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Cuts begin

by Roy R. Morris

transpordboardbussesBarbadians are about to get their first hint of how the Freundel Stuart Government intends to tackle its huge and growing financial headache.

Barbados TODAY learnt this evening that when the top brass of the state-run Transport Board met with Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley today a decision was taken that all workers would be placed on a three-day work week.

Additionally, sources revealed that while managers would continue to work the normal hours, they would voluntarily take a one-week pay cut each month.

What has not been ascertained is how soon the pay reduction programme would come into effect. However, one Government source said that the board was determined to hold the jobs of workers secure as long as possible and therefore the approach of reduced hours was the preferred option to payoffs.

In the meanwhile, the Transport Board has also taken a decision that it could achieve significant savings while at the same time vastly improving efficiency by farming out more of its repair and maintenance work to Simpson Motors.

According to the source, the board has already initiated discussion with Simpson Motors, the agents for Mercedes Benz, now the supplier of its entire fleet of buses.

According to sources, Barbadians employed in other statutory corporations such as the National Conservation Commission and the Barbados Water Authority are also expected to come face to face with similar wage reduction approaches within the coming days.

However, union sources said there were still real fears that the more than 3,000 temporary workers on the central government payroll could be faced with direct layoffs.

Just last week Opposition Barbados Labour Party Economic Adviser, Clyde Mascoll, the jobs of public sector workers would be in jeopardy if Government pursued the $400 million fiscal adjustment recommended by the Central Bank of Barbados.

“It is clear that there has been a shift in Government policy in the post-election period that has to be explained to the public,” Mascoll said. “The fiscal adjustment being pursued represents sending home public sector workers.

“This will not correct the fiscal crisis as expected since the Government is also planning to spend more on capital projects. The reason for the expenditure switching has to be explained as well as the size of the proposed cuts.

“Discovering that the country’s foreign reserves declined by $200 million in the second quarter could not be the trigger for the $400 million fiscal adjustment being recommended and agreed to by the Government of Barbados.”

18 Responses to Cuts begin

  1. Wayne July 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    We were warned for years that the country is heading over a fiscal cliff. The country was convinced that “we can do no better”. This path we are now on could have been avoided. But it was all “Dems now, Dems again”. Enjoy the Dems Barbados.

  2. Bajan Abroad July 15, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Everyone is saying “Government can’t do ‘this & that’!” But no one is saying what they can do instead.

  3. Anne-Marie July 16, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I wonder if Simpson Motors will outsource some of those repairs….Or will our cars have to suffer even further timewise vs personal repairs??

  4. lynda July 16, 2013 at 9:25 am

    ha…Dems now Dems again…deal with the hardship Dem is unleashing on Bim,,,ha

  5. Moose July 16, 2013 at 9:52 am

    So far seeing only negative comments. The government has been wasting tax payers money on over-employment, bonuses. They have also been notorious for replacing in stead of fixing with regard to the Transport Board fleet.

    While DEMS might be cluless, many of these “adjustments” make plenty sense. Whether the BEES or DEMS do it, some of these adjustments are not only feasible, but also common sense.

  6. joel July 16, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Dems now Dems again wunna vote them in again so wunna going now suffer ignorant fools.

  7. karen July 16, 2013 at 10:37 am


  8. charles alleyne July 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Would this really actually show a decrease in the fiscal deficit?So this piece piece method of tinkering would not solved this problem,government need to look at areas where revenues are not really generated especially some of these unnecessary social programs.Many of these government supporters some who have good jobs,professions but continue take and take from this government and bleeding it dry.Time to bring this nonsense to an end and this country is getting worst,laying off workers is going to be the worst thing government could do because it is going to cause further dislocation to the economy.Some of those people who refuse to pay taxes in this country continue to make it worst to this economic mess.

  9. Bella July 16, 2013 at 11:34 am

    This financial mess Barbados is facing didn’t now start….why are you people so dedicated in trying to blame a government who came and found a MESS. Instead of blaming why not try suggesting a solution….mine would be to cut out all the damn traveling and entertainment allowances being paid to officers within the public sector..YES!!! all of the Permanent Secretaries, Commissioners, all of you guys up there who get pay for doing what?

  10. Libra July 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    If there was an easy fix for Barbados’ economy it wud of been done already..Bees or Dems , it wouldn’t matter and if it is that the BEEs got the magic solution y not share it for the love of our country….
    The past Governments, BEEs and Dems helped to build this problem and now they needs to make some adjustments that wud help from making this bad situation worst….
    After all this is a world recession hitting a 3rd world country, whose main income earner is tourism…but every country has this same product so how do we survive with such fierce competition in our expensive country

    If job cuts are the best way out, take it now….may sound harsh but its the grim reality, as a civil servant i’m also at risk….

  11. musterole July 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Tighten yuh belts tight tight . Tighten them as from tonight.

  12. skyler July 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    This situation is going to be 1991 all over again. The PM is looking more and more like the new millennium L. E. S!

  13. latoya July 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Make d school kids pay a $1, stop with all d community concils cut some of d Minister’s pay allowances and travelling sell some of d government owed land caws public workers have bills and families to we all r human the recesion is all ova not just in Bim and I am a bajan blue,yellow and blk not red

  14. TingsDread July 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Dems Now, Dems Again. LOL. I can’t believe this is the same party that had an old woman on CBC TV claiming that the Bees would make old people pay bus fare. This is what Barbadians wanted so they have to live with it. And don’t dare blame the Bees, they did not cause this neither did they leave the economy in no mess. The Dems created the mess so clean it up!

  15. CINDY July 17, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Bella & Libra First one if you think that the PS’ and who ever don’t do any thing for their money what about the politicians who fly first class instead of business and do we need all those parliamentary secretaries in the government. second one I would not help them they created this mess with their lies and innuendos now it it their time to fix it. i am sorry i gave them my x

  16. Clyde July 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    No need to blame or cry out in shame.
    Just fix the mess,It can be fixed.
    We have always had leaders who rose to the occasion
    I want to return to Barbados to live,and nothing will change my mind.
    Just fix the Damn mess.

  17. One2Work August 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Well clothed wolves at the helm. This situation could not have happened overnight, all the talk of being ‘stable’ and ‘stimulus measures’, ‘projected growth’…..baloney, bad management of the economy put us here. The economic downturn ended looonng ago and that sorry excuse was still being used recently. Sorry to say the bajan public got a pig (sorry, pack of wolves) in a bag.

  18. E.Wilkinson May 23, 2014 at 7:19 am

    I find many of the comments above offensive and dis respectful and I am disappointed that the Barbadian public have adopted the north American attitude regarding politics. The world is in a recession and not only governments, but individuals need to work together and with the government to solve both the financial and social issues of their countries. Barbadians are one of the most educated people in the people in the Caribbean; but you do not have an entrepreneurial mind set and you lack vision. Instead of being critical of the government, find grassroot solutions to the issue. The majority of you are behaving like the Tea party and Republicans in America. From the time this current government was elected, the BLP party and it’s supporters have been critical of their everything that the have done and suggested. It is time to stop the nonsense and work together to rebuild this country.


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