To whom much is given . . .
Professor Michael Howard last week responded to my letter of August 22, 2017, which was a response to an earlier article in which he made statements about the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), the behaviour and activities of the unions, his perception of the unions’ leadership, Government’s fiscal deficit and its inability to pay increased wages.
Comments about the NSRL, the behaviour and activities of the unions, and the professor’s perception that union leaders were carrying around an inferiority complex on their shoulders were my central points of attention.
My responses to the matters raised by Professor Howard contained the following:
Unions were not irresponsible, never threatening to shut down the country.
Unions were simply seeking a reduction of the 400 per cent increased NSRL or a coping allowance.
Unions and their members have constitutional rights to align with any person, group or organisation to protect or enhance their interests.
Perceived inferiority complex can be mistaken and be actually a positive motivating force.
In spite of being in agreement with me on a number of points, including the fact that public servants have not received a negotiated wage increment during the past nine years of sacrifice, Professor Howard in his letter of September 18 sought to justify the NSRL, show why it cannot be reduced and why a coping allowance cannot be offered.
As if to hold a past administration accountable for the current state of the country’s economic health, Professor Howard throws up a red herring by making reference to the Scandinavian model of social welfare introduced by Errol Barrow who died 30 years ago.
Professor Howard can rest assured that I am no less aware than he is of the reasons why Government’s hands are tied with a fiscal deficit, a huge debt to GDP ratio, inadequate foreign reserves and a sluggish economy.
I too rest my case with two quotations: “To whom much is given, much is required”, and “With great power comes great responsibility”.
– MICHAEL RAY