The Democratic Labour Party Caring For The Poor
Submitted by Porridgeboy
The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) came to power on what is known and clearly established as a myriad of EMPTY promises. This country was promised an accessible and transparent government. In his 2008 Budgetary Proposals, page 25, the late Prime Minister David Thompson spoke about a Governance Advisory Board that was set up under the Chairmanship of Independent Senator Orlando Marville, former Central Bank Governor Calvin Springer, Professor Dr. Eudine Barriteau, Attorney at Law Monique Taitt, the Very Reverent Frank Marshall, Dean of St. Michael and Shantal Munro-Knight a leader and policy–advisor in the NGO movement.
This board was to prepare draft legislation in the following areas:
Integrity (to include declaration of Asset by Public officials, and a code of conduct for Ministers
Freedom of Information
New Constitutional Provisions to rationalize the power of the Prime Minister.
Hence I am forced to ask a few question:
Where has this board disappeared to?
Did it die with the late Prime Minister?
Was this just another promise to capture the vote of the people?
Folks, I am only asking.
In it’s 2008 declaration of principles, policies, and objectives, commonly known as a Manifesto, the Democratic Labour Party stated on page 6, under the caption “Putting the People First” that lowering the cost of living was its objective. It stated factually that the BLP was responsible for ordinary Barbadians not enjoying a comfortable living in this country. Because of their failure to correct the imbalances in the wholesale and retail sectors, hence forcing small and medium size business (including black businesses) out of the sector.
It further stated that a new DLP administration will use the power and patronage of the government not to disadvantage existing participants in the distribution sector. Instead to allow for new and efficient players to come into the sector and through increased competition contribute to the creation of a fair market structure. Also to liberate the sector and spread options and opportunities to Barbadians creating a new environment for lower prices.
The question once again goes a-begging. Has this administration done anything different since taking office in 2008? Is it not the same distributors that the DLP accused the BLP of giving monopolies? Are we still not waiting for businesses like Cost U Less that was promised by the late Prime Minister, if the distribution sector did not pull up their socks? We are then left to conclude that the statement “to liberalize the sector and level the playing field by spreading more options to Barbadians” was just the same old rhetoric by the DLP. Simply put, a whole set of emptiness to fill the minds of the people. One thing for sure and that is, life has not been made any easier for Barbadians as promised by this DLP administration. Inflation has soared since 2008 -2011 and the erosion of the middle class is well on its way to being extinct.
This Caring For The Poor government also stated in its 2008 Manifesto under the caption Improving Access to Property Ownership, page 8 that Barbadians from all sectors of society, especially those now starting out on life’s journey a piece of this rock. They promised to maintain the plight of pensioners with “a roof over their heads’’. The manifesto goes on to say that “decent housing is the key to good family life,” and that every citizen has the right to decent affordable housing.
But what has this administration done? The Coverly Project which was to be a pilot project of fifty (50) houses has turn into one large concrete jungle. These houses were built by the private sector and government at a cost of over $300, 000.00 each. For whom are there built? Not the poor. Over one thousand houses and very few are sold, and serious inquires are dwindling by the day (More on this later), while those who are really in need of a piece of the rock can only drive-by and look over the walls.
The poor and those who are now starting out on life’s journey are required to rent two and three bedroom houses at places like Country Road Towers at $600 and $830.80 monthly, Tweedside project three bedroom home rented at $590.80 monthly, to whom? These minimum wage workers are required to meet the high cost of utilities and high cost of food in the supermarkets and pay these exorbitant rents on their little minimum wage. Let us not forget that most of these are very young people with two or three children. Do the math. What about those single mothers and fathers who can’t find work and will never qualify for any of these homes. What has this caring Government done for them and the poor, NOTHING. Sadly those who were able to elevate themselves through the programs that were put in place by the BLP in the fourteen years they held government now find themselves slipping back down the ladder under the pressures of this idol Government (What humour).
Who has reaped the sweets from this administration? The little work generated by this administration has largely gone to the private developers that kept all the work for themselves thus avoiding any crumbs falling off the table for the poor to get. The jury is still out on the amount of work small contractors would have received from the developer at Covertly.
This is the Government that boast that they are doing so much for the poor? All this DLP GOVERNMENT has done since it as come to power is to make the poor poorer and is on the verge of bring the middle class to their knees by taxing them here, there and every were, however they feel like .The DLP conviction leaves a lot to desire .
If this the fulfilment of some of the promises in the DLP Manifesto to the people of Barbados, then I salute them. But did the administration think that we would let them get away with a do nothing cabinet? Ooops I forgot, a Manifesto is not a social contract between the people and the party.