Blackett: Barbadians not so badly off
Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett has accused the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) of painting a much darker picture of the Barbadian standard of living.
He said the social work done by the Freundel Stuart administration strongly refutes any aspersions that Barbadians were “walking around with their bellies to their backs”.
Blackett made the comments during the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) ‘mid-term review’, dubbed ‘Facts’, held at the Queen’s College auditorium this morning,
“Never has there been a party that has described Barbadians in some of the worse terms and pejorative language as the Barbados Labour Party. They say they are eating Ramen (noodles) and spaghetti and sardines, as if eating sardines should be worn as a badge of dishonour,” Blackett said.
“I certainly prepare sardines at least twice per week and they are extremely protein-rich and nourishing. They [BLP] paint Barbados in the worse possible light and certainly doesn’t reflect the range social services in Barbados.”
In the wake of Standard and Poor’s latest downgrade, Blackett maintained that Barbados still had the right balance of economic and social pursuits.
“We have a good country and resilient nation. We can achieve most things with God’s divine help and guidance, using as our compass and our roadmap, the accepted mantra and grounded philosophy of the Democratic Labour Party. Barbados is socially balanced, economically viable and environmentally sound and characterized by good and transparent governance,” assured Blackett.
While several economic pundits have recommended that a fiscal debt reduction strategy should see Government shedding some of the state’s social care obligation, Blackett was adamant the governing DLP party should be proud of their record in this department.
“We in the Ministry of Social care have accepted our role in ensuring this model of governance is achieved through our own policies and programmes especially in the area of socially balancing our country,” Blackett said.
“We have undertaken to provide 60 per cent of the social services available to the citizens of this country. We have set about this task by first of all planning for the individual demographic spread of the persons who present to our agencies on a daily basis,” he added.