Submitted by Tee White
If it’s now going to be ‘national meeting hand’, then obviously the first principle would have to be that it’s voluntary. I have never heard of a meeting hand where you have to be in it even if you don’t want to. If individual public sector workers choose to accept the government bonds on that basis, then that’s their choice. If however, any individual is forced to be part of the ‘national meeting hand’, whether by the union leadership or government, then it’s not a meeting hand at all.
The government is persisting with this idea, claiming that its aim is to “carry as many Barbadians as possible”. But there’s a simpler and much fairer way to “carry as many Barbadians as possible”. That is that those who have benefited the most over the last 6 decades from turning the island from a sugar cane plantation into a one legged tourism economy must put their hands in their pockets and put some money on the table now that the wheels have come off the donkey cart that they, and the politicians they paid for, built to serve their own interests and which has now got the entire country in a predicament. They’ve become multi-millionaires and billionaires by changing agricultural land into residential land and selling it to developers, by signing lucrative contracts with the government to manage government owned hotels, by linking up with foreign tour operators and in a million other ways. They have full their belly for the last 60 years and now the bill has arrived, they want to pass it to the workers to pay. No way!
A special Covid 19 tax on those with deep pockets should provide the government with all the funds it needs. Remember if you tax a billionaire at 99% of their wealth, they would still be a multi-millionaire at the end of it. They still wouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, how to pay their rent or water or electricity bill. That’s the way to “carry as many Barbadians as possible”.