AT A GLANCE: BLP 2018 Manifesto
Barbados Labour Party during the launch of the party's manifesto.
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was the first out of the blocks to release a manifesto in the 2018 General Elections.
The 76-page document contains a plethora of promises to fix near every aspect of the country's operations. This includes declining foreign reserves, failing public service, damaged roads and new education policies. The manifesto has been criticised for over-promising, however party leader, Mia Mottley believes it is within the power of the BLP to accomplish all that has been set out in the manifesto.
YOUTH & EDUCATION
- National Apprenticeship Scheme that delivers new skills and increases employability of young people.
- Secondary school specialization- every secondary school to become a top school in a particular discipline whether academic or non-academic, or relating to the arts or trades.
- Global Youth- every student will be taught to swim, carry out first aid, speak a foreign language and exposed to an artistic and sporting discipline.
- Free tuition for students of the University of the West Indies.
AGRICULTURE & ENERGY
- Create legal vending spaces on our highways to decriminalize vending and help vendors earn a living.
- Green Barbados 2030- transition to renewable energy and create a green economy which is low carbon and resource efficient.
- Boost foreign exchange by allowing Barbadians to hold any foreign currency that they have earned in their local bank accounts.
- Abolishing the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), replacing Road Tax with a more equitable tax on petroleum products and returning VAT to 15 percent within 18 months.
- Raising non-contributory pension from $155 to $225 per week. Maintain relativity to contributory pension.
- Providing a cost of living allowance and passing legislation to recognize trade unions.
- Health is Wealth Grant, actual cash in hand if a person can get fit, reduce the severity of chronic disease and avoid expensive treatments and surgeries.
- Paternity leave for fathers who want to stay home with newborns.
- Marijuana and Society- in following the science, allow medicinal marijuana to be available to those who need it. A referendum on the decriminalization of recreational marijuana will be held to stop locking up people for spliffs and expedite the process for the expungement of criminal records for persons with convictions for simple possession.
- Buying new trucks to have scheduled, regular pickups for garbage collection.
- Obtain equipment to keep the South Coast sewage plant functioning until it is permanently fixed. Seek funds to upgrade both the South Coast and Bridgetown systems to tertiary treatment plants.
- People Power assemblies to promote entrepreneurship, carry out community training and programmes.
- Increase minimum wage for all up to $8.00 per hour, up from $6.25 and extend it to all workers in every sector of the economy currently below this threshold.
TRANSPORT & ROADS
- Buying new buses for the Transport Board and urgently repairing existing ones.
- Carrying out a costed, road repair and rebuilding programme. Developing a comprehensive 10-year road rehabilitation and road building action plan.