hoping for an “ease in inflation”.
“It would be a good thing if some of the prices in the supermarkets come down because the prices are going up but the salaries are stable. I have full confidence in our Prime Minister because she is the best ever. I don’t think there will be another Prime Minister like her in any other country,” Bourne said.
In addition to wanting to see the prices of goods in the supermarket fall, pensioner Princess Carrington said she wished for an announcement that pensions would be increased to match the rising cost of living.
Meanwhile, Brenda Harding of the St Michael West constituency said: “I don’t care what Mia do. Whatever Mia do is well done with me. I was always a ‘B’ and I will remain a ‘B’. I had to live up under the Dems [Democratic Labour Party] and suffer and had to live, so I could live up under whatever my Prime Minister Mia Mottley do and that is a fact of life.”
Noting that it was not easy living in the current economic climate, Ann Clarke said she wanted a reduction in her bills which she said seemed to be constantly increasing.
“Things rough, real rough, but whatever they do we got to live along with it,” Clarke said.
One woman who preferred to remain anonymous added: “Whatever is in the budget I have to live with, you have to live with; everybody got to live with it.”