Barbadians Suffering Under DLP’s Economy Whip (Third and final in Current Series from Henderson Bovell, Social Commentator)
The Democratic Labour Party was never afraid to let it be known that the management of the economy was not one of its priorities. In fact, even when in Opposition – the DLP made it clear that Barbados has competent public servants and that it will leave the management of the economy up to them.
Then in its 2008 Manifesto, the DLP said on page 7, that: “Barbadians can and should rest assured that a Democratic Labour Party administration will do something tangible and meaningful abut this vexing issue of the cost of living because we are beholden to no one.” Barbadians are still waiting in vain! Even more shocking was a pledge to balance the budget and run a small deficit at the same time. It was at that point that right-thinking Barbadians became alarmed and extremely worried.
Within its first 100 days in office, the DLP went to CBC and increase diesel prices by a whopping 77%, despite having promised to reduce the cost of living. Even die-hard dems began to realise that the country was in serious trouble. On July 7th 2008, the DLP introduced an inflationary budget and snatched over $108 million from the pockets of Barbadians, by way of increased fees and taxes.
In October of that year the global financial crisis hit but by then, the DLP had already done significant damage to the Barbados economy, as a result of its flawed policies, bad decisions and poor judgment. But such dangerous mismanagement of the economy is a departure from what the Rt. Excellent Errol Barrow stated in his mirror image speech, Mr. Barrow said then that: “The DLP has an image that the people of Barbados would be able to run their own affairs, to pay for the cost of running their own country…”
How then would you describe a Government that inherited an economy with a current account surplus of some $120 million but was able to transform that into a deficit of some $538 million in less than three years? The DLP continues to borrow tax and spend and yet it cannot point to any hospital, road, hotel, airport or any structure it has built with the money. But the DLP is not alone in this. Those who help it get elected are equally responsible for the mess this country is now in. It is why there is urgent need for ‘campaign finance reform to protect the integrity of our democracy.’
There was a time when the Government of Barbados was able to offer assistance to the private sector or its citizens if they got into trouble. But not this DLP! It is broke. It is in no way able to assist Barbadians to ‘keep body and soul together,’ and in fact – is likely to tighten the screws even more next month at the Estimates, although Barbadians have already being “tax to the max.”
And while all of this is happening, the DLP blames the global financial crisis for its costly mistakes. The truth is that the DLP does not want to be held accountable. But by blaming the global crisis, it hopes to hide its many inexcusable blunders; down-play its dangerous mismanagement of the economy and justify imposing additional taxes on Barbadians.
And yet, the people of this country do not seem to realise that this is precisely the predicament in which the DLP placed this country between 1991 and 1994. The only difference now is that the BLP left some $2.5 billion in foreign exchange. Else, this country would already be in the hip pocket of the IMF.
Barbadians are being beaten into submission and are crumbling under the whip of the DLP. Such fury was only supposed to come from the slave master. There were reports that because our society is being ‘taxed to the max,’ by the DLP – some 40,000 otherwise law-abiding citizens were driving without road tax. Exactly what type of society is the DLP really manufacturing?
The bottom line is that Barbados is saddled with a Government it cannot trust and can no longer afford. But even now, the DLP is still trying to bluff its way. It is how you know that our country is in serious trouble but our “Hollywood Government” continues acting and blaming others for its costly errors.