Source goods closer to home and ease Bajans, urges Gibbs

Backbencher Christopher Gibbs, the Member of Parliament for St Michael West is encouraging Government to continue efforts to lower the cost of living.

Speaking in Parliament today, he acknowledged the work already done to give Barbadians an ease from high prices.

He believes one way the authorities could try to reduce the cost of living for consumers is to cut out the middle man by sourcing goods from closer to home in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

In his assessment of the 2024 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, Gibbs says Government has done a lot so far to give relief from high prices, including capping the freight rates on imported goods, expanding basket of goods free from value added tax (VAT), and reducing VAT for households using up to 250 kilowatt hours of electricity.

However, he says “we need to find other inventive ways”.

“I know that the Government is looking at increasing and strengthening relationships with the South-South [trading arrangements], going to non-traditional markets for goods, so that we can complete our target of 25 per cent import substitution by 2025,” he said.

“We can do so by strengthening our links with Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, a lot of these goods go through North America and come back down, we can go [directly to them] and it will be cheaper. So I want to encourage the Government to continue to strengthen those trading ties, which will be beneficial to our people.”

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