Enough soft issues
Govt trying to distract from rental arrears
At a time when chronically ill pensioners are being sent invoices from the National Housing Corporation indicating that their rental arrears are as high as $9,000, Government continues to discuss “soft issues” such as culture.
Parliamentary representative for St Michael South East, Santia Bradshaw, levelled this charge today at the Freundel Stuart administration while speaking on a resolution for the compulsory acquisition of 32.22 acres of land for housing development at Walkers Savannah, St Andrew.
“Failing to address issues that relate to housing, particularly in the densely populated areas in the Pine, the Government continues to perpetuate a problem which could be avoided.
“You have a situation which is developing where the Ministry of Housing has been sending out letters to the various persons in the units telling them that they are in huge arrears as if all of a sudden this is a discovery. Having told tenants that they are giving them the units, having deprived the Government of revenue that would have been generated from income coming in, the NHC is now sending out letters claiming that some tenants owe as much as $9,000 in some cases,” Bradshaw told Parliament.
“Can you imagine the level of panic that would have taken over these elderly people who would have lived in these units for many years?”
Arguing that the current harsh economic times should be addressed as a matter of urgency, Bradshaw said there were serious matters which were being ignored.
“I have asked the Minister of Housing when will the tenants in Pinelands get their title deeds? I ask again today as we debate a resolution on housing development in St Andrew.
“I can speak on the lay-offs where it was promised that lone breadwinners in a household would not be sent home. We were told that all was well and we were dealing with a stable economy,” she said.
“Every day I see the society breaking down even though the Democratic Labour Party had promised to build a society.”
Stressing that Barbadians were concerned about their future, the St Michael South East MP said while people are asking questions about the direction the country is taking, following today’s downgrade by Moody’s, Government wants to skirt the issue and, instead, deal with “soft issues”.