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Right path


Irrelevant generalisations.

That’s how one Government senator has termed the “economic prescriptions” to the country’s problems, ostensibly made by Opposition Leader Owen Arthur.

As he pleaded for caution against bad medicine, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Senator Jepter Ince, this morning warned Barbadians against embracing such generalisations under the guise of an appropriate prescription for their betterment.

In an apparent response to a number of “economic solutions” offered on Wednesday by Arthur during a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Ince was adamant that the country pursue policies more applicable to its current situation.

“It is imperative that as citizens of this country, that prides itself on its educational system, we apply our own prescription to our situations,” the parliamentary secretary insisted. “So that we do not become casualties of generalisations,” he added, “which may not be applicable to Barbados and suffer the result penalties evident in other developing countries.”

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Sixth Economic Affairs Division Lecture-Seminar Series at the Government’s Warrens Complex, the senator said he believed this could best be achieved through social partnerships, if the government was to arrive at suitable policies and programmes for the benefit of all.

Two days ago, Arthur told business leaders that some of his measures for taking the country forward, included a privatisation programme to sell certain government assets, special tax incentives to lessen government spending in health and education, establishment of a business facilitation unit in the prime minister’s office and special focus on communication information technology.

But Ince maintained that Government was on the right track and intended to maintain its conservative fiscal strategy.

“As we meet here today, we must remember that 129,000 Barbadians are working, 45,000 boys and girls are at school, the hospital is open, and people who cannot afford health care are being cared for,” the Government official stated.

Speaking at the seminar on Managing Current Challenges While Pursuing Growth, he noted that the elderly, indigent and infants were also being taken care of and businesses remained financially viable.

“The fabric of the Barbadian society is much more than a balance sheet indicating the level of gross domestic product,” pointed out Senator Ince.

“It will always remain,” he promised, “a feature of the style of governance and this administration to protect the social framework, while encouraging growth.”

He strongly supported Government’s continued commitment to providing for social development through enhanced education, health and social care policies. The senator also suggested that it was important, through effective monitoring and evaluation, that Government kept abreast of the levels of success of each policy, in reaching the intended beneficiaries.

As far as the business sector was concerned, Ince reminded the country, that Government had outlined a number of macro-economic policy instruments to enhance the productive and emerging industries in an effort to maintain economic stability, while creating an environment for growth and employment. (EJ)

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