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Time to assist unemployed

Barbados Labour Party candidate for St. Michael North East, Mia Mottley, believes that something should be done to empower the 100,000 persons who reside in St. Michael.

In addition, Mottley noted that one in every three persons living in St. Michael did not have a job.

Mottley made these observations last night while addressing a mass meeting of the BLP in Deacon’s Farm, St. Michael.

The former deputy Prime Minister acknowledged that a minister of finance had a lot of power and could determine where funds were allocated.

She told her audience that a minister of finance had the power to grant concessions to Cost-U-Less and Karib Cable and other multi-national corporations, noting that out of the 47 years of Independence, Members of Parliament for a St. Michael constituency only held that portfolio for a total of four years.

Mottley acknowledged that it was Tom Adams who represented a rural constituency who passed the Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act which empowered the landless residents of rural Barbados.

The former minister of economic affairs argued that St. Michael must have an opportunity for wealth creation.

She recalled that it was through her agitation at Cabinet level that today 2,500 to 3,000 now own land in urban tenantries.

Mottley reminded her audience that it did not take Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler five years to grant concessions to Cost-U-Less and Karib Cable.

She asked who was taking a chance on the people who reside in the St Michael area.

She suggested that as a representative for a St. Michael constituency, Sinckler should have created a fund to economically empower the residents of the parish.

Mottley then suggested that some of the beneficiaries of that fund may not put the money to good uses but something had still to be done to assist the unemployed in urban Barbados.

Referring to the action taken by Adams in the 1970s, Mottley pointed out that he understood the problems of people living in tenantries.

She lamented the fact that in 2013 there were still some households using pit toilets instead of water-borne facilities.

She argued that under a programme to correct this, several small contractors would find employment.

Mottley said: “A low interest fund should have been set up in the St. Michael area. Sinckler has been found wanting. All he has done is give handouts. A minister of finance has the power to transform a situation. Show that you are ready for change. It is time that something is done for the people of St. Michael.” (NC)

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