Cutting costs now BLP’s priority

The Barbados Labour Party is promising to take over what was touted by the Dems ahead of the 2008 general elections as their number one priority.

In the 2013 manifesto released tonight at Eagle Hall, the BLP said: “It has been the tradition that the cost of living in Barbados rises in line with that of the rest of the world; so it was under the BLP government.

“The DLP promised to make the reduction of the cost of living its numbers one, two and three priority. The admission that it did not reduce the cost of living is the most catastrophic failure of the DLP administration.”

“In fact, consumer prices have risen by over 30 per cent under the DLP. In recent times, the rise in prices has been three times faster in Barbados than in the rest of the region.”

All this was taking place, it said, while the wages of workers were frozen.

“As our firest order of business, an elected BLP government will bring relief to ever consumer, every household and every business in Barbados by changing the policies pertaining to the sale of fuel oil by the Barbados National Oil Company to Barbados Light & Power that has led to the recent escalation in the cost of electricity…

“We Will:

* Restore the VAT to 15 per cent. When the DLP increased the VAT from 15 to 17.5 per cent, it promised that it would be a temporary measure. We commit to take it back from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent immediately on electricity and food.

* Undertake as part of the fight to control the cost of living to systematically phase down the bound rates, especially on food products, where there is no competing domestic production to be protected.

* Advance negotiations with our CARICOM partners to continue to reduce the common external tariff where there is no local or regional production being protected.

* Immediately upon taking office, reduce and eventually remove the cess placed on gasoline and diesel.

* Pass on the benefit of the reduction in duties as contained in new trade agreements especially with Europe.

* Strengthen the price monitoring mechanism that was put in place prior to 2008 and allow it to become an important part of the effort to control the cost of living.

*Facilitate the deepening of competition among enterprises in the distributive sector provided that all enterprises are enabled to carry out their investments, sale and operations facing the same conditions.”

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