In my experience when Government wants to introduce an unpopular policy, they usually secure the services of some buffoon, who has no official role, to make the announcement. If the reaction is hostile, the Government would then be able to say that it was the opinion of someone who was speaking in their private capacity, and that it had nothing to do with Government policy. The recent suggestion, by NUPW President Walter Maloney, that the middle class should be cut off from receiving many of the services that are being offered free by the state seems to be falling into the category of testing the water for Government, using a buffoon.
Mr. Maloney appears not to understand who or what constitutes the middle class. For his information many of those who we consider to be middle class are just one pay cheque away from poverty. They are mainly employed persons, who because of their status as employees, pay the bulk of the taxes. Mind you, Barbados is very highly taxed. And those persons pay the taxes generally without complaint because they were assured that their taxes would be put to good use in providing the services that Maloney wants to take away.
If Maloney and his handlers want to remove the services that the middle class are enjoying free at the point of delivery, they should first be talking about lowering the taxes so that these middle-class people would still have a little money in their pockets to pay for the services that they are thinking to withdraw.
Not everyone in the middle class is as fortunate as Maloney who has NUPW to pick up some of the expenses that he incurred. Some time ago, he managed to accumulate a phone bill of $6,000 for NUPW to pay. This year, without sparing a thought for the middle class who pay subscriptions to NUPW, he amassed another bill for October of $18,000. This is the man who would withdraw services: it may be time for NUPW to withdraw his cell phone.