IF Mia Cares She Should Stop ‘Picking-on’ the Public Service!

Submitted by Charles Skeete

[Barbados Underground] There are enough unpaid taxes and debts due and owing to the Government which if vigorous efforts are made to collect would make the spectre of job losses avoidable and that should have been the first order of business on assuming office because there is no such thing as painless layoffs.

Whatever strategy is employed in relation to job cuts would as a consequence be painful to the jobless.

If the government cares and we are all in it together, the new government which has not really completed a work cycle to merit vacation pay should refrain from taking the increase if they really cared since it would not relate to their time in office but the previous administration who would more have a rightful claim.

They could also abolish temporarily or permanently the unnecessary perks given to senior public officers in Government and at statutory boards. They could even consider a Tom Adams like surcharge which would touch the entire workforce rather than penalize public servants all the time who make up a small portion of the economy.

What about those self employed persons who pay no taxes or NIS THEY SHOULD BE THE ones targeted and stop using the public service as a whipping boy just because they are on the system and easy to get at. The list of indebtedness to the Government is easy to compile. Get up off your asses and do some work and stop looking for the easy way out which is counter productive anyhow since our economy like a meeting turn depends on what is circulated and layoffs takes money out of circulation and stagnates the economy.

149 thoughts on “IF Mia Cares She Should Stop ‘Picking-on’ the Public Service!

  1. Barbadians are in a state of denial . The IMF would make that denial a reality
    What confounds abd dumbfounds is the silence coming from the BWU and to a leeser extent the NUPW outside Charles Skeete interference via social media it looks like the civil servants does not have a secure leg to stand on
    There are going to be sleepless nights for many public workers

  2. @ August 19, 2018 7:08 PM


    after shrinking of the public sector and the transformation of the gov corps, the private sector will have more capital through lower taxes and less regulation to build up new branches.

    Less regulation? I think the govt needs to invest in enforcement of the rules it currently has. There is little sustained enforcement of the current regulations. if there was proper enforcement many of the things occurring wont have occurred.

  3. Is it now part of this government’s policies to us the Defence Force to undertake the maintenance of public buildings? Are the unions involved in this?

  4. It now appears as if the BLP government is going to expand the free movement of people, by including such categories as domestic staff (of course they mus4t be qualified to cook, vacuum and tidy the beds).
    But has anyone done a cost/benefit analysis of this proposal? How will it impact on unemployment, especially at the low and unskilled levels? Has anyone looked at how the free movement of EU members impacted on the UK?

  5. Good . Now a meaningful debate has gotten off the ground. Let us concentrate on how to grow the cake and any other products or services that are exportable.
    Is the private sector willing and ready to go?

  6. @ Hal A at 4 :46 AM

    Free movement resulted in a vote for Brexit. Are you suggesting we vote to leave CARICOM?

  7. @ David BU at 10 :28 AM

    The Public sector expanded because the Private Sector did not step up to the plate.

    Hilton. Arawak Cement. Almond Beach. Flour Mill. ICBL. BNB BNOC. National Petroleum. BAMC

    David are you playing Devil’s Advocate or what?

    You formed this blog to make mock sport of black people like me? Go way do.

    Talking about Big Government? Wuh Loss.

    Where is the Big Private Sector? Buying at 5 cents and Selling at 10 cents?

    • @Bernard

      You are saying the so-called growth in the economy especially in the boom years of the 2000s was ‘artificial’?’

