Retired Professor of Economics at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, Sir Frank Alleyne, has accused the Opposition Barbados Labour Party of insulting the intelligence of Barbadians with their promise of swift relief once they assume political office after the February 21 general election.
Sir Frank issued this condemnation earlier this week while addressing a Democratic Labour Party meeting at Factory Close, Wildey, St. Michael
He told the crowd that no one on either side of the political divide could change the economic situation in Barbados overnight.
The retired lecturer in economics called on Barbadians to reject the “foolishness being presented by doctors and lawyers”.
Sir Frank charged that the positions taken by BLP spokesmen on economic matters were laughable.
He further charged that the party was engaging in “so much propaganda and untruths” when addressing the economic affairs of the state.
“It is happening because they feel that you are stupid. Barbados does well when there are inflows of foreign capital. It is an insult to your intelligence when Opposition spokesmen on the economy say they are going to put money in your pockets as soon as they are returned to office,” Sir Frank argued.
Sir Frank stressed that Barbados was a tiny country in the context of the world and therefore had very little impact on the world.
He told his audience that prior to the economic meltdown, wealthy people from the United Kingdom and the US invested their money in real estate in Barbados.
Sir Frank however pointed out with the collapse of many financial institutions such as the Bank of Iceland, inflows of capital dried up overnight.
The retired economist told his audience that if they drove around the coastline they would recognise several unfinished properties.
He maintained that no Government of Barbados since 1950 has ever faced challenges of the magnitude confronting the current administration.
Noting that the Opposition spokesmen on the economy had charged that the Freundel Stuart Administration could not pay its bills on current account, Sir Frank asked: “How can they say then they will give you an increase? They have no respect for your intelligence. A massive trick is being foisted on the people. I am saddened that after 50 years of free education these things can be foisted on us. It must be rejected.”
Addressing the issue of privatisation of state assets, Sir Frank argued that they should not be sold without consulting the people, suggesting that only the Prime Minister could present a policy statement on privatisation.
He lamented the fact that the Barbados National Bank and the Insurance Corporation of Barbados were now in foreign hands.
Sir Frank argued that any political party that attempted to sell the airport or the seaport would have to be mad.
Addressing the issue of subsidising of electricity bills, Sir Frank suggested there should be a targeted group.
“I certainly would not ask that my electricity be subsidised. I know of a pensioner of means who has no need for a subsidy on her electricity bill,” Sir Frank explained. (NC)