Honeymoon Period Over for Mottley Government
Swordplay and ripostes are a feature of the political landscape of any country. Two years out from a general election constitutionally due in 2023 we have started to see a ramping up of the political vitriol and rhetoric by the two main political parties.
There is no doubt in the minds of political observers the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) took management of a poorly performing economy in 2018. The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) before its historic defeat was reported at one point to be borrowing 50 million monthly from the Central Bank of Barbados to meet salary commitment to the public sector, and the financial position of the NIS fund had deteriorated as a result of operating as government’s ATM. The foreign reserves dipped to a low level, for the first time Barbados achieved junk status credit rating and had become a pariah in the capital market. The parity of the Barbados dollar was under attack with predictably the D-word being mentioned as the ‘lord and saviour’ of our economic problems.
The Mia Mottley led BLP immediately on winning office took unpopular decisions to default on local and foreign debt by hiring White Oak Advisory, a boutique financial advisory outfit based in the UK see Barbados creditors fume at ‘absurd’ $27m advisory fees. Appointed the largest Cabinet some suggest in the world on per 1000 of population supported by the tagline – many hands make light work.
Along with taking over a poorly performing economy, external events have not been kind to the incumbent. The DLP in 2006 had to manage the economy during a global recession and in 2019 the BLP has had to manage the economy in a COVID 19 induced pandemic. That said, members of households although sympathetic to macro issues are always more concerned with bread and butter issues; maintaining an acceptable quality of life.
After 3 years in office the gloves are off and the performance of government – notwithstanding the challenges presented by the times – is attracting greater public scrutiny.
Enuff a pro-BLP BU commenter posted the following in defence of government’s performance and what is in the implementation pipeline.
- … who is about to redevelop the same Temple Yard through the UDC?
- Who about to give 50 acres to youth at Wakefield for farming?
- When your opponent is in your strongest seat racking up achievements and with zero seats in parliament your leader (Verla De Peiza) runs away, you’re in a bad state.
- More frightening is the leader in trying to get a foothold in St.Lucy is reported as saying “there is really a lot that needs to be done in St Lucy”, this is after the parish was represented in Parliament by a DLP member for 32 unbroken years starting in 1986, 18 of which the party was the government.
- Added to this are the topics she focused on water and buses when the BWA busy laying mains in St Lucy, a desal plant is in the works, more buses are coming and a mass transit framework. So that platform dead in the waatuh!
- The fact is that Dems can’t handle the government’s performance and know that with 2 years still to go another beating awaits. QEH upgraded A&E opening early next month.
- More HOPE housing coming, including St.Lucy and St.John.
- Vending legislation coming.
- National digital ID, licensing authority sorted (ASYCUD a lot of early noise too), new ways to pay and receive money, new mechanics and bodywork clusters.
- Scotland District rehab
- More buses
- More road improvements.
- New recycling and garbage collection.
- Vineyard project, new reservoirs, more water from Ionics.
- IL (the legislation for the commission has already been passed), whistleblower legislation etc etc all before the next election.
- KLM and Aer Lingus starting flights later in the year. Yuh remember empty Gol from Brazil? The Dems would do better to send a bowling machine.
Discuss for 5 marks.