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‘Numbers game’

The current layoffs in Barbados’s public sector is a numbers game introduced to appease the International Monetary Fund.

Political scientist Professor Neville Duncan, made this observation recently during an interview with  Barbados TODAY.

Commenting on Government’s plans to layoff 3,000 public workers by March 31, 2014, the University of the West Indies lecturer said: “If the layoffs were part of a programme of serious rationalization in the public sector, I could understand it. However, I think it is just a numbers game to find enough people not to pay so that public expenditures can be reduced to a level that will be acceptable to the IMF continuing to support the Government financially.”

Examining the IMF policies towards Third World countries, Duncan said:  “International Monetary Fund policies still do not properly consider countries like Barbados basically. The IMF merely think about cutting back on public expenditure sufficiently to stimulate growth to make the Barbados economy more attractive for domestic and foreign investors.

Meanwhile, pointing out that IMF policies make no attempt at structural changes in the economy, the political scientist said:  “It is clearly not being the case in Barbados. Its advised policy does not have particular merit in terms of the structural deficiencies which now exist in the Barbadian economy.

“The economy does not rely much on agriculture of any sort; it has no alternatives to the tourism and offshore sector; nothing has been imagined, created, or supported by other agencies like the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank because Barbados is in an IMF programme. There is no obvious and particular benefit coming from Barbados for the sacrifices that the people have been asked to make,” Duncan added.

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