Political Violence: When the DLP Gets it Wrong – Barbadians Pay! Social Commentary: Henderson Bovell

The DLP is refusing to accept that its policies and association are not only making Barbadians poor but are putting the entire country at greater risk, day-after-day. {FILE IMAGE courtesy - YOUNG SOCIALISTS}

Despite trying everything possible for the past three years, the DLP is still unable to give Barbadians the confidence that it understands the nature of the problems facing this country. Barbadians are therefore fed-up with the DLP, which is now playing tug-of-war with itself over whether there should be a Cabinet reshuffle. This is a political party that – just does not get it! It promised to put Barbados on a “pathway to progress,” but has created such hardship, that the Welfare Department is now being told to ‘just go ahead and pay and do the social survey after.’

While all of this drama is talking place, the DLP argues that it wants more time. To do what exactly — no one knows! No one is criticizing the ruling party, without just cause – because, it is now clear that whenever the DLP gets it wrong (as it has been doing with alarming frequency since 2008) Barbadians are taxed to pay for those inexcusable and elementary blunders.

This is akin to a man getting drunk and broke in a rum shop, then when he becomes slightly sober – stumbles home and takes-out the frustration for his recklessness, on his wife. That would be domestic violence. In the DLP’s case, it is unnecessary and unjustifiable taxation and a reckless abuse of power.

In Henderson Bovell's opinion - "First, it succeeded in preventing yet more money from circulating in the economy, by reducing the capacity of people to spend and purchase, thereby dampening economic activity, and secondly, it keeps adding to the national debt, thereby creating a scenario where that loan has to be repaid (by the same people who are already being taxed) with interest."

The DLP has simply sucked too much money out of the economy and has therefore taken the lead in depressing economic activity further, when it ought to have been the one promoting confidence, as well as, driving investment and growth. For the first time in history, Barbadians have a Government they cannot afford and one, they cannot look to for solutions because it does not know what it is doing and is therefore a major part of the problem the country faces, anyhow. And so: this slide; this ugly spectacle and sorry state of affairs – is yet another chapter in the unprecedented and dangerous mismanagement of the Barbados economy, which started on April 25th 2008.

It is simply no laughing matter but in many instances, the DLP has placed an unjustified burden on the taxpayers of this country, because it has increased taxes and in many instances – has also borrowed a loan for that very purpose, thereby creating a double-whammy. First, it succeeded in preventing yet more money from circulating in the economy, by reducing the capacity of people to spend and purchase, thereby dampening economic activity, and secondly, it keeps adding to the national debt, thereby creating a scenario where that loan has to be repaid (by the same people who are already being taxed) with interest. But it will get worse, the more time the DLP is given!

This is a case of an ‘uncaring and insensitive Government,’ doing everything possible to confiscate the savings of ordinary Barbadians, while also punishing their success. It has not yet occurred to the DLP that increasing taxes or the rate of a tax – does not mean the Government will get more revenue, because if people see a tax, as being too much or outrageous, they will either find a way to avoid it altogether or buy less. But given the amount of unnecessary taxation since January 2008, a large number of Barbadians are “taxed to the max” and therefore cannot afford to pay. This Government does not understand that the pain it is causing at the pump, is already forcing Barbadians to make life-saving cut-backs: It is now a choice of starvation or eviction and homelessness, for many.

This is not a Government on the side of poor people – but one which is taking advantage of them and one which punishes ordinary Barbadians whenever it makes another mistake. So the DLP makes yet another mistake or gets it wrong yet again and (as a political bully would) it blames the people and punishes them with higher taxes. Something is serious wrong with that approach, which is definitely not “good governance.” And the DLP says it wants more time! To do what exactly: increase prices more and inflict more unnecessary pain on the poor?

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