  8. Bernard,
    No. I am a huge fan of CARICOM, and as I have said in BU on numerous occasions, I believe in a Federation of all the Caribbean islands, no matter what language or history.
    What I want is a well tough-out CARICOM, and not the fractured institution we have at present. I want to prevent Barbados falling in to the mess that Tony Blair created when he allowed all new member states of the EU free movement almost from day one. The unintended consequence is that it led to resent by the white working class against the newcomers, and in time, a re-awakening of the hate for black people (see Windrush).
    Immigration will clearly move from the periphery to the centre, from Poland to the UK, from the Caribbean to the US, from Haiti to Barbados. As an economist, you know that an over-supply of labour will impact wages – Bajan wages – which may lead to social conflict.
    The newcomers will also be much younger (older people do not travel), which means they will be at their most reproductive: young children will mean an extra demand on health services, education, jobs, homes, etc. With high unemployment already, and with Barbadians expecting a high standard of living (no matter the level of productivity), mass immigration will impact the standard of living.
    Progressive people who want to see a united Caribbean, and I do, the first task is to think through the issues. Owen Arthur failed to do this; Stuart failed to do it; and Mottley is shooting from the lip rather than engage her brain first.
    Here is a thought: Guyana I bigger than England and has a population of about 750000 (the size of an average of three of the London 32 boroughs); the UK has a population of about 65m. In short, Guyana can hold the entire population of the UK.
    Further, the UK has no natural resources (not even coal), while Guyana has reserves of oil, gold, wood, diamonds, aluminium, etc. Guyana can easily absorb every unemployed man, woman and child in England.
    By the way, I am also a support of a United States of Europe, we must get rid of Brexit.

  9. @ David BU

    There was nothing ” artificial” about the “boom” years of 2000s.
    They were Public Sector designed and Public Sector driven. There was a transformation of the economy to exploit the growing market for overseas registration of trusts and companies. Expensive and exotic tourists destinations. Exclusive residential properties etc etc. in a country with first world facilities, educated population and low levels of crime.

    We now have to re-calibrate to provide high value goods and services for the new market. We need no spin doctors . We need real entrepreneurs that can spot and execute business opportunities.

  10. Bernard,
    The so-called boom of the Arthur years was debt-driven. Thompson inherited the mess. It was the worst period in our economic development since the end of the Second World War – all masked as development.

  11. The prime minister is now saying that the so-called blue economy is crucial to Barbados (I know the chairman in the past Googled up blue economy as defined by the World Bank as proof this nonsense exists). Maybe she will now spell out clearly what role this blue economy will play in our national development.
    Further, what will be the impact on our environment ie over-fishing, give the loss of conch, the limited availability of sea eggs, the desertion from our shores of flying fish, etc.
    We have 3000 fisherpeople who use the same boats and equipment that has been in use for half a century. What improvements is she planning?

  12. Looking like go carts stuck in the mud
    How many years have govt past and present trying to build a Carribbean economy
    A look at liat should be sufficient to tell how wellor no so well the govts of carribbean are willing to build and established a carribbean economy that serves its people
    Barrow words rings truth as to what govts of the carribbean put first and the need to feather their own nest (first )having no appetite to engage or encourage other nations to eat at their table

  13. What is the Barbados Government’s response to the most recent advice of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) with regard to Venezuela? I also wonder what is the position of Ambassador Commissiong?

    “Venezuela is a dictatorship, the National Constituent Assembly was elected through fraud, and the Executive Power and the Electoral Power have illegitimate origins, and the procedures for the composition of their highest magistrates have been either unconstitutional or fraudulent.”


  14. @ Mr. Bernard Codrington

    You are like others here that i admire, a man of few words but purposed words

    You said and I quote “…We now have to re-calibrate to provide high value goods and services for the new market. We need no spin doctors . We need real entrepreneurs that can spot and execute business opportunities….”

    Looka me with my nufftanarian treatises on creating a vibrant knowledge economy, focusing on a new type of “high value goods for new markets and creating new business opportunities” and here you say that in 5 lines!

    When I grow up I want to be just like you!!

    But I am going to ask you this.

    You did not just come up with these ideas did you?

    I am sure that you would have said these same words in many places where you were before didnt you?

    Tell me, what do you think has changed that might bode well for your sentiments @ today?

  15. We continue to blame the public sector bug the private sector is the real culprit. We have a private sector that whine all day and night yet they live like royalty: font pay income tax ( refuse to hand over monies collected for VAT; collect and don’t pay in workers national insurance; bluntly refuse to be innovative; continued to live in the dark ages by refusing to utilized technology and are basically
    playing politics and I could go on and on. The big problem with the NSRL, is the fact that they had yo pay it upfront.

  16. @ PUDRYR at 2:43 AM

    We are very much in danger of going the Greek route and ending up in a worse economic and social situation.
    Please review the position of the Greek economy after about 10 years of the classic IMF prescriptions. Take note of the level of employment, the per capita income, and the purchasing power of their currency.
    Please note that it is projected they need another 10 to 15 years to restore the real GDP to the level they enjoyed in 2007.

