Fake promise

DLP wants Mottley to bring the facts on tertiary education

The ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is demanding to know how the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) plans to pay for tertiary education for Barbadians attending the University of the West Indies (UWI).

The BLP has been critical of the Freundel Stuart administration’s decision to impose tuition fees for UWI students from the time the announcement was made in 2013, promising as far back as August 2013 to reverse the fees if elected.

Back then Opposition Leader Mia Mottley had said that an “inescapable part of Barbados’ success” was its ability to maximize education, and that free education had promoted upward mobility and social stability and had led to Barbadians not having to depend on the welfare of the State for their survival.

Mia Mottley

In a bid to reduce the transfer to UWI by $42 million a year, the Stuart administration announced in 2013 that for the first time in post-Independent Barbados, Barbadians would have to pay tuition fees to attend the university effective the following year. This led to a steep decline in enrollment.

Mottley again addressed the issue in February during her party’s preparation for its 79th anniversary, stating that “we’ve been very clear since August 2013 when the Government announced it . . . and we will not be charging fees at the University of the West Indies for Barbadians”.   

However, DLP backbencher James Paul Thursday launched a blistering attack on Mottley over the issue, telling supporters during the ruling party’s FACT tour of St Michael West Central that the Opposition Leader’s vow to restore free tertiary education was nothing but an election ploy.

“I want us to examine these things. I encourage the Opposition Leader and the Opposition to stop saying things because they sound politically nice and attractive. Let us look at it in terms of the times in which we are living,” Paul told the approximately 20 party members and supporters who descended on his constituency bedecked in white T-shirts with the word FACT emblazoned on the front.

DLP backbencher James Paul (second left) and DLP’s General Secretary George Pilgrim (right) and other party supporters during a FACT tour of St Michael West Central.

“The Opposition Leader is the one who wanted to push Barbados into the arms of the International Monetary Fund. She is the one. However, more informed persons are saying that it would have been disastrous for Barbados to go the IMF route. The Opposition Leader is clearly saying these things because she wants to get elected as Prime Minister of this country.”

With Government’s homegrown austerity measures failing to achieve the desired result of turning around the struggling economy, a number of top economists, including former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, have suggested that the administration should turn to the IMF for a bailout, something the administration has said it would not do.

At a BLP meeting in Top Rock, Christ Church last December, Mottley sought to link a decision by Guyana to stop trading in Barbados currency to a possible move by the Stuart administration to turn to the international funding agency for help.

“The Guyanese stopped taking our currency in 1991 just before Barbados and Sandiford, under the Dems [Democratic Labour Party], went to the IMF,” she said then, while reminding supporters of the mass protests that eventually led to the fall of the Erskine Sandiford (now Sir Lloyd) Government in 1994.

And in January of this year, after Caribbean Information and Credit Services Limited had announced another downgrade of the country, Mottley again asked whether Government had a secret plan to go to the IMF.

“Is an IMF austerity programme on the cards for Barbados? Why in spite of assurances from the Minister of Finance that the economy had turned the bend has the Barbados economy continued to fail to meet targets for economic growth and deficit and debt reduction?” she asked.

By March of this year the international rating agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) had further downgraded the island – the 18th since the DLP came to office – causing consternation among the international business sector, which said the downgrades would damage the country’s reputation as an international business centre.

S&P recently downgraded Trinidad and Tobago’s sovereign credit rating from ‘BBB+’ from ‘A-’, while stating that the outlook for the country was “stable”, citing the sharp increase in the country’s debt burden since 2014.

This was in contrast to the CCC+/C rating it had given to Barbados in March, which was followed by a Caa3 issuer bond rating from Moody’s.

Still Paul, who has been confirmed by the DLP Executive Council and the General Council as the candidate for the next general election, lashed out at those who lament the downgrades, contending that Trinidadians had behaved differently under similar circumstances.“I have not heard Trinidadians belittling the Trinidadian government and saying how they are doing such a bad job, but yet we got a downgrade and we have Barbadians not even respecting the fact that we are doing a much better job in managing the state of affairs of this country. Barbados is respected much more in terms of what we are doing but some of us want to take a political opportunity to basically degrade a government. We need to acknowledge the fact that this Government is doing the best possible that it could do under the present circumstances,” he said.

