Paul: Step up!
MP takes private sector to task
A Government backbencher is recommending that the local private sector be made accountable for the financial generosity it has been receiving over the years from the Freundel Stuart administration.
James Paul, who was contributing this afternoon to the debate in the House of Assembly on a resolution to raise the borrowing ceiling to $4 billion, said: “Many of the sections in the private sector which have benefited as a result of Government largesse; I believe it is time that we ask them also to be able to account for it because one of the things we need in this country is growth.”
Paul said the kinds of strategies Government has been using to encourage growth, concomitant responses must come from the private sector as well.
“We need to see responses from the private sector that recognise that it, too, has a responsibility because sometimes in this environment we place a lot of weight on the actions of Government,” added the Government MP.
The parliamentary representative for St Michael West-Central suggested that in many cases, if the development of the mercantile class could be encouraged, increased economic activity would result.
Paul, who is chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society, said ordinary people would also benefit from such a move.
He argued that at a time when Government was implementing measures to reduce spending, the private sector needed to step forward to ensure that those public officers laid off could quickly find alternative employment in the private sector.
The BAS CEO said the private sector has been traditionally “extremely” conservative, and even though some were changing, there was still a long way to go.
He argued, too, that the private sector focus more on promoting the goods and services of local talent, identifying such areas as graphic artists, fashion designers and entertainers.
Paul contended that business houses need to engage local talent and ensure young people in particular are given the opportunity to develop and market their services.