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Democratic Labour Party Manifesto 2003
Manifestos » DLP Manifesto 2003» Social Care Agenda
Social Care Agenda « previous | next »


The term poverty implies that individuals and groups are in a state that is undesirable and in need of help. As policy makers, we recognize the difficulty of defining and measuring poverty. However, these concerns will not affect our passion to ultimately eradicate poverty.

We believe that poverty is relative and eradication is possible, but for it to have meaning, Barbadians must believe that it is possible. It is common to hear "the poor will always be with us" and many quote the "good book" to illustrate the point. This attitude is indicative of a feeling by the general public that the Barbadian society reflects structural imbalances that the politicians are reluctant to address.

We believe that every human being deserves a decent standard of living - shelter, food and care. Some may have more than others, but the basic human rights of every individual must be met.

Our poverty eradication programme will have as its ambition, the provision of assistance that seeks to move the individual or group to a position of self-reliance.

Poverty Eradication is long term and requires political will and foresight. It can only be achieved by changing social and economic relations. It requires social engineering that will seek to distribute the wealth and resources of our country more along the lines of A FAIR SHARE FOR ALL.

We will:

  • Repair and improve houses for the disadvantaged, especially the elderly.
  • Provide house loans to low-income earners.
  • Review the policy on arrears (house rent, water and land tax) for the very poor.
  • Provide loans for small traders.
  • Increase allowance for school uniforms.
  • Provide a subsidy for primary school books.
  • Increase financial assistance through the National Assistance Board to the disabled and other disadvantaged persons.
  • Provide Homes for the Homeless.

Place all departments that impact on the social services under the Ministry of Family & Social Care.

Our revolutionary policies for self-development outlined throughout this document are designed to move persons from being dependent to a level of Independence.

We will increase the job opportunities through our many creative tax policies and our small business development strategies. (See our Small Business Section/Vending)


The Democratic Labour Party is aware that women have the greatest power to determine Barbados in the future, and that most Barbadian families are headed by single women. We further believe that women's rights are human rights and not women's issues only.

Our commitment to women is demonstrated by the fact that while in office we introduced a number of measures to better the lives of our women.

  1. We implemented equal pay for equal work in the public service.
  2. We introduced maternity and sickness benefits under the National Insurance Scheme.
  3. Passed the Succession Act enabling partners and children in common law relationships to inherit property.
  4. Introduced a Domestic Violence Act.
  5. Passed a Sexual Offences Act.
  6. Provided paid leave passage for female employees in the public service.

We will:

  • Heighten public awareness about violence against women and initiate a zero tolerance policy on domestic violence.
  • Promote economic ventures by women to promote self-help and employment. Example: Remove the VAT on Sewing Machines.
  • Provide marketing and other incentives for cottage industries to move them on par with other manufacturing concerns.
  • Provide for rape cases and those of incest to be heard in-camera.
    To be fair to all parties, identities will be protected until the case ends.
  • Establish a National rehabilitation center to provide counseling for families in crisis as a result of domestic violence, abuse, sexual assault and rape.
  • Provide a childcare subsidy of $500 for single parent families, the majority of which are headed by women.
  • Institute a policy of childcare facilities at all large government office buildings and industrial estates.
  • Institute new arrangements for the collection of maintenance payments, which would accord the dignity due to our women.
  • Increase the staffing at the Bureau of Gender Affairs to offer more outreach programmes to our young women who may be going astray.
  • Increase the minimum wage for domestic helpers from $1.50 per hour under our minimum wage legislation package.
  • Enact the legislation on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, an issue which has devastating and degrading implications for the social, economic and psycholigical well being og women in particular, but some men as well.
  • Equal pay: Enact legislation for:
    (a) Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value for all workers including the provate sector.
    (b) Non-discrimination.
  • Ensure that the educational system continues to facilitate the national goals of equality, equity and non-discrimination between men and women, boys and girls, and will be directly linked to the national policy of non-discrimination.

The Democratic Labour Party believes that if we are to rescue Barbados from the moral decay now engulfing our country, women will have to play a major role in this social renewal. We believe with your help we can achieve this objective.


Our Youth Policy demonstrates our commitment to all young people and their importance in national development.

We are aware that alienation, hopelessness and the inability to participate in the decision making process are some of the chief deterrents to the normal and progressive development of the youth.

Our policy is intended to address the malaise that now impacts on a large section of the population and manifests itself in the growing drug culture, and deviant behaviour.

Even though we will have programmes and activities geared specifically to the Youth, it is our intention that young people become an integral part of the village life concept and play their part in the evolution of society.

We will:

  • Provide micro loans for the creation of enterprises among the youth for self-development.
  • Start Youth Empowerment - business, sports and cultural - programmes to move the boys from the block to be owners of stock (capital) and guide them on a sustained path of self-development and financial independence:
  • Introduce a $20 million RESTART programme that will seek to reintegrate the marginalized youth into the mainstream of society.
  • Create a disciplinary unit within the Ministry of Education - trained in counseling and sociology- to work with students who may run afoul of the law.
  • Encourage Students' Councils to play a greater role in enhancing relations between students and staff.
  • Permit students to have representation on School Boards.
  • Offer Youth Representatives places on Statutory Boards.
  • We will create the National Independence Youth Awards so as to recognize the contribution and accomplishments of our young people.
  • Promote positive role models to build a sense of identity, encourage responsibility and build self-esteem in young people, through local and image-building programmes on television.
  • Promote conflict resolution among the youth.
  • Sponsor more community activities and business ventures for the youth.
  • Use culture and sports as empowerment tools for the youth, through new cultural industries.


