In recent years we have seen a clear and deliberate policy of Owen Arthur to throw open the doors to the borders of Barbados. This action has seen the endless stream of immigrants entering from around the region and beyond. Currently the debate rages around the influx of Guyanese and specifically; the Indo-Guyanese. We have also seen the government’s willingness to recruit healthcare workers from the Philippines and Nigeria. Many Barbadian have started to ask how will this will policy affect the current demographics of Barbados. What will be the socio-economic consequences of such a liberal immigration policy?In recent days we have heard the start of a debate on the minimum wage arising from a study done by Professor Andrew Downes. At BU we have immediately linked the government’s anticipated action to the fact that a relatively high percentage of the immigrant population will be affected by a movement in the minimum wage. Is there a basis for connecting dots or is it a simple case as illustrated by the “clip” below that the population growth of Barbados is projected to be static through to 2050 and the economic growth of Barbados will have to be sustained from immigrant labour?
I suppose some men may suggest that the predicament we find ourselves can be linked to the rise of a professional and very educated Barbadian woman who appears to be placing career first!