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Sinckler: Good record in trying economic times

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Sinckler: Good record in trying economic times

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Job losses continue to rise in the private sector, but Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler believes Government has been successful in containing those numbers. 
During a mass canvass of his St Michael North-West constituency yesterday, he gave himself and the Democratic Labour Party Government credit for the way the economy has been managed during the recession.
“I have had to manage an economy in the worst possible time. No other Minister of Finance has had to manage an economy in this type of environment.
“I think the fact that Barbados is still standing – that we are in the ring, that we are fighting, that we are not defaulting on debt, that we are not laying off thousands of public workers, that public services have not shut down – must count for something in these very difficult times . . . . You have to be able to have skilled management and I think that is what we have been able to do.”
He said job losses in this economic climate were a reality.
“I know Barbadians are hurting in some respects but it could be much worse. In any recession you expect that this is going to happen; there are going to be job losses but what we have been able to do is contain [them].
“Can you imagine what would happen in the hotel industry had we not provided the $25 million turf programme? Many properties would have closed; thousands would have gone home. 
“So when people talk about loss of jobs in the private sector, yes, that is unfortunate. We have lost jobs and we are fighting to get them back. It doesn’t please us that this has happened, but if we had withdrawn in the way that some people said we should have withdrawn, then you would have seen it even worse.”
In terms of the canvass, Sinckler said he was particularly pleased about the social programmes in the constituency, many of which targeted young people.
He added that the centrepiece was the repair of Deacons Development Centre, which was now being used as a skills training centre by the Barbados Vocational Training Board. (MB)