No reason to brag
The Opposition Barbados Labour Party candidate for St. Michael North West, Gregory Nicholls told a mass meeting at Welchman Hall, St. Thomas last night that the free bus fares which the ruling Democratic Labour Party has provided to school children was nothing to boast about.
“Free bus fares could be something to walk about and brag [about], when our education system is in need of serious work?” Nicholls asked rhetorically during the meeting at Welchman Hall, St. Thomas in support of his colleague running in that constituency, Cynthia Forde.
Nicholls suggested that Barbadians did not need freeness, adding “There is a cost to everything.”
He argued that what the Freundel Stuart Administration should be pushing was how technology could be applied, and where young people could build and innovate.
“How will the DLP tweak the educational system to become more efficient? Children†don’t need a bag full of books on their backs. They†can go to school with a tablet in their hands. These are the development issues that face this country,” observed the St. Micahel North West hopeful.
He equated free bus fares to an attempt to bribe the electorate.
“We want to be able to take science and technology where we can build something in this country. Where are the new patents coming from?†There’s been no discussion (by the DLP) on these issues,” Nicholls insisted.
He was of the view that if the DLP was re-elected, the country would†go the way of failed states like some in the Caribbean. Nicholls claimed that everything the Dems had done, was to disenfranchise and marginalise the working class black people of this country.
Addressing the economic situation in Barbados, the attorney-at-law declared that the island was in a crisis and the longer the DLP took to solve it, the longer Barbados would be faced with the situation.
The prospective parliamentarian said he believed the “disastrous” performance of the economy under the stewardship of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler needed to be examined carefully.
He charged the Government with spending more money every year than it was earning. The St. Michael North West candidate said that, for example, the ruling party spent $256 million more in 2008 than it collected in taxes and $557 million more in 2009.
In the following year, Nicholls continued, the DLP spent $647 million. He admitted that expenditure dropped by $284 million in 2011 but went up last year by $260 million.
“So far for the past five years, the DLP spent more money than it earned.†Each Barbadian now owes US$35,000 to foreign banks. All this Government is doing is digging the country deeper and deeper into a debt hole. We are borrowing money every month.”
Nicholls alleged that the Freundel Stuart Administration was forced to borrow money it was paying young people to clear gullies. (EJ)††