St. Joseph MP laments Government’s choice of priorities


Parliament’s time cannot be taken up debating matters that concern or affect a mere few.
“I want that when we as Parliamentarians we stand in here and defend our legislative history that we ought to be able to say that we have left a legacy that does not reflect us coming in here and tinkering with four numbers in a Constitution, but that reflects that we are dealing with the lives and livelihoods of Barbadians,” argued Opposition MP, Dale Marshall.
In his address to Parliament yesterday afternoon, the representative for St. Joseph took Government to task for giving preference to a debate on the amendment of the Constitution, adjusting the retirement age of the Director of Public Prosecutions and Auditor General’s Offices from 62 to 67, rather than on addressing matters more relevant to the public.
“How does the retirement age of two public offices rank in priority when standing alongside the 3 000-plus Barbadian public servants who will not get the benefit of any retirement age because they have been sent home... They will not get the benefit of being able to serve this country faithfully until they are 65 because they have been sent home in their 20s, 30s, 40s and some 50s without any knowledge of where the next dollar is coming from. Mr. Speaker, that is wrong!” he stressed.
Insisting that the Constitution needs more amendments than this single clause, two of which, he added, were laid on the Order Paper for months before the one brought before the Lower House yesterday, Marshall stated that issues of failing health care, crime and water shortages were “festering like carbuncles” and not receiving the attention of the Parliament.
“Government of the people, by the people and for the people does not mean coming in here and dealing with the posts of two people. I have more than two people in St. Joseph starving, more than two people in St. Joseph homeless, more than two people in St. Joseph that cannot go to university and I dare this administration to use valuable parliamentary time to deal with those issues,” he chastised. (JMB)

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