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Mottley: Too few people get Government contracts

Too many Government contracts end up in too few hands, while small contractors struggle to make ends meet, Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Mia Mottley has charged.

Speaking last night at a BLP meeting at Frederick Smith Secondary School, Mottley accused the Democratic Labour Party administration of reneging on its election promise to grant 40 per cent of Government contracts to small businesses.

Instead, she claimed, only a “few at the top” were profiting while the majority were left to struggle.

“This Government came in on a platform that 40 per cent of contracts will go to small business people. It has not materialized,” Mottley said in response to a tradesman who complained that he had been unable to find work.

“One of the biggest problems facing this country is the consolidation of contracts and wealth in the hands of too few. . . . This country will only survive if the majority of people are making a living. You cannot have a few at the top [getting all the contracts] and the rest floundering. Barbados is too small to have disparities in wealth,” she emphasized.

The Opposition Leader complained that there was “an insensitivity to the need for creating opportunities for small businessmen selling goods and services” here, in both the public and private sectors.

She said this was particularly true of the tourism sector, “which has a high turnover of items within the hotel plant”.

During the meeting, dubbed the People’s Assembly, there was much discussion on unemployment among small contractors and tradesmen, including mechanics.

The BLP leader pointed to the number of roadside mechanical workshops scattered across housing communities, which she said the Town & Country Planning Department would like to have moved.

She recommended that the solution lies in relocating them to empty buildings owned by the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC).

“We have mechanics all over Barbados who cannot afford to rent workshops, or buy the kind of equipment to fix cars . . . yet we have IDC [Industrial Development Corporation] buildings closed up and locked up all over the country. Why can’t we take the small mechanics and put them in these buildings and allow them to cluster? Remove the environmental problem.”

Mottley also called for an amendment to legislation on the issuing of contracts of under $250,000 so that, where possible, the immediate community is given priority in job allotments.

“So you don’t bring people from St Michael to St Lucy, from St Philip to St James to do small contracts that really are community-based, either in primary schools, or within the Urban [Development Commission] and Rural Development Commission, or other small contracts that can be given legitimately to people in order to keep them living,” she said.

The BLP has described its People’s Assembly as an opportunity to hear from Barbadians how they think they can fix the problems facing the country.

5 Responses to Mottley: Too few people get Government contracts

  1. Hal Austin October 7, 2016 at 7:45 am

    We badly need a new procurement policy, along with the creative formation of new businesses.
    There are 300 pension funds in Barbados, credit unions and other non-profit organisations that can form part of the non-bank finance ministry officials can get hem together to bid for any government assets that are on sale.
    Not only will this free small businesses from the grip of foreign-owned banks, it will provide further liquidisation for businesses.

    Reply
  2. Phil October 7, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Not trying to be facetious, but I’d like to know exactly who are these so called ‘small business men” How long do they take to do a job done? How much do they charge? How efficient are they in terms of quality? Who are the “big businesses” that actually given the work? How do they compare to the small business person? Can you provide a list of the types of work available? Is there a law governing the roadside mechanical operation in terms of environmental concerns such bas fluid disposals, noise, blockage of roads, customer satisfaction etcetera? What is the correct order of protocol regarding awarding and approval of contracts? Please I have been deceived and literally robbed of tens of thousands of dollars in the past. I know much better now.

    Reply
  3. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner October 7, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Ok Mia good point but your party has govern Barbados before and the same thing was happening and still continue to happen to this day,so to put it midly both of the political parties and politicians nothing but scum.

    Reply
  4. Alex Alleyne October 7, 2016 at 10:04 am

    When in opposition all speak of these things . Am I to take it that the “small man” start getting left out from yesterday ?. Both parties leave them at the bottom of the well…….POLITICS..

    Reply
  5. Sunshine Sunny Shine October 8, 2016 at 12:23 am

    Mia Mottley, all the evidence is suggesting that if you ever get into power you are not going to be any different to DEM. The DLP has proven themselves deceitful, if not to say, possibly corrupt. Your administration, when in power, was filtering contracts in a few hands as well. What is the difference between the DLP and your party? That is why so many cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. The two parties are accusing each other of doing the same things that both know they are accustom to doing.

    Reply

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