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PM satisfied with modest retrenchment

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart feels satisfied that Government’s wages and salaries bill has been reduced by “process of modest retrenchment” of an estimated 3,000 public officers in 2014.

However, speaking in Parliament yesterday during debate on the 2016/2017 Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue, the Prime Minister raised concern that its pension bill was still too high.

While explaining that “there’s been a kind of bunching of retirements” since the Democratic Labour Party took up office as the baby boomer generation, which joined the public service in the 1960s, has left, Stuart said: “The result of that is between the year 2000 and the year 2016, Government’s pension bill has doubled.

“That’s another metric to which we have to pay careful attention because as people retire pensions become payable, so this is another area of expenditure that we have to watch,” he told fellow legislators.

Amid a strong call this week by his predecessor Owen Arthur for there to be further cuts in the size of the civil service, the Prime Minister said his Government’s immediate focus was on stabilizing Barbados above all else.

“We stabilized, we took some hard decisions, decisions by the way, that the previous administration was encouraged and advised to take,” he said, pointing out that “as long ago as 2001 there was a report on the desk of the people that mattered in the Government of Barbados that the public service was too large and that it should be reduced by 10,000 persons by the year 2010.

“It wasn’t done, we have not gotten rid of 10,000 people, we haven’t gotten rid of 5,000 or six [thousand] people as I hear being said, but we have done a modest retrenchment in our effort to get a manageable public service. That’s why the savings on the wages and salaries bill could be accounted for,” Stuart said.

The public sector retrenchments were part of a home-grown structural adjustment programme implemented by the Stuart administration in an effort to turn around the economy, which recorded 0.5 per cent growth last year. (MCW)

2 Responses to PM satisfied with modest retrenchment

  1. BaJan boy March 18, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Prime Minister this is nothing new as for the last forty years this is exactly why the NIS was the focal point for high revenue earning. It has always been known that by the time the largest generation in the history of the world retire that would be the case. The NIS would have had all of the pensions for who ever retired but the DLP has squandered it and then fired the people who were to continue financing it..

  2. chris hill March 19, 2016 at 8:23 am

    but still the IMF has spoken about the government fat cats that have never been cut furthermore been given raises on the backs of the retrenched workers. again Fruendel just trying to justify the massive reduction in the economy that his party has created. but wait have the fired workers received any severance or compensation. Just ask the NCC workers about their rights case.


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