Tuesday 21 January, 2020

Solutions Barbados promises prosperity for 'all citizens'

Solution Barbados' (SB) spokesman on finance and economic affairs, as well as their candidate for Christ Church East Central, Scott Weatherhead.

Solution Barbados' (SB) spokesman on finance and economic affairs, as well as their candidate for Christ Church East Central, Scott Weatherhead.

"Solutions Barbados is the only party that offers real change to the citizens of Barbados."

That was the recent message from Solution Barbados' (SB) spokesman on finance and economic affairs, as well as their candidate for Christ Church East Central, Scott Weatherhead.

General secretary of the Barbados Workers' Union (BWU) Toni Moore, noted over the weekend that SB and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) requested meetings with them to discuss workers issues during the 2018 general election campaign, while noting that "the current administration has not met with us". A situation that the SB candidate believes is reflective of a "callous and arrogant attitude":

"Solutions Barbados completely empathizes with the plight of public workers who have not received a pay increase for 10 years. Yet we see that the ministers of government have seen it fit to reinstate their 10 percent pay cut, while ignoring the request of the unions for pay increase on behalf of its members. Solutions Barbados is appalled at the callous and arrogant attitude this government has shown towards its civil service employees, over this matter of pay increases, which we believe is in keeping with the way this administration has mismanaged the public services and the economy as a whole."

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Highlighting "misplaced financial priorities" of the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) adminstration, Weatherhead stressed that his party will privide "immediate relief" for Barbadians:

"This mismanagement embraces concerns such as ineffective fiscal policies, poor tax administration, bad fiscal planning and misplaced financial priorities. The union was seeking a 23 percent pay increase for its workers, in order to compensate for the significant increases in the cost of living, brought about by the increase in taxes by almost one billion since this administration came to office. The union also sought a reduction in the National Social Responsibility Levy, which increased some 400 percent in the last year or they sought an alternative coping subsidy, in order to reduce any further suffering under the burden of this levy. 

"Under a Solutions Barbados administration, we unequivalently promise all Barbadians and their representative trade union, to provide all public servants and citizens with immediate relief from economic hardship, by offering an effective increase in net disposable income, at least equivalent to the 23 percent crease the unions have sought."

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He went on to explain how this will be done:

"The following economic measures will be phased in starting immediately on assuming office:  Solutions Barbados will completely remove the 10 percent National Social Responsibility Levy; we will completely remove the 17 percent value-added tax; we will completely remove the two percent foreign exchange commission; we will reduce personal income taxed from the range of 16 to 25 percent down to 10 percent flat tax with no deductions; we will completely remove import duties and taxes on healthy foods; we will reduce land taxes through agricultural incentives; there will be no taxes on pensions for retirement benefits under a Solutions Barbados adminstration."

The economic advisor further stressed that measures will be taken to reduce the cost of government:

"Now these measures, as well as others outlined in our manifesto, will result in a dramatic decrease in the cost of living in Barbados, releasing a significant increase in disposable income to all citizens. 

"Additionally, the cost of government administration will be reduced, closing the gap on the fiscal deficit and triggering a positive rebound in the economy. Dramatic increases in tax efficiency will result from tax reform policies, spreading the tax burden more evenly between citizens and corporations. This means that the misplaced tax burden on the poor and middle class through ineffective bandage methods such as VAT and NSRL will be corrected so that all citizens can finally prosper."

He urged Barbadians to vote for his party if they wish to see the economy "rebound to the benefit of citizens of this country":

"Solutions Barbados is the only party that offers real change to the citizens of Barbados. We are the only party to put forward significant and meaningful solutions to fix our economy... [Use your] constitutional right in the forthcoming general election, to vote for a party that has put forward workable solutions to increase their spending power and to fix our economy. That party my firends, in Solutions Barbados."

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