Thursday 13 August, 2020

AT A GLANCE: DLP 2018 Manifesto

They have boasted of progress and have reminded Barbadians to stand strong. 

The Democratic Labour Party has showcased what their plans are over the next five years with a manifesto that they proposed on Thursday, May 17th in Oistins. Even though they had a pre-manifesto showing by the opposition Barbados Labour Party, the DLP still managed to show up with a brand new never seen before 52-page document.

They have been criticized in many areas like raising taxes from 15 percent to 17.5 percent, for introducing the National Social Responsibility Levy and for increasing University Education. It is within political nature for the government in a democracy like Barbados to receive harsh criticism and backlash from the Opposition. However, let’s take a look at what they are yet again proposing. Afterall, they were voted in last elections by the majority of Barbadians.

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AGRICULTURE

 

- A new agricultural training school will be established to provide suitable teaching and practice sites for agricultural students to promote national food security and import substitution plan.

- The first agricultural training institute in Barbados will include teaching offices, staff and student dormitories, greenhouses, breeding sheds, agricultural machinery maintenance and storage.

- Agribusiness Science Park at Dukes

- The project with US $34 Million will place Barbados at the centre of Agricultural Training and Education in the Caribbean an on completion will see:

- A modern conference facility seating 500 persons;

- Large tracts of land for farming.

- Agro-processing facilities;

- Meat curing facilities;

- Chocolate manufacturing and training facility;

- Cotton processing facility.

- A food standards laboratory


 

CULTURAL INDUSTRIES

 

- Introduce a new Barbados Culture and Heritage Course at the Primary School level;

- Create a permanent home for the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts.

- Provide scholarships for NIFCA winners.

- Provide business financing for NIFCA winners;

- The Barbados Tourism Product Inc; in collaboration with Tourism related entities will develop a series of themed nights based on local food, beverage, art, craft and entertainment.



 

RENEWABLE ENERGY

- Facilitate Utility Scale Renewable Energy Projects to get to 50% of peak demand by renewables by 2026.

- Establish a Green Bus Fund to support the replacement of the state bus fleet with cleaner, greener vehicles.

- Provide a 25% rebate on land taxes to households with vehicles not powered by fossil fuels.

- Provide incentives for further research into renewable energy technologies and their applications.

 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

 

- Create schools fit for the digital age;

- Promote the development of Barbados as a digital society and economy through the development and implementation of a National Digital Strategy;

- Promote free Wi-Fi access in public spaces.

- Provide accelerated depreciation for the capital costs of establishing E-commerce or Digital Commerce platform;

- Develop and implement a National Broadband Plan, e-Government and eHealth Strategies


 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP, SMALL BUSINESS and INNOVATION

 

- Re-introduce the income tax deduction for Credit Union Shares and Deposits.

- Remove the asset tax on Cooperatives;

- Provide for Deposit Insurance on deposits at Cooperatives;

- Support the establishment of a credit union-owned and operated commercial bank.

- Double the budget of the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) to expand into a centre of excellence in Youth Entrepreneurship.

Seek international partnerships for the establishment of a Venture Capital Financing for SMES through the Credit Unions Movement.

 

EDUCATION

- Providing 200 specialist Math Teachers at the Primary School level (50 new teachers a year);

- Providing 200 specialists English language teachers at the primary school level (50 new teachers a year);

- Providing a comprehensive remedial Mathematics and English Language programme at the Secondary School level;

- A cadre of Social Work and psychological professionals will gradually be deployed across the Primary school system to offer early interventions among children who demonstrate grave social, emotional and psychological behaviours.

 

 

HEALTH

- Aggressively promote the “Ounce of Prevention” tax credits;

- Provide tax credits for gym memberships.

- Provide mandatory health checks at schools;

- Promote the establishment of community exercise facilities.

- Provide tax credits for private health insurance.

- Reform the planning, management and board memberships of hospitals to ensure a more accountable, effective system.

 

PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY

Mandate at least 50% female membership on all state boards by 2026.

Mandate that by 2026 at least 25% of all private sector board members should be female.

Compel all large companies to publish their gender pay gap;

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