Under a re-elected Barbados Labour Party Government, the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West indies, which is owed about $150 million by the Freundel Stuart administration, will be converted into a town, that attracts substantial foreign exchange earnings.
This was revealed last night by St. James Central candidate Kerrie Symmonds, while giving supporters a brief look into the BLP’s manifesto that will be officially launched on Thursday.
Speaking at a political meeting at Welchman Hall, St. Thomas on behalf of St.Thomas prospective parliamentarian, Cynthia Forde, Symmonds assured that “we will take Cave Hill and turn it into a university town.”
He said the ratio is 76 per cent of students from Barbados, 18 per cent from the region and the rest from outside the Caribbean.
The St.James Central hopeful pointed out that Cave Hill has a roll of 10,000 students, but he was informed by Principal Sir Hilary Beckles, that it could accommodate 15,000.
“Let us use the campus as a foreign exchange earning solution,” suggested Symmonds.
“Think,” added the attorney-at-law,”what 5,000 people from North America or England coming into Barbados to study could do, instead of the life line disappearing.”
The BLP candidate claimed that the Cave Hill Campus has been forced to get money from St Augstine Campus in Trinidad to pay its wages. †He revealed that Cave Hill has a $7 million wages bill and defaulted on it by $6 million every month.
“Every month there is a bigger bill that is not being paid by this government. †This Government paid $40 million to redo a design for a marina that has gone nowhere, $120 million so far squandered at Water Authority, but can’t find $6 million for Cave Hill?” asked Symmonds.†”I sense Barbadians are fed up with what the DLP is doing on its platforms. †Too much cursing from the DLP platforms. But we need to hear what can we aspire to after the general elections. Benn had every opportunity to reduce VAT as ministern of commerce. †
“He said there was price gouging, but yet the VAT went up to 17.5 per cent. †The VAT that humbgging you. † ADPDT out of Egnland…hgiher tax to Barbados…How do we counteract that problem? †BLP has said find way to fix them. †He announced that the BLP manifesto, was also pledging the introduction of “only” a 7.5 per cent tax on hotel rooms, as one way of counteracting the British revenue collecting departure passenger tax.”
The St.James Central candidate told supporters, too, that another manifesto promise would see the opening of schools in the evening for the purpose of conducting skills training programmes and evening classes. With regards to the elderly, measures would be put in place to protect them and look after their welfare. † †
“There are people who supposed to be looking after the elderly and pick up their money and gone along with it; pick up their pensions. A Special Act of Parliament wll be introduced to proect elderly people’s property. †A special penalty will be created for those who breach the rights of elderlyt people,” Symmonds informed the Welchman Hall mass meeting.
“We will introduce $10,000 allowances for persons who have to care for the elderly and unwell as well as incentives for those who create day care facilities for the older persons,” announced Symmonds. (EJ)†