A middle class wipe out

Cynthia Forde

Parliamentary representative for St. Thomas, Cynthia Forde, has accused the Democratic Labour Party of wiping out the middle class with the imposition of taxes on allowances and travel.

Forde levelled this allegation against the ruling party last night while addressing a Barbados Labour Party mass meeting at the Prior Park Roundabout, St. James.

The Opposition MP disclosed that prior to the introduction of the taxes couples were able to make annual cruises. Forde told supporters and members of the BLP that unemployment and poverty had increased under the DLP administration.

“Electricity bills have gone through the roof. The Barbados Water Authority is cutting off customers’ water supply for small arrears. I know of an old pensioner who asked BWA workers to give him an opportunity to pay the small arrears, but they ignored him and cut off the water supply,” she said. Addressing the issue of the recycling facility which is located in her constituency at Cane Garden, St. Thomas, Forde said that district now had mountains of tyres, bottles and scrap and welcomed any efforts to relocate it. Commenting on the recycling facilities at Bagatelle, Forde maintained that discussions should have been held with the residents before any shredding of metal had begun.

She also said the minister responsible for the Environment should have brought a Cabinet Paper that explained the exchange of land at River Bay and Bagatelle. Speaking about constituency matters, Forde claimed the St. Thomas Constituency Council had no more funds.

She also said there were no structured programmes in place for the children attending camps in St. Thomas. “Children are just running all over the place and watching films,” she said.

She recalled that Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, had confirmed that some camp officials were using aliases. Forde maintained that such practices presented security challenges in what should be a protected environment for the young children.

Reacting to Lashley’s visit to the London Olympics, Forde queried the source of the $100,000. She asked: “Where did the Government get the funds to stage the massive Crop-Over ceremony at Ilaro Court?” Forde claimed that while Government was spending these large sums of money on ceremonies, some school canteens were recording low sales. She charged that school children were buying smaller portions of food or eating unhealthy snacks.

She noted that while the 2008 general election had placed Barbadians in the valley, the 2013 general election could put them on the mountain. (NC)

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