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Excessive increases

symmonds: internecine warfare within the dlp is part of the problem

The Democratic Labour Party Government has burdened the people with excessive increases during just five years of leadership, charged Barbados Labour Party member Kerrie Symmonds.

The candidate for St. James Central told a meeting of the party in Sion Hill, St. James that Barbados now had a failing Government in office.

“Look at tourism…, the year started with people in the height of the winter season being sent home by hotels in this country. People being put on short week in February when the hotel should be full, and why, they will tell you it is an international recession and people are not travelling. They lie, because the hotels in Antigua don’t have that problem. They lie because the hotels in St. Lucia don’t have that problem. They lie because the hotels in Grenada are not experiencing that problem.

“So what is it that makes Barbados so woefully unique and worrisomely different? The answer is homegrown failings. We have a board of tourism, a Tourism Authority that is now starved of funds. A war has been taking place between Chris Sinckler and Richard Sealy and you need to understand part of that which we have as a problem in Barbados today is the internecine warfare, brother against brother in the Democratic Labour Party. It has paralysed that Government. It has made the Cabinet incapable of functioning and it has been exacerbated by the failings of [Freundel] Stuart as a leader,” he stated.

He said things were so bad in Barbados people were choosing week by week which bill to pay and on top of that, “Government has lambasted you with excessive increases”.

Water, he argued had increased by 60 per cent and electricity had gone up because of mismanagement of the economy.

On top of that, he charged that Government was selling local oil to the Barbados Light & Power at prices similar to those from Texas and other parts of the international community.

“So the Barbados National Oil Company makes $50 million in profit a year,” he claimed, adding that this was after they had claimed it was millions in the red.

“We always knew that BNOC had one client. It can’t bankrupt because BNOC has one client. It was the Government of Barbados… There was no danger in allowing the Government to cushion the effect of rising fuel prices to make sure that you had cheaper access to electricity…

“As a first priority, a Barbados Labour Party Government will make sure the VAT on hotel rooms is carried back to where it came from so the hotels can be more competitive and can stop sending home people… The VAT that is on your food that went up to 17.5 per cent… that gine back to where it came from if you put your X next to Edmund Hinkson and the Barbados Labour Party.

“The VAT on electricity must come back down to 15 per cent. We not saying that VAT on every single thing will be reduced, but I am saying when it got to do with saving the tourism industry and making sure poor people can afford to have food on table and light in house, that those things that we can do we will do to make sure there is a little bit of money in people’s pockets,” said Symmonds. (LB)

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