Can’t get a yam!

There is a different level of poverty being seen across Barbados today, says St. Thomas MP, Cynthia Forde.

Speaking at a Barbados Labour Party meeting last night at Sion Hill Community Centre, she said that whereas before families were challenged, today the difficulties were different and more acute and times were harder.

“In the past we had poverty because those of you who are 45, 50, 55, 60, know that the poverty of that day was not a lack of food, it was other resources, to housing and to the furniture area, and more often than not the clothes you wore because when ya pants had a hole people were creative enough to patch it,” she said.

“But ya had fruits, ya had vegetables, all kinds of creative ways to use what you had and to keep yourself properly maintained with food, but there are people who cannot get a banana, a breadfruit, a pear, nothing because of where they live and sometimes we who have are so selfish that you can see the poverty in the eyes of our children and some of our adults, different from the poverty that we experienced in the 50s, the 60s and the early 70s,” Forde reasoned.

Telling the modest crowd that a BLP Government made the difference to their lives in the 70s, she explained that then through policy they made it possible for poor Barbadians to own the plantation plots they were living on and renting.

“Let me tell you about a middle class challenge and let me tell you about a working class challenge… There are some middle class houses tonight that the light is still on but the fridge only has in water. It is sad, sad and that is what the DLP has brought these distinguished people to who have toiled in the sun, rain, in offices. The Barbados Labour Party is going to give you a better life.”

There were working class people in Government, who were not receiving their salaries on time for sometimes months at a time, the St. Thomas MP said, and as a result were suffering with†and falling ill from stress.

Mismanagement, she charged, had “thrown everything into a tailspin”, and as a result there were some neighbourhoods where currently unemployment could be as high as 20 per cent, even though under the BLP-led country they had moved that unemployment figure from 24 per cent to just about nine per cent.

Times had gotten so bad as well, she said, that people were now having to travel to the supermarket and skimp on what they needed or with calculators so as not to be embarrassed at the cashier. (LB)

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