10 Responses to Fake promise

  1. harry turnover April 28, 2017 at 6:53 am

    See what I have been saying all along ? DEM and their yardfowls and paling cocks keep on calling for the BEES to state what plans they have to make things better.
    Now Mia comes out and says something and Paul out like a Pit Bull that just get way and who does not know what goes on as CEO regarding the importation and condemnation of chicken wings and Turkey wings respectively and who was shamed by the Don now wants to come and say that that tertiary promise is an election ploy….WHY ? because as a MEMBER OF THE CABINET OF DEM he would have an idea about what HIS Government can afford or not afford and THE TRUE state of the economy.

    Reply
  2. Sheron Inniss April 28, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Truth be told none of them can pay for it. They will have to print more money. Steupse

    Reply
  3. Alex Alleyne April 28, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Guess things all right at the Central Bank cos i en hearing of all the fuss that was going on before. Guess the NEW boss is doing his thing so all is well over there. Enough $$$ in the kitty to pay for education now ?. Not such a good move, make BAJANS pay some money and cut out this “freeness” thing. It’s all this freeness that got we where we are today. We must chip in and help pay for “EDUCATION and HEALTH”.

    Reply
  4. Greengiant April 28, 2017 at 8:34 am

    They and everyone else have a right to ask of their plans. Problem is, we all sit and wait on a manifesto issued just before an election. No one has the time to study it for practicality, so its taken on just promise. We then claim they made false promises.

    Owen Arthur very often called on then opposition leader Thompson to tell barbadians what he would do if he won the government. Whenever the Bees were critisized by Thompson, that was owen’s reply, telling him he had no plan.

    Reply
  5. Lorenzo April 28, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Greengiant and what was Mr Thompson,s reply? in case you have a convenient memory his reply was ,government was elected to govern ,the Opposition is not there to offer any solutions.Do you remember this or did you conveniently leave out this.You Dems are unbeleivable.Ms Mottley do not have to offer any solutions to the Government until the Eleection is called.

    Reply
  6. Randolph April 28, 2017 at 9:57 am

    James Paul is a desperate man.He is one candidate who will lose his seat in the next election.

    Reply
  7. Jennifer April 28, 2017 at 10:29 am

    They will fund the education by charging schools kids for bus rides and putting all of them free houses back into rentals. They always play the take away and put back game. Same football different head. All this time only black people being used and stuck in the middle of their psyops. Nothing changes.

    Reply
  8. DCT April 28, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Majority of students i know, within econ-finance-accounts, dont support government spending on uwi tuition. It has more cons than pros for us, the students and society, because it helps to cripple the state of the economy which we must work, do business in and live. An university education should be seen as a investment and not an entitlement. Don’t bring the argument of where the $ will come from because they are plenty agencies offering full finance with low interest rates. Example Barbados Student Revolving Loan Fund. It would be more sustainable to promote the fund than to spend billions on education with high inefficiency and raising the worsening debt levels.

    Reply
  9. Mark Adamson April 28, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Mottley does NOT have a vision, a cosmology, a blueprint that can be used by any social movements and organizations in helping bring about further growth and development in this country.

    Look at her nuisance suggestion of free wifi across Barbados.

    Another suggestion to increase the amounts of money/credits subscribers of the BWA would have to give to the BWA instead of a so-called Solid Waste Tax.

    Another recent unstudied inane idea of so-called National MPs.

    Mottley is simply the worst BLP leader EVER.

    Reply
  10. Natasha May 2, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Mr Paul, you could at least fix the community center pavilion before your time expire, so the youths can play some sports cause nuff ah dem can’t afford to go Uni or college nah more so at last let them have somewhere to play sports? Askin fuh a friend since I move out the neighbourhood.

    Reply

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