The Caswell Franklyn Column – Prime Minister Come Clean on the Sacking of Governor Worrell

Today I intended to write about the functioning, or rather, the non-functioning of the system that was set up by the Employment Rights Act to settle disputes, particularly claims for unfair dismissal. I wanted to point out that it is at best amateurish and that it is failing miserably to meet expectations. But I felt a tug that forced me to weigh in on the furore caused by the reported attempt by the Minister of Finance to remove the Governor of the Central Bank from office.

In the fullness of time, the courts will settle the legal aspects of the matter and I will patiently await that eventuality. However, at this point, I am more concerned about the potential loss of any residual investor confidence that might still be remaining after the series of seventeen downgrades of this country’s credit rating.

As a Barbadian, no matter your political persuasion, no one should be happy to see this embarrassing saga being played out in the public domain. Not so long ago, it was being said internationally that Barbados was punching above its weight. Now I seems that this country is reeling from some head blows inflicted as a result of the poor performance of the Government over the last nine years, and now this? Can Barbados take anymore?

In 2008 the Democratic Labour Party took on the burden of the government of this country as neophytes for the most part. Unfortunately, after nine years in office, they have steadfastly maintained that neophyte quality as though their nine years in office has taught them nothing. They have presided over the affairs of this country with a reverse Midas touch that seem to destroy everything in their wake. Now it seems that they have set their deadly aim on the Central Bank as the next institution targeted for destruction.

So far, the Minister of Finance has quite rightly not made a public statement on the matter. Instead, some of his colleagues have intervened with unhelpful remarks that only goes to confirm that Cabinet is in total disarray.

The Barbados Today of Friday, February 17, 2017 reported that Minister of Housing, Denis Kellman, while addressing a gathering of party faithful earlier that same day, suggested that the decision to fire the Governor of the Central Bank was for the “greater good”. He went on to suggest that while Worrell may have been successful so far in blocking all attempts to remove him, the Freundel Stuart Administration was not backing down. That report suggest that Minister Kellman is privy to the inner workings of the Ministry of Finance on this issue.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, in his all too familiar nonchalant approach to the affairs of state, was reported to have said something markedly different in the Daily Nation of February 21, 2017. He was quoted as saying:

“I am not in any position to comment on whether the Government’s confidence in the Governor of the Central Bank underwent any change, because I preside over the Cabinet of Barbados and at no time has the issue of the Governor’s relationship with the Government come up for consideration”.

He went on to state that he has not made himself privy to all that has been happening, and I accept that as the Prime Minister is an honourable man. But I think that I must ask: since the Prime Minister did not make himself privy to the happenings, Did someone make him privy? If the answer is “no”, it would certainly seem that the Prime Minister is definitely not in control of his Cabinet and worse yet, Kellman is more informed than he is. Perish the thought, say it isn’t so!

131 comments

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Bush breaks with Trump, calls media ‘indispensable to democracy’

    For the most ignorant and backward calling themselves journalists in Barbados…read and learn.

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  • Benefits are part of the pay package in canada .In collective bargaining in good years you go for money, in bad benefits ….influenced by the nearer the wave is to retirement. But in general to get something you have given something up so to say they are not part of the salary is a bit misleading

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Bottom line is, the governor was fired…a clear breach of contract, he dod npt leave on his own…..he has a sense of entitlement as outlined under the terms of the contract, what he reasonably expected to be compensated with, had he been governor for the upcoming 2 years…Sinckler’s cockamamey excuse for firing him will not prevent him from getting his due….end of story.

    Lawson….could you believe it took Trump to make George Bush look good….look, ya know things are really bad in the US when that happens…Bush, whom no one including myself likes..lol

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  • Lawson,

    Benefits are part of the pay package. That is different to being sacked and being paid off. At the FT journalists are pad a basic salary, a company-wide bonus and an individual bonus.
    What ever happens, you get your basic salary; if the company’s profits hit certain bars you get an incremental bonus; and if you as an individual meet certain metrics you get an incremental bonus.
    But if you are sacked, or removed from employment, you are only entitled to your contractual entitlements. Apart from that, your lawyer of union rep may negotiate extras, but that depends on the firm’s generosity. It is not an entitlement.
    That is how it is employment law in England and Wales. Of course, it depends on what the contract says.

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  • Well well,

    I do not want to be pompous, but freedom of speech is not the same as freedom of the press. In popular discourse the two are often inextricably mixed. They are different.

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  • Bless are the poor for their’s is the kingdom of heaven

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  • The Govenor ought to lick his wounds take his monetary package and put it to better use than paying lawyers absorbent fees who are taking him down a cul de sac

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  • While we await the Minister’s press statement, Dr Worrell’s legal team has thrown a curve ball that its keeping its options open.As Dr Denzil Douglas former PM of St Kitts said….it like it en gine dun so….

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  • But if your firm is the govt wouldnt you be entitled to all benefits accumulated like a indexed pension,and medical benefits

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  • Well well,

    I do share with you the poor quality of journalism on some Barbadian publication, but we must show respect to the individuals. People are not bad because they want to be. Employers (and the UWI and community college) must spend money on training of young journalists.

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  • The following text was extracted out of the IMF – Barbados – Financial System Stability Assessment #14/53

    There is a need to strengthen CBB independence. The exact conditions under which the Governor can be dismissed or removed should be clearly specified in the CBB Act. In the same vein, even though current provisions contained in the FIA §50 (4) and the CBB act §49 (1) that empower

    the Minister of Finance to overrule policies or corrective measures taken by the CBB have not been used, they should be removed to assuage concerns about the independence of the CBB.

    Include in the CBB Act a provision stipulating clearly the conditions under
    which the Governor can be removed from his position; and revise the
    provisions that allow the MoF (i) to give written orders to the CBB or (ii) to
    overrule its corrective measures, for example by replacing the MoF by a

    Court as the appeal authority

    The CBB independence would merit strengthening. The independence of the CBB is not as strong as it should be. First, the conditions under which the Governor can be removed from his position (e.g., in the case of misconduct or incapacity) are not stipulated in the law. Second, the
    MoF can overrule corrective measures taken by the CBB; third, even though this power has never been exercised, the MoF can issue written orders to the CBB when in its opinion, the policies pursued by the CBB are not adequate for, or conducive to, the achievement of the purposes of the

    CBB.

    More WARNINGS but definite LACK OF ACTION.

    It’s interesting that IMF recognized this issue in 2013.

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  • Barbadians are addicted to gossip which has laid the foundation for newspapers like the Nation and barbados today which are nothing more than glorified tabloids disguising themselves as reputable news organizations

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  • I would argue that emoluments or profit of office,as opposed to salary,ought to be the defining factor in the determination of compensation for breach of contract.

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  • Lawson,

    Pensions are deferred pay. That is yours once it has been deducted from your salary. Insurance is the company’s and that ends once your employment ends. What good companies/insurance companies do is allow the ex-employee to buyout the insurance.
    So too with medical benefits (at least in the UK). All these should form part of the exit negotiations.
    Remember, death in service is a whopping four times salary; on retirement take out term assurance. If you are still employed and have no death in service cover, then take out payment protection.
    Remember your obligations from the grave – a widow and children. All these are the things that good trade unionists should be fighting for, not only a pay rise.

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    “People are not bad because they want to be.”

    So Hal…the government takes good taxpayer’s money and train journalists and when one writes a story about a corrupt government minister pr business person…the lawyers for the newspaper tells the young journalist that he or she cannot print the human interest story because the minister or business person or even lawyer is his father’s, brother, sister’s aunt or wife’s cousin…or that the editor is good friends with the corrupt or criminal business person.., “ya aint see he in the newspapers at a cocktail party wid Cow or Bizzy…he important we cahn print bout he.”……..or the corrupt businessman plays golf with the DPP who did not lock up Bjerkham’s son either….ah think ya got might my drift.

    Why should taxpayers pay for useless journalists to be miseducated upon graduation and rendered useless year after year, decade after decade Hal…you are missing the root cause of the problem that muzzles and deballs any good journalists that Barbados has to offer.

    Journalism in Barbados can go nowhere because of institutionalized corruption and incestous relationships….starting with both governments and trickling down.

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Have it your own way Hal…but at least bring something useful to the table other than the anonymous bloggers should shed anonymity. ..get creative.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger February 27, 2017 at 2:58 PM

    Well, Well & COB, you managed to do a tortoise and hare ‘one-up’ on the miller.

    If only Hal can explain the actions and muttering ‘mouthings’ of the lying MoF and his boss.

    Is Hal implying that the these people are genetically predisposed to behave the way they operate or is he saying they ought to go back to primary level at the school of morality and ethics in public life?

    Even at this late stage in the endgame the man known by the apt sobriquet as “Stinkliar” refuses to accept responsibility for his actions and continues to lie through his teeth with the silent acquiescence of his marked absence which can be heavily felt.

    It’s amazing how Bajans can be so stupid as to be taken in by all that bullshit emanating from the mouth of that pathological liar.

    But there is an old Bajan saying which certainly holds true in today’s journalistic climate:
    ‘Edication ain’t Commonsense’.

    The journalists in Barbados are a total letdown and an embarrassing disgrace to the country’s ‘laughable’ boast of its outstanding educational system.

    Maybe Hal Austin can do a bit of patriotic service by using his many UK contacts in the field of journalism and arrange for some of them be trained, properly.

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  • Miller

    Tune into Brasstacks now for an analysis on the MoFs speech.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ millertheanunnaki February 27, 2017 at 3:21 PM

    “Even at this late stage in the endgame the man known by the apt sobriquet as “Stinkliar” refuses to accept responsibility for his actions and continues to lie through his teeth with the silent acquiescence of his marked absence which can be heavily felt.”

