It is 148 days since the last general election in Barbados. The result returned the Mia Mottley led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) the office in unprecedented manner and forced the DLP to jettison Verla De Peiza as President- replaced by Dr. Ronnie Yearwood who has been in seat for 49 days. Is it too soon some are asking for a coherent policy position to be emanating from George Street?
The saying goes that extraordinary times require extraordinary people, there is no denying we are living in extraordinary times. That said, it is a reasonable expectation by Barbadians to expect those presenting themselves for public office to hit the ground running. The system of democracy- even if a parody of the Westminster system practised by Barbados- requires a strident dissenting voice. In Yearwood’s defence he is president of a private entity and his first obligation is try to infuse a DLP suffering near political coma.
President Dr. Ronnie Yearwood recently made a statement challenging government’s ‘proposed plan’ to tackle cost of living. The blogmaster’s position has always been it is a difficult undertaking for a party in opposition without full grasp of the public purse to offer constructive alternatives. Yearwood is understandably trying to piggyback on issues resonating with the public. On the other side of the issue, Mottley has the task of managing an economy still spluttering from the shock of 2008 global meltdown and the so-called ‘lost decade’ which followed.
BU’s Artax analyzed Yearwood’s recent cost of living recommendations. It was not complimentary.
Yearwood isn’t proposing anything NEW.
From economists, political scientists, members of special interest groups, contributors to social media platforms, former DLP president DePeiza, Lynette Eastmond, Joseph Atherley, Grenville Phillips II, aspiring politicians…… to the ‘average man and woman on the streets,’ criticised the size of Mottley’s Cabinet and the number of consultants, almost immediately after she announced them, following the May 24, 2018 and January 19, 2022 general elections…….and have been calling on her to reduce the number since then.
The 1% levy on persons earning $6,250 per month was also heavily criticised. But, I can’t understand how its removal would help poor people.
Perhaps Yearwood could offer further explanations.
From the inception of VAT in 1998, the DLP and BLP while in Opposition, have asked and promised to expand the ‘basket of goods,’ only to reneged on their promises after ‘taking up the reins of government.’
“Remove the excise tax on fuel by 40 cents per litre and to offer relief to pensioners,” has also been previously suggested.
“Calling on Government to bring forward the reverse tax credit of $1300 for people earning below $25,000 per annum,” also requires further explanation, especially when one takes into consideration that the DEMS reduced the reverse tax credit to $650 during the recession.– Artax
How does he plan to finance $1,300 to be paid to an increase in the number of persons who would become eligible?
Who are the members of DLP’s economic team? Under former president De peiza it was not clear. In the current challenging economic times, compounded by the perilous state of the economy, quality people, quality decisions must form part of a DLP looking to be perceived as competent by an apathetic and cynical electorate, especially in the area of finance.