Need fix now
Dismissing the Democratic Labour Party’s manifesto as containing measures, which though seemingly “romantic”, were medium term in nature, the man in charge of the Barbados Labour Party’s alternative, economist Clyde Mascoll, said the BLP’s was better because it offered immediate relief.
He made the comparison tonight during a Redman’s Village mass meeting held in support of BLP St. James Central candidate Kerrie Symmonds.
Mascoll, the BLP’s lead spokesman on economic matters, said a manifesto should contain a realistic set of policies and an indication of how they would advance.
And he noted that while the DLP might be able to talk about pillars of growth for an economy, society and development, it was extremely important to immediately deal with “the small things” affecting people.
“Therefore the real difference between the manifestos of the Barbados Labour Party and that of the Democratic Labour Party is simply that we have identified that there are things in this country that have to be addressed immediately before we can talk about transforming our society and our economy,” he said.
“In this regard, we have been able to determine that measures must first be put in place to address the cost of living, measures must also be put in place to address tax relief, measures must be put in place to give Barbados greater spending power, and measures must be put in place to restore confidence to Barbadians and the Barbadian business people.
“Barbadians are worse off today than they were in 2007… Any manifesto worth reading must first of all address the immediate needs of the citizens of the country.”
The former minister said unlike the DLP, the BLP’s manifesto had identified core policies, including the cost of living, restoration of fiscal prudence, putting money in Barbadians’ pockets, an incomes policy and the need to address energy policy.
As far as the cost of energy and electricity was concerned, Mascoll said the BLP would offer immediate relief.
“While I accept the need to move towards some kind of alternative energy, I am telling you that it sounds romantic to me, … but the first need … is to make sure that energy costs are falling rather than rising,” he said.
“So that any measure, even to ensure that renewable energy is to become a sustainable part of the economy, is to ensure that some relief is passed on to the people in the form of lowering prices.” The same held true as far as people coping with increased taxes and frozen salaries, he noted.
“I would hardly see anyone in the crowd who can raise their hand and tell me that they have seen an increase in salary over the last four to five years that will match the increase in cost of living of 30 per cent…,” he stated.
“I come to you tonight therefore to tell you that the Democratic Labour Party has to be prosecuted first and foremost on the galloping cost of living, the high unemployment … and the rising national debt before we can even begin to think about any manifesto programmes and policies.
“We bring hope to you because we have sat down, done the research to ensure that we can give you back some tax relief without causing any harm to our fiscal affairs.”
He said the BLP was “in a position where we can make a difference because we have studied the matters affecting Barbados”. (SC)