Categorized | Featured, National News

PLP leader hears vendors concerns

Screenshot 2018-11-15 at 10.32.00 AM

Calling it a “fact finding mission,” Opposition Leader Philip Davis, yesterday visited the Downtown Straw Market to speak to vendors about their various concerns.

Some of  the issues  include  being without light for over a year, and the seizing and dumping of items from stalls of delinquent stall owners.

Mr. Davis argued that the “backbone” of the tourism industry has  challenges and the government should understand that.

“With the rising cost of living, with 12 percent VAT, with the increase in electricity, bills are being poured upon them and so there is this challenge that they have to work through,” he said.

“So one would have  thought that a government who cares about people, particularly the straw vendors, who are the backbone I say of our tourism product today, they would be more sensitive to their cries and have a more understanding as to the challenges they’re having.”

Some straw vendors admitted they were in arrears,  but they had no prior notice.

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader argued that before taking drastic actions, the government should sit and talk with vendors one by one to understand what their challenges are and find a suitable solution.

“Closing  down a stall doesn’t  bring revenue to you, it is a closed stall,” he said.

“If  you  allow a vendor the opportunity to be in possession of the stall, to at least have that opportunity to earn a living, perhaps that opportunity will come over to you where it will be able to satisfy you,” he added.

“Or if you give notice to the vendors, sufficient notice, these vendors are family, they come together at times to help one another.”

Vendor and Activist, Kevin Archer, gave this suggestion on the way moving forward.

“I think there was one time when Sir Clement T. Maynard was Minister, if I remember well, he let us have a function through one of the streets where we blocked it. 

“We were able to sell food, straw, and whatever it is and all that stuff and we were able to help the persons that were falling behind or whatever the case may be,” he said.

“So  if  that’s something that they can think about, where we can let the vendors have a day, like a weekend through one of the streets or in the back here; maybe with some Junkanoo and have the vendors set up on the outside, just give us one rush.

“And we just take all of that money pool it, and try to help as many of those persons inside here as we can, to try to erase that long bill and all that stuff, if you have a heart please think.”

The Straw  Business Persons Society is accusing the government of inhumane treatment of Straw Vendors.

  The Vendors accuse Ms. Kelly Ingraham and the Straw Market  Authority of removing and disposing the vendors’ merchandise.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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