    I was responding to an issue or statement made by David BU. I believe I must have made the same points before and after May 24 2018. Just a voice crying in the wilderness.

    When you get your piece of the rock lend me it so I can start pelting some stones too.
    Wuh Loss.

  17. Bernard,

    Are you familiar with what it happening in Greece? What do you mean by the purchasing power of their currency? The currency used in Greece is the euro.
    The Greek problem was people refusing to pay their taxes(re Barbados with people not paying their VAT, tax and NIS contributions); high unemployment, re Barbados, a situation about to be made worse when low skilled people from all over CARICOM come in to the country, some legally and other illegally; the Gr eek problem was northern Europeans lending Greeks money to buy their products ie the Germans. In Barbados household and corporate debt are at record highs. Just ask the owners of those small, family-owned, badly-managed hotels. The Greek loans came from the Troika, not the IMF alone.
    Plse do your homework on the Greek predicament and not guess.

  18. @ Mr Bernard Codrington,

    That pronouncement that you made at 10.24 should be evident to all bajans as it relates to our current condition and our trek to the IMF.

    But unfortunately it is not.

    One side wishes for devaluation BECAUSE IT WILL AWAKEN THE PERMANENTLY DRUGGED and Kadooment mentalities among us bajans but the other side sees the hardships that it will impose on the majority of the population.

    I am awaiting the next Prime Ministerial talk show to hear what Chairman Mia Mao will say about her plans for economic recovery.

    If she does not give some serious proposals 2 WEEKS AFTER HER PRONOUNCEMENTS WE WILL HAVE ANOTHER DEGRADE for our junk bonds and that will compromise our IMF begging position even more than it is now.

    But she is saddled with her Thought Leaders OR WHICH I CAN BE ASSURED THAT, given your no-nonsense attitude, you will not be one.

    You ent no YES MAN.

    • The prime minister is on record supported by the social partnership that Barbados is committed to a fixed exchange rate. Any other pronouncement is counterfeit.

  19. I agree completely with Mr Skeete, but Mia is not going to go after tax defaulters. Where was he when she abolished the tax clearance certificate requirement? I keep asking people who Mia cares about. Actions speaks louder than words!

  20. Who is the minister responsible for our CARICOM policy. It seems as if the ambassador is the lead person on CARICOM policy for this government. It is also unclear what government policy is; they seem to be making it up as they go along.
    \On major issues such as t he free movement of people, there should at the very least be a widespread public discussion, and, preferably, a referendum. We are here dealing with demographic change.
    A little island of 166 sq miles cannot open its doors to all and sundry, based in particular on low skills. In the early 1960s, Barbados had a population of 150000 and was then considered to be over-crowded, so much so that a delegation was sent to Dominica to see if we could transfer some people there.
    But modern mass immigration is aa massive global problem, with one study stating that 700m people, 14 per cent of the global population, would like to move country.
    In the US, 13 per cent of the population are foreign born, in Sweden it is 18.5 per cent, in both countries three times as high as it was in 1970 – a generation ago.
    And if people travel with their families (young people are more likely to reproduce) there will be demands on health and education, jobs and housing, welfare and social cohesion.

  21. I do not give advice unless it has been asked for, but I will this time: I am not sure if the Chinese communication expert working for the prime minister is giving her advice on raising her profile, but plse don’t. It is bad advice. The prime minister must delegate more, allowing the relevant ministers to lead on the issue under consideration, and at the same time get her pictures out of the papers. In case she does not realise it, she is projecting an image of an autocrat.
    After nearly 100 days in government the only image we have is not of policy changes, but of the prime minister making speeches and attending events. Stop it.

  22. Prime Minister Mia Mottley will address a high level meeting next week as Grenadians prepare to vote in another referendum on whether or not to replace the London-based Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).(Quote)

    Our publici9ty-obsessd prime minister is at it again. Where is the attorney general? Why is she hogging all the limelight? Is this what the Chinese man has recommended?

