POLL – Former Chairman of Barbados’ National Assistance Board presents Letter to the Editor/Statement to the Media {DEVIL’s ADVOCATE #11: Rights of Barbados’ Sr Citizens}

Dear All;

A fmr. NAB Chairman says if BARP members cannot see returns on investments made with CLICO then in his view this is no better than assaulting the island's elderly - how do YOU feel?

A fmr. NAB Chairman says if BARP members cannot see returns on investments made with CLICO then in his view this is no better than assaulting the island's elderly - how do YOU feel?

In its 2008 Manifesto, the Democratic Labour Party gave a commitment that it will treasure this country’s seniors in their golden years and further stated that it is committed to caring for all Barbadians in their senior years.

Members of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) – all of whom are over 50 years old – must be wondering if the DLP had them in mind when it made that statement and exactly how committed is the DLP to what it wrote in that Manifesto, especially now that the actions and decision of the same DLP Government – is making it extremely difficult for them to get their investment made through BARP – out of Clico.

As a former Chairman of the National Assistance Board, I wonder whether in its haste to protect Clico – the decision and actions by this David Thompson led Government – does not constitute elder abuse? Elder Abuse is often defined as a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.

Is Barbadian society ready to make a stand? More and more seek to come to the Bajan Reporter to make their feelings known, while more and more are choosing not to be anonymous - what do we need to do?

Is Barbadian society ready to make a stand? More and more seek to come to the Bajan Reporter to make their feelings known, while more and more are choosing not to be anonymous - what do we need to do?

Recent events seems like an inexcusable breach of trust on the part of the DLP towards older Barbadians, especially members of BARP who will now find it difficult to get their nest eggs out of Clico, whereas an officer of that company was reported to have been able to get hundreds of thousands out, effortlessly. How could this be fair?

The DLP must be reminded that financial abuse can rob a senior of self–esteem and trust, as well as of his or her means of subsistence. And, although financial exploitation does not leave physical scars, it is a serious and shameful act, especially by a Government that had already given a commitment to protect seniors in their golden years.

It is why the silence of the Minister who has responsibility for Families and also for Elder Affairs, is puzzling. Is this the society the DLP is manufacturing where the State and its friends appear to take the lead in the financial abuse of senior citizens?

I therefore call on this Government to do the Christian thing and remember and honour its Manifesto pledge to seniors and to also do all in its power to protect our senior citizens in their golden years, especially since this DLP administration has already unkindly cut the vote to the National Assistance Board and the Welfare Department.

Yours faithfully,

Henderson N Bovell

Former Chairman,

National Assistance Board

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