CTUSAB Budget recommendations
Statement from Cedric Murrell, president of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations on tomorrow’s Budget.
Presentation of the Budget by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Christopher Sinckler on Tuesday is set against continuing turmoil in some of the major economies of the world. This turmoil is manifesting itself in negative economic, political and social trends; these hopefully will not last.
Meanwhile, Barbadians must position our economy to be ahead when the game changes. The revisions and adjustments must be made now; Barbados must be readied for take-off. The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations (CTUSAB) is ready.
It is against this backdrop that the CTUSAB presents these ten points in this pre-Budget statement. The Budget should:
1. be focused on stimulating and facilitating growth in the economy;
2. not seek to dampen demand, but to encourage expenditure on local goods and services;
3. be a facilitator of private sector-led job growth;
4. enable the full flourishing of the spirit of entrepreneurship at this time, especially as it relates to the entertainment, cultural and sporting industries;
5. set the framework for a return to reasonable wage and salary increases in the public sector over the next two years;
6. establish a new minimum wage;
7. provide the necessary resources to the National Initiative for Service Excellence, the Productivity Council and such other organizations in order to focus on and to improve service excellence standards and productivity;
8. allocate resources such that there is a sharpened focus on making those agencies whose responsibility it is to collect Government revenue – for example, by VAT, Customs – more efficient and effective;
9. reverse the previous decision that disallowed the special savings by credit union members to be claimed for income tax purposes; and
10. consider an adjustment to the income tax bands in order to offset some of the effects of inflation on workers.
Finally, one thing the Budget should not be and that is a taxation Budget. That would negate the expansion of the economy and hence jeopardize growth.