Government will sit down with the wider Social Partnership next Monday, June 15, to discuss the sensitive issue of border closures and reopening.
In an address to the nation last night, Prime Minister Mottley stated that both scenarios were plagued with danger and a measure of risk… “In many respects, we die if we don’t and we also die, if we do”.
But the Prime Minister made it clear that she intended, after the widest possible consultations, to lead decisively on the matter… “for what is at stake is not just lives and livelihoods but indeed also the Barbadian way that reflects consultation. That is how we have done it from day one, that is how we will do it but I assure you, as I have said in every meeting, that after consultation, the Government reserves the right to decide and to act”.
She said that she will also be announcing next week a few initiatives “to spruce up Barbados”.
“If we want to welcome people back here, whether it is family or friend or business associate or visitor, we have to welcome them to a pristine-looking island. We have to return the wow factor to our beaches, we have to also make sure that driving around Barbados would cause people to say ‘what a beautiful countryside’, rather than wondering what all that garbage is doing thrown all about.”
She reminded that some beautification projects had already started and would continue.
The Prime Minister also disclosed that Cabinet had received recommendations from the Social Partnership and the Jobs and Investment Advisory Council.
She added that Cabinet was putting the suggestions together, so they could get an idea of the priorities for the transformation of Barbados, coming out of the pandemic, to make it “stronger and fitter”.
She noted that over the next few weeks, Parliament would be very busy putting in place a number of key measures.
She identified them as including the Barbados Optional Savings Scheme programme, amendments to the Severance Payments Act, and other regulations that were necessary.
Ms. Mottley pointed out that 471 individuals and companies had donated about $ 1.7 million to the Adopt Our Families programme, and under that programme, Government had already paid out $600 to more than 2,490 families.
The Prime Minister said she would speak to the nation again in a week’s time to expand on what the immediate future of the country would look like as it moved forward.