The economy appears to have turned the corner with activity picking up. Real GDP grew by 0.8 percent in 2015—underpinned by a surge in tourism arrivals—relative to 0.2 percent in 2014 and an average of -0.3 percent in 2008–14, while employment increased by 2 percent and unemployment fell. Inflation is low – Press Release: IMF Staff Completes 2016 Article IV Mission to Barbados
There has been a heavy dose of political palaver generate this week as the political supporters on either side discussed the recent IMF report about the economy. Has the economy turned the corner? What about the sinking foreign reserves and the printing of money.
The news item on Thursday this week that 47 year old Andre Hinds was murdered by two robbers in the quiet village of Northumberland, St. Lucy continues to resonate more with the BU household. It is another indicator that our society is failing. Although Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith have been repetitive with reports that crime is down and the police has a high solve rate of murders. The worrying statistic is that violent crime is on the increase. It is a worry because violent crime (gun crime) has become the norm in Barbados. Barbados is an island that has built its reputation and quality of life on law and order post Independence.
What does it matter to boast about 0.2% or 0.8% growth if rising crime now threatens to compromise the quality of life Barbadians have enjoyed. We are not blessed with natural resources, we are suppose to possess is a highly literate society as a result of significant national resources allocated to education year in year out since Independence. There must be greater focus by government, NGO leaders and citizens alike on how we can improve the quality of individuals living on the island.
There is the challenge of open borders and the influence on a small island.
We need a plan.
How can we improve the support we give our children at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
How can we identify and address parental delinquency.
We have become part of a global society which subscribes to a philosophy ‘’what happens in your house is your business’’ and less of “it takes a village to raise a child’’. We are a small island and this should translate to our citizens knowing what is happening in all four corners of of our different communities. This is where we need to improve.