Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s COVID-19 update and address to the nation – March 11, 2021. (PMO)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley will meet with officials in the public transport and tourism sectors next week.

Ms. Mottley made this disclosure on Thursday evening, during a wide-ranging address to the nation. 

She stressed that these meetings were necessary because the public transport sector officials were “hurting”, while those in tourism would have to continue making plans going forward. 

The Prime Minister said the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue would be debated in the House of Assembly from next Monday. 

She explained that Government’s approach to the Estimates was driven by a desire to continue to protect the vulnerable and those not capable of supporting themselves.

“For the first time since Independence, those numbers expanded in a way that we would never have anticipated at any point since Independence. We are still there for you through the different provisions in the Estimates….

“Secondly, we recognise that with the implosion of the private economy, Government is the only entity in the country with sufficient girth to help keep activity going at a pace such that we can keep people earning and people being able to have access to jobs. And that is why a lot of the activity is capital works, one-off activity, as opposed to recurring spending,” she explained.

Ms. Mottley said Government would continue to remove obstacles and do things to enhance competitiveness.  

She added that the digital ID project was expected to be completed this year, as well as other areas of activity that would allow for greater digitisation within the economy.

“And to that extent, I expect that business will continue to become easier to be conducted in this country…. We expect that whether liquor licences, or other forms of registration, passports, immigration, etcetera, that within the next three or four months, we will be in a position to roll out a number of those [things],” she stated.

Ms. Mottley told her audience that Government had a duty to bring the economy back to some level of stability. She said the last year had been difficult and this next year could be tough.

“But if we do it right, my gut tells me that the second half of the fiscal year is going to be much better than what we have experienced in the first half and what we would have experienced in the last year. If we can stay the course and get these numbers right; get this pandemic under control, then I believe that we can start to put all of our energy to bringing back our economy, to bringing back our households and bringing back our businesses,” she surmised.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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