Small not fazed by detractors
Survey: More Bajans poorer
THE DATA IS in and the simple truth is that Barbadians are indeed poorer.
In fact, two per cent more Barbadians have fallen into poverty since 2010, and more people are now at risk of falling below the poverty line.
This was revealed yesterday as the Inter-american Development Bank (IDB) released the results of the 2016/2017 Barbados Survey Of Living Conditions.
IDB project leader Diether Beuermann Mendoza told the audience at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre that 7 100 people from more than 2 500 households in all 11 parishes were surveyed between February 2016 and January 2017.
He explained the survey, which was done in conjunction with the Barbados Statistical Service, divided the economic findings into extreme poverty, non-extreme poverty, vulnerable and nonvulnerable categories.
Extreme poverty had decreased since 2010, among 3.65 per cent of Barbadians, down from the 6.8 per cent in the Barbados Country Assessment of Living Conditions 2010.
The study showed the extreme poor migrated to the non-extreme poor level, raising that percentage from 8.4 to 13.8 per cent. Some of the vulnerable had fallen into poverty.
This meant about 17.48 or 2.4 per cent more Barbadians were considered to be poor.
“Overall poverty is rising, but because extreme-poor are going into non-extreme poor and also vulnerable has fallen into poor,” Mendoza said via video call.
Meanwhile, it was found that 11.5 per cent of Barbadians were vulnerable to poverty, with another 0.6 per cent more vulnerable than six years ago. Further, 71.45 per cent were not vulnerable and above the poverty line.
The IDB study also showed a high prevalence of poverty was found along Barbados’ East Coast. St John and St Joseph were the parishes with the highest overall poverty levels, while St James and St Philip were the “least poor”. St Joseph and St Andrew had the most people vulnerable to becoming poor.
However, inequality among the categories was noticeably low and evenly distributed across the country.
The findings also showed there was a distinct gender component to poverty.
Women accounted for 21 per cent of those considered to be in the “poor” bracket in comparison to 14 per cent of men. Thirteen per cent of women surveyed were also vulnerable to poverty while ten per cent of men were at risk. Additionally, it was found that 57 per cent of the poorest households were headed by women, but this percentage decreased the higher the economic level went.
General manager for the IDB Caribbean country department, Therese Turner-jones, said the study was done as the IDB realised it had very little data about crucial elements in the Caribbean.
“In the absence of such data, policymakers are really operating in the dark. This is not a good way to be operating, particularly given where Barbados and the region is in terms of its macro-economic situation,” she added. ( AD) CROP OVER 2017 Festival Designer Of The Year Kevin Small says he will not be daunted by naysayers.
At Consolidated Finance yesterday, the Fifth Element mas leader got the keys to his brand-new Mazda 2 – his prize for being the leading costume designer.
He told the media the controversy surrounding his win was no concern of his as he looked forward to the future.
“It was a learning experience and at this point it’s water under the bridge for me and on to Crop Over 2018. I have to now come bigger and better because with this under my belt, I know the others will be coming for me with full force,” Small said.
After he won the Best Junior Band title for the second straight year with Candyland 246, some of his rivals, including veteran bandleader Gwyneth Squires, Trevor Nicholls and president of the Barbados Association of Masqueraders (BAM), Chetwin Stuart, had questioned the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) about his win.
They wondered how Nicholls’ Young Spirit Community Group – Colour Me Crop Over, was able to win eight first places, including the Community Costume, Fantasy and BMA Brands of Barbados categories, but not the overall Best Junior Band.
However, during the presentation at Consolidated Finance’s Hastings, Christ Church lot, chief executive officer of the NCF, Cranston Browne, said the matter was settled before an arbiter.
He explained that it took two weeks for the protest to be officially lodged and after one arbitration session, the ruling was given within a few days.
He put the controversy down to lack of a full understanding of the competition’s rules.
“As most people do, they read the rules and don’t pay much attention to every little point within the rules, so I think that was the case here, but . . . we were able to explain to them how the judges operate and how the judges reached their decisions and they accepted that. But if you have a challenge, it is your right to carry it to arbitration so we had no difficulties with that,” Browne said.
Stuart, who was also at yesterday’s presentation, congratulated Small. Like Browne, he said more attention needed to be paid to the rules.
“Bandleaders need to be able to read the rules because they can’t blame somebody if they are looking at the rules and following the rules,” he said.
Small said he planned to make his Mazda 2 a company vehicle. (TG)
HEAVILY-ARMED MEMBERS of the police’s Tactical Response Unit were strategically placed around the District “A” Magistrates’ Court yesterday as people gathered to get a glimpse of the five men charged with the murder of British national Steven Weare.
It was in the very early hours of yesterday that police named the accused and announced they would be appearing in court.
The body of Weare, a 49-year-old businessman, formerly of Newcastle Plantation House, St John, was discovered in a remote area at Melverton, St George, on September 1. He had been reported missing on August 23.
The five accused are: Sunil Decourcey Brome, 35, of No. 7, Alamanda Drive, West Terrace, St James; Keino Nakito Griffith, 30, of Pounders Gap, Westbury Road, St Michael; Khristopher Darnley Michael Clarke, 26, of Oughterson, St Philip; Torio Akiro Watson, also 26, of Block 6D, Field Road, Wildey, St Michael; and Basil Alphonso Branch, 27, of Morris Gap, Westbury Road, St Michael.
Just before midday, led by members of the Criminal Investigation Department, four of the five handcuffed accused were escorted to Criminal Court No. 2. while Watson, who was on crutches, hobbled into the courtroom under the watchful eyes of two detectives.
As the accused walked through the courtyard, police officers warned those looking on to put away their cellphones or be removed from the courtyard.
With standing room only in the court, the five were not required to plead to the capital offence when they appeared before Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-sargeant.
Brome is being represented by Naomi Lynton, Branch by Angella MitchellGittens, Griffith by Keith Simmons and Alvan Babb, and Watson by Rasheed Belgrave. Clarke had no counsel.
Brome also faces three additional charges: stealing $10 290 worth of cheques sometime between May 8 and July 4, 2014. The cheques, which belonged to Curtis Francis, were allegedly made out in the amounts of $5 500, $2 040 and $2 750.
As they exited the courtyard, family members were seen waving to them, and shouting words of encouragement, with one accused responding: “My mudda gine call you,” as they made their way to the prison van to be transported to HMP Dodds.
The five are set to appear in the District “B” Court on October 11, while Brome will appear in Oistins Magistrates’ Court on October 9 on the theft charges.