Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and Minister of Energy and Business, Kerrie Symmonds, have signed a Social Compact with the Private Sector Association, as well as representatives from the Trade Union Movement.
The Social Compact will result in a reduction of prices on 47 items that will remain in place for the next six months.
In addition to an expected overall price reduction on items governed by the Social Compact, Value Added Tax (VAT) was taken off a number of items, and duty removed from some citrus items (oranges, lemons and limes).
In the case of chicken, it will result in an overall reduction in some chicken products. However, specialised items, such as chicken breasts, legs, thighs or nuggets, will not be covered.
Speaking at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, yesterday, Prime Minister Mottley, in highlighting the efforts of all involved, thanked the farmers while envisioning an increase in agricultural output for domestic use and export. “We are in the process of meeting and working…. I look forward to continuing working with you because I believe we can see significant expansion in agriculture production in this country not just for domestic purposes but through agro-processing and for export purposes,” the Prime Minister stated.
Head of the Private Sector Association, Trisha Tannis, remarked that the Private Sector was “very much committed to ensuring that the prices, as much as we have the control over those, will remain at their lowest level”.
Mrs. Tannis noted, however, that the Association would not be able to control the pricing of goods by “every minimart and every shop” thus the public needs “to be made aware of that context”.
General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union, Toni Moore, stated: “The value of partnership is most often seen in times of hardship.… We will do whatever we can find possible to do during these times to help our neighbour.”
Ms. Moore added that with respect to the negotiation of wages and allowances where there are cases of increases and cases of a moratorium on increases “there is context behind negotiations and context continues to govern the Executive Council of the BWU as we navigate through these times…”
In her closing comments, Prime Minister Mottley added that “perspective and context” as well as “moderation” are relevant, and everyone has a part to play as “we are all in this together”.
The Prime Minister shared that the Government would shortly be introducing BOSS (Barbados Optional Savings Scheme) Plus to “all Barbadians living in this country; all institutions operating in this country”.
She said BOSS Plus would provide those living and operating in Barbados with a “better rate of return” and they would get an “opportunity of stabilising the conditions” in this country.
Ms. Mottley stated that “green bonds” would also be introduced to, for example, assist with the financing of battery storage to leverage “the patrimony of this country – the wind, the sun, the ocean”.
“Let us go forward together and let us as a nation confront these difficult times…that we shall share the burden but that we shall also share the bounty,” the Prime Minister urged.
Barbados PM signs Social Compact