BARBADIANS TOOK THEIR eyes off productivity in the last decade and this has led to the current economic woes, says CARICOM ambassador Robert “Bobby” Morris.
Stating that Government started “pelting money at problems” once it got past the difficulties of the 1990s, Morris said such a system could never have been sustainable once salaries and wages exceeded the level of productivity in a country.
The veteran trade unionist and historian, who managed the winning campaign of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the last general election, said: “All the VAT (value added tax) that we got, we didn’t manage it properly. We had a lot of money coming at us . . . and when that VAT money was no longer there to the extent it should have been, we still had to satisfy workers all the time by giving them increases, but it was not tied to productivity.”
He also recalled during last Friday’s DLP lunchtime lecture that he had proposed back in 2000 to the second national discussion on productivity that each time the Social Partnership went to the negotiation table, the National Productivity Council should have attended, so as to ensure that whatever was discussed or decided would have been aligned to productivity. (RJ)