The island’s largest public-sector trade union has thrown its weight behind a Government initiative to assist 1 000 of the country’s most vulnerable families address the increasing cost of living.
News of the lifeline was revealed five days ago by Prime Minister Mia Mottley ahead of a gathering with the Social Partnership at which the initiative was to be fleshed out.
She promised to take care of the Government’s assistance to Barbadians in relation to food security.
And on Friday, President of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPW) Kimberley Agard, who attended the Social Partnership meeting, said the proposed initiative was music to her ears.
“Based on the presentation to the meeting on that, we support that initiative since it is attempting to move people away from the welfare mindset and more so to empowerment. It is just not a thousand people, but a thousand families,” Agard told Barbados TODAY.
“They’ll begin with the families as an entire in order that the home can sustain itself, slightly than just one person within the household getting the assistance.
“We’re comfortable, somewhat, with what we saw relative to that new programme and hope that based on the projections, that it’s a hit,” the NUPW leader added.
The trade unionist believes if the initiative is successful, it might profit the country as an entire.
“Individuals would [therefore] be somewhat less depending on the state,” she added.
Meanwhile, the union boss said the NUPW has asked the Government for more information on its proposal to position a tax cap on commodities and its planned review of the basket of products.
“We would like more information as to how the Government intends to tackle it, then we’d give our input. So, we agreed to more dialogue with the intention that some level of ease could be given to staff, primarily, but to the country indirectly,” Agard declared.
She also disclosed that plenty of sub-committees of the Social Partnership were established to perform certain tasks in areas equivalent to inflation and food security, and deadlines were established.
“I believe that is purported to be done inside one other month to 6 weeks,” Agard said.
In her interaction with the media, Prime Minister Mottley had said: “We’re a number of other things to see how we are able to proceed to cushion. But . . . even when I do a number of more, I cannot shield you, the Government cannot shield you, from the complete impact of a world that has gone mad.”
Mottley called on Barbadians to “cut and contrive” and interact in “behaviour modification” to take care of rising prices, and possibly a scarcity of some products, each here and abroad.
She also said the Government will probably be coming to Barbadians urging them to come back together to assist feed the 1 000 most vulnerable families. (EJ)