Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley says Government must address issues of “ownership and empowerment” in any attempt to deal with the thorny problem of illegal squatting.
Responding yesterday to a SUNDAY SUN report about difficulties posed by an estimated 300 illegal structures in Rock Hall, St Philip, he said squatting was only the defiant expression of people who “wilfully defy existing law and regulations”, but the root cause was deeper.
While asserting the practice was the “dynamic of lawlessness” being expressed in a very prominent fashion, the Opposition Leader said it also brought into focus “the broader issue of poverty . . . the whole perpetuation of underclass in Barbados and the lack of a sufficiently robust programme to address issues of ownership and empowerment”.
He told THE NATION in Parliament Yard: “There is a large number of people who are dispossessed. They constitute that body of poverty in Barbados which has to be addressed not only through regulation, but serious economic policy that addresses those imbalances in ownership and bring people into the loop of economic democracy.”