Address our issues, BARP tells political parties

The organization that advocates on behalf of the island’s retirees is demanding that parties contesting the next general election include issues of concern to people over the age of 50 in their manifestos.   

The approximately 40,000-strong Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) this evening agreed to submit their proposals to all the political parties by the end of November.

Following a lively interactive meeting at the BARP Marine Gardens, Christ Church headquarters, the advocacy group’s president Ed Bushell told Barbados TODAY corruption was a major concern for the members who were adamant that those seeking their votes should make a strong policy statement on the issue, including what they intend to do to eliminate it.

While pointing out that the recommendations put forward this evening were among a broader set suggested by members, Bushell said members also requested a revision of the Prevention of Corruption Act which was passed in 2012, but not yet proclaimed into law.

It was that same Act which former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons this week tore apart during a public forum, describing the legislation as nothing more than “a joke” that contained “several serious deficiencies.

This powerful lobby group will also ask political parties to scrap taxes on pensions and prioritize tax refunds by paying them on time.

“There are some proposals that we had made to the Minister of Finance regarding the National Social Responsibility Levy that we may put in our proposals for the manifesto, depending on whether or not we get a response from the Minister. We also need to have a more effective and efficient transport and we will be putting in a part on that into our proposals,” Bushell said.

Expressing grave concern about abuse of the elderly, a vocal membership will recommend that the manifestos include a pledge to establish, by law, a statutory board for the elderly, similar to that of the Child Care Board, with the entity  replacing the various agencies handling issues of concern to seniors.

“We looked at the cost of living and we felt that there were some zero-rated items in the basket of goods that need to be removed and replaced by ones that a more reflective of the basic needs of Barbadians,” the  BARP head said.

The enforcement of penalties and jail time for littering, as well as legislation which ensures the prosecution of persons who illegally use designated parking lots for the elderly and disabled will also be part of the proposals.

6 Responses to Address our issues, BARP tells political parties

  1. John Everatt October 27, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    BARP is a powerful group of voters. Politicians need to listen to this group as their votes just might make a difference.

  2. Bajan boy October 28, 2017 at 1:48 am

    They need a leader.

  3. Lee October 28, 2017 at 8:09 am

    BARP members outnumber the aggregate of the trade union movement, and have the wisdom of age, a nurturing disposition and a genuine love for the island on its side. Indeed a strong basis for political contention. They know the meaning of vulnerability, and the value of INTERDEPENDENCE. They should be persuaded to put forward a party. I would certainly support it.

  4. luther thorne October 28, 2017 at 10:11 am

    One Big problem in Barbados is that everybody wants politicians to solve their problems for them
    They will announce the problem and complain and leave somebody else to do something about it. They have made Politicians into Gods believing that when they cry out to Politicians that the Politicians have all the answers.Hey ! Wake up !Politicians are human beings who have to eat and sleep although they might want to create the impression that they have all the amswers and they can solve all the problems. That is so because they want you to believe in them enough to give them your vote. Reality Check ! Politicians need help too and you have to help them by making sure that they do what they promised, what the Law requires and what is in the best interest of the Country. The foolishness about supporting a party or individual in whatever nonsense they do must stop.

  5. Helicopter(8P) October 28, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Luther I think you may be partially correct on the attitude of Barbadians but here is what i see . Barbadians refuse the stepo to the heads of departmental administration for answers which should be resolved at departmental level and so being said they bypass the chain of command and hed streight to the Parlimentarian

  6. Alex Alleyne October 29, 2017 at 6:56 am

    BARP in BIM trying to be the AARP of the USA. AARP make sure it’s members are well taking care of and looked after for spending their “hard earned MONEY” with them.
    BARP is a waste of time , they need to get it’s act together. The health insurance thing they had going with ICBL sucks, no wonder it fell flat on it’s face. With such a LARGE aging population in BIM BARB should be standing “head & shoulders” in CARICOM.


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