  23. Is the notion of a fixed exchange rate still viable in the current econo0mic circumstances. Since the beginning of the year the Bajan dollar has appreciated by eight per cent. What is the economic reasoning behind this, in a climate that cries oust for devaluation? What do our econo0ic consultants, those highly paid gurus, got to say about this? Three months in to the new government and still silence about the most pressing issue facing the administration. Where are the apologists?

  24. We all get invitations that we turn down. Her role in setting up the CCJ was related to her job as attorney general.

  25. @ Hal Austin

    Hal, maybe in this case, with the 21 of the 29 or is that 30? ministers that she has (or is that 26? I am lost) maybe she has no real choice.

    Look de ole man does be saying dat Teets ent too smart and people does doan know why and it ent necessary to say why neider.

    But what you have to recognize is that at this critical point of our affairs Chairman Mia Mao cannot delegate authority to idiots.

    Even during Fumbles administration DID YOU EVER SEE THAT FELLOW PATRICK TOAD Minister of Sidewalks in the City of Bridgetown pun any platform?

    Or in the newspaper saying anything?

    Steupseeee dese fellers ent de brightest and it does not make sense to risk that and have wunna BU pundits capture the news article from the speific newspaper and assassinate his presentation

    I say wunna cause you dun know dat the ole man does not do things like that No sireeeee

  26. “I agree completely with Mr Skeete, but Mia is not going to go after tax defaulters. Where was he when she abolished the tax clearance certificate requirement? I keep asking people who Mia cares about. Actions speaks louder than words!”

    At least Ann, we are agreeing on something for once because I am not joining you on no anti-Mia bashing when there was not a word from you when the previous government was mismanaging the economy and imposing taxation from which no benefit has been seen. However, I must concur with you that neither government would go after tax defaulters because the defaulters cross both party lines at the highest levels. The tax clearance certificate was an ideal tool to pressurize these dodgers who have to travel to check their bank accounts in Miami from time to time. Abolishing the tax clearance certificate maintains the status quo and is an indication that there will be business and this aspect of integrity and transparency in our system of governance will continue to be compromised.

  27. Outspoken local economist Dr Michael Howard says the 1500 public workers sent home last week is not enough bring Government’s ballooning wage bill under control.
    The former University of the West Indies lecturer told Barbados TODAY, based on his calculations, Government’s decision to cut from the lower spectrum of the salary scale while simultaneously granting civil servants a wage increase, has actually increased the wage bill(Quote)

    This is the kind of consensus thinking on economic policy that totally misses the point. Government does not – or should not want to – reduce its wages bill. Rather, it should be thinking of reducing its expenditure, which is not the same.
    It this is the case, a reduction in public expenditure should go beyond making the low paid redundant. What is needed is a proper audit of public spending, which we have not so far got.

  28. Prime minister Mottley is now blaming ‘sabotage’ for the almighty incompetence tat accompanies the BLP government’s blue xhip BERT programme
    She is inclined to believe that the idea is not bonkers, it is the implementation. Nonsense. After just six months the blame game has started. This looks like a one-term government, It will end in tears. Barbados is a failed state.

  29. Williams, however, said the position of the corporation was explained to the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) during recent discussions regarding those CBC staff being made redundant following “the restructuring of the corporation to make it a viable entity”.
    He pointed out that the Union accepted that this was the only possible solution because the Corporation has accumulated debt of over $115 million, and while it would wish to pay all outstanding monies in cash, it is simply unable do so because of its cash strapped position.
    “CBC over the past year has been experiencing challenges in meeting monthly payroll and is currently not in a position to settle outstanding retroactive payments in cash.
    “As part of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme, the corporation’s accumulated debts, including retroactive employee costs are being funded through a bond issue.
    “Under this arrangement employees will receive all retroactive payments in cash commencing April 30, 2019 paid over a 42-month period of equal payments.”(Quote)

    How can you make people redundant then claim you do not have money to pay them off? This incompetence is reaching the level of the Stuart government.
    Redundancies are part of restructuring. If you do not have the ready cash to pay off former staff, then borrow it. It is a short term loan that would be repaid through the savings.
    You cannot sack people, then refuse to pay them. What about their bills? Where is the union?

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