Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Priorities gone awry

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UNTO EVERYONE that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. – Matthew 22:29.

The result of a day’s work in the Legislature of Barbados on June 15 suggests that Rihanna is a national charity worthy of a Government subsidy [such] as virtual exemption from transfer tax on $900 000 in addition to the nominal payment of $100 000 for 26 000 square feet of land in the legendary Apes Hill Development.

The perceived benefit of this transaction is an advertisement for Apes Hill as the “pied-à-terre” of an international pop star in Barbados as the entertainment capital of the world.

Various codicils attached to the dedication of this fantastic gesture include renaming Westbury New Road, stopping short of Westbury itself, Apes Hill or the whole island.

This gesture brings to mind the familiar adage, “Who gives a big guts horse does not help you to feed it.”

(Whatever became of the spontaneous gifts of land to Obadele and Fidel Edwards and what has become of Sir Frank Worrell’s home in Bank Hall?

Did he do less for Barbados than any living pop star?) On land worth one and a quarter million dollars, nothing less that a $5 million mansion is expected to be built and maintained . . . so “Sell shrimp. Reset bait!”

Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Something is definitely happening when a day’s work in the Legislature produces such evidence of confused priorities.

What of the hundreds whose lands have been acquired compulsorily for public purposes yet not compensated for years? What of those who are without decent shelter tonight? Is the YWCA not in need?

LEONARD ST. HILL

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