The main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) will not participate in the 375th anniversary celebrations of the Barbados’ Parliament.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley said the decision had been taken not to accept any invitation “that would necessitate the government spending BDS$100 000 (One BDS dollar = US$0.50 cents) on what we consider non-essential expenditure while sending home people.
“It’s not fair, it’s not right,” Mottley said, adding it was not fair to ask Barbadians to bear such a sacrifice and at the same time flaunt money in a celebratory fashion.
The Freundel Stuart government has started implementing a retrenchment programme that would result in 3,000 public servants being dismissed as the government seeks to reverse an ailing economy.
The opposition has criticized the proposal and government has even found disagreement within its ranks with Agriculture Minister Dr David Estwick, a former finance minister, saying he was prepared to put the country above politics as it relates to the government policy.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Michael Carrington, said given the current financial constraints facing the government, the yearlong celebrations to mark the anniversary of the third oldest parliament within the Commonwealth, activities would be educational and cultural in nature but would encourage Barbadians from all walks of life to “own the celebrations and feel as if they are part of them”.
The event will be attended by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, who is here to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards