Fellow Barbadians, it would be reprehensible of me not to comment on the Ministerial Statement On Government’s Fiscal Consolidation Programme 2013-15 presented to the House of Assembly by The Hon. Christopher P. Sinckler, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs on Friday just gone. It gives me and my government no pleasure to have sanctioned the firing of 3,000 public workers which will be executed in January 2014.
As you know the global economy continues to experience challenges and my government remains committed to do all that we can to ensure Barbados manages this economy the best we can in the circumstances. In this regard I take this opportunity to throw my full support behind my ministers especially Minister Chris Sinckler and Richard Sealy who have done an exceptional job in challenging conditions.
My Cabinet took the decision after our meeting with the IMF on their recent Article IV Consultation and the NUPW that we should advise Barbadians about the retrenchment at this time. The fact that Barbadians are about to celebrate the Christmas season was not a consideration to delay the decision because I wanted you to know we have taken proactive action to arrest the deteriorating fiscal position.
Barbadians have always demonstrated a level of maturity how we have managed our affairs. The reality is the best laid plans have to be changed based on factors outside of control. Yes promises were made during the recent general election campaign that my government would have protected public sector jobs. Regrettably the Treasury and a widening deficit cannot support this position any longer.
On behalf of the government of Barbados please know that we commiserate with those of you who will have to make the sacrifice for your country by being asked to relinquish your jobs. In solidary with your plight my Cabinet will take a 10% salary cut.
DEMS now, DEMS again!