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Cuts to Civil Service needed

Gercine Carter

Cuts to Civil Service needed

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Barbados’ Civil Service is “unquestionably too large” and must be trimmed, former Central Bank Governor Sir Courtney Blackman has said.
Sir Courtney told the WEEKEND?NATION: “In 2001, I suggested that it [the Civil Service] be reduced but  that advice was not heeded and in fact it was increased, so now the situation is worse than it was then. So we have a Civil Service now of about 28 000.”
Just as he did ten years ago, he is advocating attrition rather than lay-offs.
 Sir Courtney said he was was happy to see some action had been taken on pushing entrepreneurship which he had also recommended.
 “Lots more small people are in business than ever before,” he said, adding that both Government and the private sector were continuing to encourage and support the shift.
Sir Courtney also advocated a wage freeze for civil servants as he urged Government to continue to “try to cut expenditure, economize on the use of foreign exchange and  keep expenditure as low as possible” given the serious economic crisis facing Barbados.
“I understand they still have to try to keep the kettle boiling so that people don’t lose more jobs than is absolutely necessary.
“In that respect the trade unions, Government and the private sector have, generally speaking, done pretty well in keeping the level of unemployment at a reasonably low rate,” Sir Courtney said.