Nation e-Edition

Budget day

Budget day Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler. (FP)

By NATASHA BECKLES | Tue, August 13, 2013 - 12:10 AM

MINISTER OF FINANCE Chris Sinckler will deliver his fourth Budget in the House of Assembly this evening amidst much speculation and perhaps  some fear.

With a $400 million adjustment in the fiscal deficit on the cards, businessmen and laymen alike will be focused on the 4 p.m. presentation which should also include strategies for putting the economy on a sustainable growth path.

With Barbadians already heavily taxed and Sinckler having ruled out an increase in value added tax (VAT), much of the adjustment is likely to come from spending cuts.

Wages and subsidies and transfers account for a major chunk of the state’s expenditure but given that Government has continuously reassured Barbadians that public sector layoffs would be a last resort, there have been suggestions that Sinckler will announce voluntary wage cuts or shorter work hours.

Please read the full story in today’s DAILY NATION, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year ago
What are "voluntary wage cuts"? Which public worker will voluntarily have their salaries reduced? The government Ministers may want to cut theirs in a feeble attempt at politicking, but such tactics will be ineffective to narrow the deficit. The task facing this government is too monumental for cheap politics.

I have written on this blog that the only way that Government can keep its election promise of not sending home a single worker, is if it introduces furloughs as an effective method of narrowing the deficit.

This would see workers being temporarily laid off for, say 8-12 weeks, as part of the Prime Minister's "sacrifice" that must be borne by everyone. It could be done all at once or on a week on week off basis.

The benefits of furloughs is that affected persons can seek other part-time jobs or self-employment in the interim, where available, and can be assured of returning to work in the not too distant future.

Furloughs is a compromise the Unions should consider to avoid massive layoffs, social dislocation, and permanent loss of membership dues.

While furloughs may be a useful short-term strategy to address this year's fiscal deficit, it does not deal with the excess employment numbers on the government's payroll in the long-term. Hence, the importance of the country returning to a growth path as soon as possible. In other words, we must earn our way in order to pay our expenses.

The format of today's Budget will see the Minister of Finance coming out swinging and laying the groundwork that Barbados fiscal problems is as a result of some imaginary global recession that just would not go away, hence this country is unable to find its economic footing.

Not sure if he will mention that Barbados' recovery is much slower than our Caribbean neighbors, according to a recent Standards & Poor's report...cont'd

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year ago
Part 2...
Mr. Sinckler will then take us on a historical journey, beginning in 1994 and ending in January 2008, where he will try to convince an anxious public that Barbados is in this dire position because of the actions of the government at that time, even though the DLP was handed a surplus at the commencement of its first Term.

No responsibility will be taken for the ineffective policies and bad decisions of the last five-plus years in Office, that have resulted in the worst homegrown fiscal crisis in Barbados since adult suffrage.

Not a word will be mentioned about the failed Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy but Sinckler will be banking on another "new and improved" and experimental Medium-Term Growth and Development Strategy.

After a laborious two hours of drivel, the Minister will launch into telling the Barbadian people, at the time when they are already half asleep, how he and his government proposes to reduce the deficit by $400 million, about the long-awaited "sacrifices" and hardship ahead, how he intends to attract investment to the island, and set us on a growth path once again.

I shall be perched from a vantage point on the paling with a few of my feathered friends and foes from the backyard watching through the window on my neighbor's black & white TV, and munching on a lil scratch grain.

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Posted by Adam Shaw 1 year ago
If Chris Sinckler is Talking of Wage Cuts... This Is a Good Idea... But We Should Start at The Top First...
Let's Put The Prime Minister and Chris Sinckler Salary at $4000.00 Per Month With No Perks... and Then The Rest of All The High Ranking Politicians To $3500.00 Per Month With No Perks... Now That a Budget We Would Like

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Posted by Nikki Jonas 1 year ago
Oh dear Lord, this budget business got me real NERVOUS boy! Lord don't let dem kill we deader!

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Posted by Judy Clarke 1 year ago
I personally think that furloughs should be implemented for two years and all this free housing needs to stop. Is Barbados the land of free stuff? Do people understand that government workers work for the people? Do they realized that the money they call government money is actually the tax payers money.

Well Chris, I can't wait to hear what you have to say, but we all know that government can't keep all it's workers if the private sector is laying off. Where is the money going to come from to pay the wages?

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Posted by Bim Bum 1 year ago
BARBADOS IS/WAS the land of free stuff,
but we are quickly realizing that all this free stuff is only fooling ourselves!

We pay (dearly) for it
* at the gas pump
--where taxation is AT LEAST $2 a litre--
* and via the 17.5% VAT we pay on nearly everything.

Government pays for absolutely nothing
they merely hand the costs on to you the taxpayer
but few Bajans want to (or are incapable of) understanding that!

This is how businesses run
and Government is just another business.
so get your business head ON, people.

There is no such thing as a free lunch
No...not even in blessed Barbados!
-not even for the school children,
bcoz you are indirectly paying for that too!!

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