Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You gotta pay

If there's one thing life has taught me, it's that nothing comes for free. If you don't pay now, you have to pay later. That's why I've been concerned recently about the proliferation of projects and "eases" being announced by Government.

In the last two weeks, we've heard of an imminent reduction in electricity bills (which means Government will no doubt have to subsidise the local power company); a reduction in the prices of certain food items (a welcome move but the supermarket bosses are crying out for subsidies)and possible subsidies for Public Service Vehicle (PSV) owners who're vex becuase they have to charge students under 18 $1 and not the regular $1.50 fare.

On top of that, it was recently announced that we're getting a new $700 million hospital, road renovations, more money for housing and the list goes on. Bear in mind that major road works are still ongoing on the ABC Highway, where flyovers are supposed to be erected; we just finished the new prison at Lord knows what cost and the multimillion dollar Halls of Justice are still in construction.

All this capital works activity is very admirable, if only it weren't tainted by the real possibility that it's all pre-election promises. Elections are due any day now, and it's funny how every week there's some new announcement. People hadn't even gotten around to talking about how we're going to staff a larger hospital when it was annnounced that a referendum on Barbados becoming a republic would be factored into the next election ballot!

I know this is all part of the politics game, but I'd rather my Government admit times are tough, decide how we're going to tighten our belts and deal with these trying times than lull us all into a false sense of comfort then to admit later that the bottom has dropped out of the economy.

Anyhoo, I'm waiting patiently for the announcement of an election date. I suspect it will be after Christmas because our politicians know better than to compete with ham and jug-jug....

No comments: