PM: No one left behind during restructuring process
Despite the heavy debt and some state-owned enterprises in a state of “bankruptcy”, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley says no one will be left behind and she is confident her administration can revive the country level of stability.
Speaking to a packed audience at Solidarity House, she delivered the feature address at The Barbados Workers Union (BWU) 77th Annual Delegates Conference on Saturday.
The PM said after fifty-two years of Independence, Barbados is at its worst state – and as such there is a need for transformation.
Calling it a “deep hole”, she relayed that The Transport Board is now requesting $80 million dollars to deal with issues at that institution; The Barbados Water Authority she says is now calling on government for another $120 million to meet its expenditures that, coupled with a debt of $480 million owed for income tax returns to Barbadians. She also disclosed that $165 million is owed for land that was compulsorily acquired from Barbadians.
Mottley speaking as the administration celebrated its 100th day in office yesterday, called for partnership and cooperation from all Barbadians.
“Somebody said to me that government is making it too easy, so everybody feel that it is business as usual because we are trying to move forward to transform, but I have come here to tell you I need you but we can only do this together,” a passionate Mottley said.
Taking a swipe at how the last administration attended the international business sector, Mottley said its now fragile position is a major concern.
“In 2008 when we left office, we earned as a country $520 million in corporation taxes, today we struggle to earn $280 million. Of that $520 about $360 was from the international business sector and $160 was from the domestic business sector,” she explained.
The blacklisting by the OECD last December has also dealt a blow to the sector she further admonished.
She took a swipe at the former government also for the handling of The United Commercial Autoworks Limited (UCAL), noting UCAL should have been treated better and not sidelined while others were paid.
UCAL, she believed, can work if treated properly, despite being owed $15 million.
Yesterday’ conference attended by government ministers, the leader of the opposition, union members and supporters and other dignitaries was held under the theme “Delivering for All”.
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