Like any other group in society, we see the disabled as important members who have special challenges and needs.

Our social policy is designed to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy the highest quality of life, and benefit from all services offered by the State. Our policy will ensure that such persons will get their fair share.

At present all workers who earn below $250 a week receive $500 as a VAT rebate
annually. Since pensioners and the disabled also pay VAT we propose that:

  • All unemployed disabled persons receiving $250 or less per week will benefit from a subsidy of $360 annually similar to the reverse tax credit (VAT rebate).
  • Increase the allowance given to the disabled.

We will also provide:

  • Tax allowances for renovations to homes specially equipped for the disabled.
  • Duty free access for vehicles specially equipped for the disabled.
  • We will consult the disabled on any matters, which affect them.
  • Amend all legislation, which discriminates against the disabled.
  • Empower the visually impaired to vote, by providing ballots in Braille.
  • Ensure that the disabled have access to all government buildings, as well as to toilet and other facilities.
  • Ensure that the Courts and legal system are staffed and equipped to cater to the needs of persons with disabilities.
  • Develop and promote a programme of public education, which is intended to inform the public about the special needs of the disabled.
  • Research and ratify conventions, which have provisions for the disabled.
  • Review and reorganize the employment registration, counseling and placement seminars for disabled persons at the National Employment Bureau.
  • Offer incentives to private sector companies that employ the disabled.
  • Give top priority to the transportation needs of persons with disabilities including:
  • Provide bus passes irrespective of age.
  • Government will pay authorized wheel chair carrying taxis for the transportation of persons with disabilities.
  • Purchase specially equipped buses for public sector agencies, which service the disabled.
  • Allocate a specific percentage of National Assistant Board and National Housing Corporation Units for the disabled.


We view the elderly as resource persons for our national development. In every generation, the elderly play a significant role in sustaining the continuity of our national identity and laying the foundation for national development.

We respect the efforts and struggles of all older persons who have had the task of sustaining our families, shaping our nation, and handing over the future of our country to younger members of our Barbadian family.

We will:

  • Encourage life long learning and create opportunities for the elderly to participate at every level of the development of Barbados.
  • Utilize the knowledge of the elderly in educating the youth about indigenous Barbadian culture.
  • Refurbish District Hospitals and rename them Centers for the Elderly.
  • Train more persons in the area of gerontology.
  • Establish a preventative blindness programme, especially at Geriatric hospitals.

At present all workers who earn below $250 a week receive $500 as a VAT rebate
annually called the reverse tax credit. Since pensioners and the disabled also pay VAT we propose that:

  • All pensioners receiving $250 or less per week will benefit from a subsidy of $360 annually similar to the reverse tax credit (VAT rebate).
  • NIS pensions will be tax-free again, while a $30,000 allowance will apply to all other pensions.
  • We will establish a minimum pension threshold for all those receiving government related pensions - no Barbadian pensioner should be receiving less than $500 per month.
  • We will provide funding and technical assistance through grants to specialized and registered CBO's and NGO's whose mandate it would be to provide care for the elderly especially those shut-ins in the communities.
  • We will attach nutritionists and other healthcare providers from the Ministry of Health to these service organizations to ensure the holistic care of the elderly.

Home -help employees will work a five-day workweek over a seven day period so that our elderly will receive care on weekends and more jobs will be created.

  • We will provide retirement and financial planning services through our JUMPSTART adult education programme.
  • The grounds and buildings now occupied by the Psychiatric hospital at Black Rock will be turned into a Village for the Elderly and homes for the Homeless on completion of the new hospital for mental health.

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  Bajan Free Party   NDP = National Democratic Party   United Progressive Party
  Barbados Integrity Movement   People's Democratic Congress   WPB = Workers Party of Barbados
  Barbados Labour Party   PEP = People's Empowerment Party   Independent Candidate
  Democratic Labour Party   PPA = People's Political Alliance   *incumbent
  Kingdom Government of Barbados   Solutions Barbados   ** Political Leader
Barbados Electoral and Boundaries Commission
Bajan Free Party (2018). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Bajan-Free-Party-BFP-HonAlex-MitchellEl-1767331239973521/
Barbados Integrity Movement (2018). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/barbdaosintegritymovement/?ref=py_c
Barbados Labour Party. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.blp.org.bb/
Coalition of United Party. (2018) Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/alexmitchell.el/
Democratic Labour Party. (2018). Retrieved from http://dlpbarbados.org/site/
Solutions Barbados. (2018). Retrieved from https://solutionsbarbados.com/
United Progressive Party. (2018). Retrieved from https://uppbarbados.org/
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