Barbados will distinguish itself by its commitment to a social covenant with our people that includes universal access to free tertiary education and training, and quality universal healthcare, access to affordable land and housing, the protection of public spaces, respect for diversity, fundamental freedoms, rights and responsibilities, and equality under the law.
Our principles which support this vision are:
The Barbados Labour Party stands for an acceptable quality of life for all, including a standard of living below which no citizen must be allowed to fall.
The Barbados Labour Party stands for the empowerment of people through continued access to quality universal free education.
The Barbados Labour Party stands for universal access to quality health care and access to affordable land and housing.
The Barbados Labour Party stands for fostering civility, inclusiveness and respect for diversity amongst our citizens.
The primary goals of the Barbados Labour Party will continue to be:-
Poverty for the first time since Independence has increased in our land. Our middle class is at risk of pauperisation. Violence of all types , particularly gender-based violence, is scarring our society. We must urgently and aggressively reverse these unfortunate developments.
We pledge to preserve, expand and effectively integrate our social policy architecture such that our delivery of services become people-centred and NOT focussed on the Department from which they are delivered.
We also commit to relying on the full powers of a Government (namely legislating, regulating,investing, facilitating and empowering) as we chart a bold new course for education, health, housing, and other social services which will further transform Barbadian society.
In the past, the two primary areas in which Barbados scores highest in respect of the Global Competitiveness Index are education (among the top 20 countries) and health (in the top third of the countries of the world). We must build on this competitiveness, not squander it. We must use this comparative advantage to promote Barbados as a hemispheric hub for investment in the provision of educational and health services. These assets also make a critical contribution in our fight against poverty as well as preserving our social stability.
We must complete the quiet revolution started by our Party to expand land ownership with respect to both plantation and non-plantation tenantries. As a natural progression from these earlier initiatives, we will continue to develop creative policies to foster greater home ownership and access to land island wide.
The empowerment of people is also central to our mission. Greater responsibility must be passed on to our citizens and communities in ways which foster fairness and deepen democracy. We pledge to create more opportunities for the participation of citizens in the governance of our communities, especially as it relates to public spaces. We will pursue a programme of local governance that will not be subject to the arbitrary dictates of politicians. Volunteerism and public service will be trongly promoted.
In addition, we will encourage the revitalization of Non-Governmental and Community Based Organisations by giving fiscal incentives for novel ideas that address needs at the community level to better promote social entrepreneurship. We will also deepen the requirement for transparency and accountability of these civil society organisations.
The Barbados Labour Party is committed to the right of our people to decent and rewarding work. Workers and their Unions must be treated fairly and with respect at all times. We will seek to negotiate for greater mobility of our workers, in and out of CARICOM, so as to continuously expand their opportunities. We commit to expanding opportunities for all and creating greater equity in our society. The success of our people must NOT depend on who they know or where they were born BUT what they know and how hard, how creatively and how fairly they are prepared to work.
The Barbados Labour Party believes that Barbadians have a right to live in a strong and cohesive society which provides:
Achieving and maintaining these standards are essential to our long-term stability and well-being. They also establish a firm foundation for economic development and social justice, both of which are critical to our international competitiveness. This is the Barbadian way.