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PM: No layoffs

Tony Best

PM: No layoffs

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Although Government isn’t sure when the global economic crisis and its negative fallout on Barbados would end, the Stuart Administration remains set against public sector layoffs.
This, as it seeks to deal with debt, the fiscal deficit, joblessness and related economic issues.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart told hundreds of Bajans in New York – Sunday night that the private sector had admirably linked arms with Government by not laying off more people, thus holding much of the economic strain caused by the crisis.
“We have had to take some decisions in Barbados in light of the economic challenges which the country has been facing, to decide what we thought best for the country in the context of this very daring and this very dangerous crisis.”
He was speaking at the annual “cocktail sip” given by the Friends of Barbados (DLP) Association, the Democratic Labour Party’s branch in the United States.
“At the heart of the policy as we have pursued it is the protection of the jobs of persons who were in the public sector. Now, I say persons who work in the public sector, persons who work in Government, because if Government had started to lay people off, you can well imagine how quickly people in the private sector would have been minded to follow that example and lay people off as well.
“‘After all, the Government is doing it, why can’t we?’ So, we took a position that there were going to be no layoffs in the Government. That, of course, carried a price tag, because of all the money that comes into Government, all the revenue Government earns from taxation and from all the other sources from which Government gets its revenue, 36 per cent of Government revenue is spent on wages and salaries.
“We had to take a decision in the interest of the society to ensure that people’s lives were not disrupted and families thrown into confusion by a carnival of layoffs, and thankfully, that policy has worked,” Stuart said.