    Should read:

    “…..with the silent acquiescence of his ‘boss the dumb primate inter pares’ by a marked absence which can be heavily felt.”

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger

    Miller… I have been telling Hal fir quite sometime to see if he can make a difference. .

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  • Sinckler did it again today. He denied devaluation. The more often he does, the closer we get.

    All these lads talking and talking on TV and in the newspaper: They have their Swiss bank accounts, they have their houses in Canada, they have their Mercedes tax-free. And maybe a Canadian passort.

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  • Hal in canada in the govt after 35 years of govt work you receive a 70 percent indexed pension of your best five years ,a canada pension that you can take at age 60 a pension top up that ends at 65 but that is when your old age pension kicks in. Your medical, orthodics massages in some cases dental, besides the regular medical plan etc continue till death. But a lot of people retire come back as contract workers and when they leave will still be entitled to the benefits they had accumulated and deferred. and can start their pensions If they decide to work in the private sector they will receive all their benefits plus the income from there new job. This we call double dipping Their spouses will receive all their medical benefits plus 66.6 of their pension for life if and when the govt worker dies
    All I am say is if worrell worked for years in govt before he took this job he may be entitled to his accumulated benefits plus any contractual things that came after…. if it was canada.

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  • If you devalue can I finally afford a house down there, maybe We can trade houses

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  • Our small economy cannot afford an economic policy that is not cornered by progressive taxation. The main earner of our foreign exchange tourism, is like fire or water: a good servant but very bad master. Without a striving construction industry with heavy emphasis on maintenance of properties , we cannot sustain our current expenditure. We are also haemoraging from a rapidly deteriorating infrastructure. Failure to maintain: roads, buses , water mains etc., will continue to sap funds and make it difficult to control expenditure. We have no large earnings from Agriculture or manufacturing, therefore we are not creating jobs at the rate to make the economy more resilient.
    Neither the BLPor DLP wants to accept that we were never punching above our weight. We were actually cultivating very pretty gardens and lawns on the outside while electricity, water and poor flooring were present in the house itself. Arthur’s boast about a an excellent economy was like a fridge full of goodies with the door locked. That is why the BLP cannot say how they will solve the problem and why the DLP cannot solve the problem.
    We barely escaped economic extinction in the past , our memories are short but we have gone to the IMF under both the BLP(Tom Adams) and the DLP (Erskine Sandiford) Now we are almost back there again. We have sent home public workers under both the BLP and DLP.
    The model is about to collapse and we want to change everything while everything remains the same. The global economy has no uses for small island development outside of cheap labour and labour in our country is not and should not be cheap. We went through that already with the industrial parks, where we made products to be exported and scarcely made any foreign exchange. Our memories are short because back then we gave the investors ten year tax holidays and the workers were exploited. When the tax holidays expired they moved on. Today we have to do the same thing: give incentives to attract investors…same old soup . To my BLP and DLP friends , I beg you stop deafening us iwth your party positions, you are both guilty. It is time the pot stop calling the kettle black. We need a fresh start.

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  • Correction
    “We were actually cultivating very pretty gardens and lawns on the outside while electricity, water and poor flooring were present in the house ”

    Should read
    We were actually cultivating very pretty gardens and lawns on the outside while electricity, water and poor flooring were NOT present in the house.

    Thanks.

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  • Lawson,

    It appears as if we are mixing up the three pillars of pensions. Are you talking about the state pension, the public sector occupational pension, or private pensions.
    What is the life expectancy in Canada? I suspect that like in most advanced economies, it will be well in to the eighties. If so, I will be surprised that the state retirement age is 60 – meaning that someone leaving university at age 25, can work for 35 years, then spend a further 25 receiving a pension.
    If it is an occupational pension, then the scheme retirement age could be aged 60, no problems there. You talk about the death of the beneficiary, but is that death in service, or death on retirement? I find a two-thirds pension (is that of salary or of pension) a bit much for someone who died in retirement.
    All I can say is that Canadian actuaries must be brilliant at maths, or their fund managers are magicians.

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  • Hal the retirement age is the 80 factor 50 years old and 30 years service and you will recieve a 60% indexed pension for life, if you go 35 years you get a 70 % pension for life this is the provincial retirement plan omers for municipal employees people that work for province, the federal employee plan is better. This is not a private plan, you are right 60 is not old and you can start a new career collecting from both your pension and new job , the survivor benefit of 66.6 % for life doesnt matter when you die before or after retirement I guess our guys are pretty smart we bought the rights to your chunnel

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  • then we sent over carney to watch the money for us, see if he isnt getting a pension from home

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  • Lawson,

    Carney is out of his league. We have taken a second division manager and put him in the premier league.

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  • what about the head of heathrow and the head of canary wharf how are they doing

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