DLP vows not to sell the Transport Board

The ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is promising Barbadians that it will not privatize the transport system if it were to be elected for a third straight term next election.

Seizing on a suggestion last week by economist and Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for Christ Church East Central Ryan Straughn that Government should privatize the Transport Board, the DLP today charged that such a move would be akin to giving up on the people at a time when the economy is in shambles.

“We were a bit surprised the other day to learn of the statement coming from Mr Straughn, the economist, at the Tom Adams lecture. Basically, what is being advocated was the privatizing of transport in Barbados in terms of getting away from the Transport Board.

“We must be careful in this country that when we go through these times we are prepared to throw out the baby with the bath water. And that is precisely what was suggested by Mr Straughn. Even in advanced countries it is recognized that state transportation still has to play a role,” James Paul, the DLP’s chairman of committees and Member of Parliament for St Michael West Central told journalists at a press conference.

Straughn trod into the issue which both the BLP and the DLP have viewed as toxic, when he told the eighth Tom Adams Memorial Lecture at the Barbados Workers’ Union headquarters last Wednesday that it was time that Barbadians realize Government did not have to own buses in order to deliver subsidized fares.

While suggesting that the economy was at its lowest ebb and that the Transport Board was operating as a burden to the state, Straughn, a private financial consultant, contended that divestment “would provide much higher value for money for you the taxpayer, than if we continue with the current system as is”.

The BLP’s Jeffrey Bostic and General Secretary Dr Jerome Walcott have both distanced the party from Straughn’s recommendation, insisting that the rookie politician did not speak for the Opposition party on the issue.

This has not satisfied the DLP, with Paul – who spoke before Walcott had reiterated his party’s position – describing Bostic’s rejection of Staughn’s advice as a demonstration of “the kind of desperate politics which we are likely to descend to”.

Paul suggested that Government’s role in the public transport system should be modified, but said the state must still be involved.

“To let a key activity in a country, a key factor that facilitates economic development, that helps to transport people . . . to give that over to private speculation suggests that we are giving up on our people. Basically, the main rudiments development that is there that would help facilitate development in the country, we are giving up on it and we are leaving private enterprise to take charge.

“We cannot support these type of things,” he stressed, while warning that Barbados should not pander to the whims and fancies of the international financial institutions which may recommend privatization and let go of those things which have made this country great.

Privatization of the transport system was a major campaign issue in the last general election, with the DLP charging through a television commercial that the BLP would force pensioners and students to pay bus fare by placing the Transport Board in private hands.

Political pundits credited the advert for the DLP’s victory which few saw coming.

emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

15 Responses to DLP vows not to sell the Transport Board

  1. E Jerome Davis
    E Jerome Davis October 19, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    This is no comfort to the suffering commuters who daily experience the most inhumane and degrading service.

    Reply
  2. Mark My Word October 19, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Sell Greenland cause no Landfill going down there

    Reply
  3. Bajan boy October 20, 2017 at 12:30 am

    This ugly boy should shut up. Think bajans will allow an old woman on a bus to determine the next election after suffering so much by you illiterate bunch of bandits. You had a second chance you didn’t deserve and should carry the title of worst politician ever..

    Reply
    • Mark My Word October 20, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Bajan Girl the Transport Board already promise out

      Reply
      • Mark My Word October 20, 2017 at 11:09 am

        Ryan Straughn spill the Beans

        Reply
  4. ebaje October 20, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Mr.Paul do you mean like how they vowed not to sell the BNTCL? Or vowed not to introduce tuition fees at UWI? Or not to send home public workers? Or maybe their promise to remove the increase in VAT or the NSRL? I am asking what the “journalists” should have asked at this news conference.

    Reply
  5. Milli Watt October 20, 2017 at 10:28 am

    could this be a winning card two elections in a row …..hmmmmmmmmmmm

    Reply
  6. Dick Tracy October 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Since when did black belly sheep ride Transport Board buses? Mr Paul go stick your nose where it belongs in Agriculture. How’s that doing under your watch?

    Reply
  7. Randolph October 20, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    How can we believe you when you made promises in the last election and broke them.?The DEMS have lost all credibility.

    Reply
  8. Ossie Moore October 20, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Even if it were that? How is that even if it were that and you would have to look into that! Just to find out what is what ? It is some what not what is what!

    Reply
  9. Belfast October 20, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Has the Transport Board paid back the loan from the National Insurance Fund it had borrowed to pay out the staff it made redundant?

    Reply
  10. Sheron Inniss October 20, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    True I hope it isn’t sold. When Grenville in charge we will get better service.

    Reply
  11. straight talk October 20, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Mr straughn said government don’t have to run the transport board to own a bus, and I agree with him it is time to privatize the transport board and the CBC cause government can not properly manage them effectively. privatize them a 100% or sell 40 to 50% of the shares and stop pussy footing every time elections comes around.

    Reply
  12. Cecil Brooks October 20, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    What is it this government wants to hold on too? Saying that bus fare is two dollars, the private buses are doing that now. The government right now have the worse keep buses on the road of Barbados ,these buses cannot pass any road safety test and are transporting the lower paid public risking life and limbs each time these people get on these buses.Not having enough buses to adequately cover the island how can a government in it’s right mind allow people to be waiting two and three hours for a bus. Sell the transport board and use the Transport Authority to regulate the way a private sector run buses in this country

    Reply
  13. luther thorne October 21, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    By time tgey finished with the TRANSPORT Board, there will be nothing to sell just throw away. Another lost opportunity Jokers !
    Can you believe that the DLP has had two terms and have not bought a single Bus. Who fooling who ? Who privatizing ? With all the ZR permits given out , has not privitization kicked in ? Man stop trying to fool big people. Anyhow , the DLP only speaks to its base.

    Reply

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