Gill’s way to save millions
Reducing the number of parliamentarians and import restrictions could save Barbadians millions of dollars, says United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate David Gill.
The St Michael South-Central hopeful was at the time addressing a mass meeting on Sunday night at Tweedside Road in support of the St Michael team which also includes Patsy Nurse (St Michael West), Paul Forte (St Michael East) and party leader Lynette Eastmond, who will be contesting The City of Bridgetown.
Gill objected to retrenching only the unskilled who were mainly employed in works programmes responsible for keeping the country clean and tidy. Instead, it should happen from the top down, starting with Parliament, he said.
He was adamant that Cabinet ministers be reduced from 21 to 14, considering the economic paralysis of the country. He added this in turn would reduce the number of ministries, ministers, permanent secretaries, deputy permanent secretaries and senior administrative officers.
According to Gill, this would lead to a savings of $60 million per year and $300 million over the five-year term in office.
Senior executives with 30 years or more service, who had not reached the legal age of retirement, would be encouraged to take early retirement, while permanent secretaries could be employed on a contractual basis. The savings from this restructuring would go towards training the unemployed youth, he told the gathering.
The former Barbados Labour Party parliamentarian said a further $100 million would be saved through import restriction on luxury cars, and the $600 million annual food import bill could also be slashed by limiting items like cereal and exotic wines and foods, from March to December.
Gill said concessions like the ones granted to Sandals needed to be reviewed, since pressure was being put on the poorest of the poor to make up that shortfall in tax revenue.
He said to turn the economy around, Barbados had to do well in at least five of the following areas: reducing the debt and deficit; reducing the interest payments to an acceptable level; restraining inflation from further upward movement; holding unemployment to single digits; improving the balance of payments and boosting the foreign reserves. (PR/SAT)