Dems ‘out of touch with reality’

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and its political leader Ralph Thorne are out of touch with economic reality and fail to understand that the 2024 Budget was about growth.

This is according to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kerrie Symmonds, as he addressed a joint meeting of the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) St James branches at Queen’s College on Sunday night to discuss the Budget.

The Member of Parliament for St James Central also called on Thorne, who left the BLP last month to become Opposition Leader, to tell Barbadians when he arrived “long ago” at the point that he was disaffected with the BLP and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.

Symmonds labelled Thorne’s five-hour reply to the Budget an “absence of substance and policy”.

The Senior Minister was joined by fellow parliamentarians Sandra Husbands (St James South) and Edmund Hinkson (St James North). Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, was the guest speaker.

“There is a bankruptcy in the Democratic Labour Party,” Symmonds declared. “The Reply [to the Budget] was entirely silent on the future.”

He said the 2024 Budget was about motivating the private sector to invest its money in the country, rather than abroad.

He told party faithful that the DLP Government which the BLP unseated 30-0 in the 2018 General Election had mismanaged the economy and left the incoming administration with three months of foreign exchange and low international ratings.

“The Prime Minister in her Budget was essentially about growth,” he said, adding there was a vision for the Barbadian economy to grow by up to five per cent, which would be higher than any previous prime minister had achieved.

Symmonds said Government however needed to address some issues related to climate change, such as low rainfall, as well as modernising education to prepare young people for a competitive world.

He said Thorne told a DLP meeting that he had planned to cross the floor a “long time ago”, but insisted the Christ Church South MP had a responsibility to tell Barbadians when he arrived at this decision before he took action.

He added that Thorne had two annual conferences as well as town hall meetings and opportunities in Parliament to raise his concerns, but had kept silent.

“I feel that Brother Thorne needs to explain to us about . . . this ‘long time ago’.” (HH)

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