Government Planning to Increase Penalty Fee for Vendors
One of the things we have to respect is that vending has been a way of life from slavery days, whereby people would have plied their trade whether selling fruits, whether selling whatever to feed their families and indeed vending has taken people in this country out of poverty. It send [sic] many children to school including myself. I am testimony of a grandfather who was vendor in Ellerton, St. George… so indeed I am supportive of vendors …We just need to give them the respect that is due to them and also give them the space that they require to be part of the landscape of this country.
Last weekend the Prime Minister Mia Mottley at the Barbados Labour Party’s annual conference made passing reference to itinerant vending in Barbados and the need for some order to be brought to bear. The matter of vending along the streets of Barbados has been given lip service by successive BLP and DLP administrations. All will agree that citizens of Barbados from the lowest social class are members of the vendor class.
A scan of parliament’s website shows the Markets and Slaughter-Houses (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on the Order Paper. One of the reasons for the amendment to quote the Bill – “… is to amend the Markets and Slaughter-Houses Act, Cap. 265 to make provision for the imposition of pecuniary penalties and other matters related thereto…The pecuniary penalty in respect of an order made pursuant to subsection (3) is $300″. The current fine is $50.00.
Given the class of person who will be affected by the increase in penalty begs the question – is the proposed increase in the fine and other amendments to the Act fair?