Ministers mum on layoffs

chrissincklersketicalMinister of Finance Chris Sinckler has now gone silent on the 3,000 public workers who the Freundel Stuart Administration told the country would start going home from today.

And Minister of Labour and Social Security Senator Esther Byer-Suckoo is not saying a word publicly about the layoffs either.

During the break of a Barbados Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors seminar at Savannah Hotel this morning, Sinckler told reporters he had nothing to say on the layoffs.

The minister, who had months before announced the retrenchments in Parliament, informed the journalists that they may “get something” if they went to the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s luncheon at the Hilton, which the Prime Minister addressed later. However, Sinckler did have a lot to say about the economy and Government’s fiscal position during his feature address to the insurance professionals.

He warned of tough decisions that had to be taken, in order for the Government to achieve greater fiscal discipline to consolidate the public accounts.

“We must drive policy imperatives that demand from ourselves, greater fiscal dciscipline to consolidate the public accounts.

“This will necessarily entail tough, but necessary decisions, many of which we have outlined both in the August Budget and again, supplemented in December,” the minister noted.

“If we follow this course we will achieve our targets in reasonable time and in a manner that restores full confidence, arrest any further deterioration in our international reserves account, and put our debt on a firm downward trajectory.”

Sinckler told the association that the Government must forge ahead with a clear and concise reform agenda in the public administration, which seeks not just to reduce costs across Government, but to make it more efficient, facilitating of business and adept at changing to suit the circumstances that present themselves.

“This process, we have already begun and should be further accelerated in 2014 with the restructuring of the 19 statutory entities mentioned in last year’s Budget, together with the establishment of the Barbados Revenue Authority in April, and a new National Procurement Authority later this year,” he asserted.  Sinckler said that central to this new economic environment and equally as important, would be the maintenance of a strong regulatory and institutional framework for the financial and insurance sub-sectors.

“To maintain financial stability during these challenging times, four elements have become paramount: having a strong regulatory and supervisory framework; enhancing the institutional structure and capacity building; increasing financial surveillance and risk management; and finally having a coordinated approach to regional and international levels of regulation.”

In response to a question from the floor, the Minister of Finance warned that government may have to tread carefully in offering future tax concessions to individuals and businesses. Sinckler said his administration had already paid out a staggering $700 million in rebates, concessions and tax reductions to citizens and companies.

Of this figure, he added, $400 million represented discretionary concessions  which did not go to any productive endeavour.

He assured that while he would look favourably to granting incentives to the life insurance industry to encourage young people to invest in their future, this would evidently impact Government’s “weak” revenue.

estherbyersuckoocleancampaignMeantime, the Labour Minister also refused to speak on the issue of the layoff after this morning’s launch of the TVETC Online, a website of the Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) Council and magazine at the Warren’s Office Complex., saying “I have no comment” when approached.

She also declined to state what impact the layoffs would have on her ministry or the measures put in place to cover any shortfall.

Hours later, at the same building where the activity was held, some employees of the National Housing Corporation were given their marching orders.


9 Responses to Ministers mum on layoffs

  1. Sheri Veronica
    Sheri Veronica February 1, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Oh, at first glance, I thought the ministers were even laying their mothers off. :/

    • Sheri Veronica
      Sheri Veronica February 1, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      It was meant to be Kim, but some would get on their high horses b/c they have absolutely no sense of humor. 🙂

  2. Wayne T Griffith
    Wayne T Griffith February 1, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Anyone who can cast a vote for the DLP doesn’t like Barbados. Everytime they’re in charge, same story over and over.

  3. Wayne T Griffith
    Wayne T Griffith February 1, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Sometimes I wonder if Bajans daft. “The DLP told lies, they said this and that!” If you’all too stupid to determine truth from lies in the age if information technology where research and statistical data are readily accessible then you deserve to be lied and tricked to by politicians. 98% literacy my foot!!

  4. Frank Fowler
    Frank Fowler February 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    If you read the headline and thought a minister sent home his mother, the education system in Barbados really failed you. To stay on topic though, only in Barbados could someone be responsible for ending the livelihood of another, and get away without saying anything about who chose the people, why they were chosen, what was the criteria, when will the other shoe drop and how we’re going to get out of this mess? That was only 10% of the proposed number so brace yourself for a lot more crying and despair.

  5. Omar Watson
    Omar Watson February 1, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Them is who want sending home.

  6. Mac10 February 2, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Once again Ministers have been allowed to get away with saying nothing. Barbados needs REAL JOURNALISTS to ask questions & demand answers. Can you image this non response being acceptable to BBC or CNN JOURNALISTS. Come on Barbados Today & Nation, the people of Barbados deserve better media/press with teeth.

  7. David E Hall
    David E Hall February 3, 2014 at 12:16 am

    No exactly true. the Mumness did not start with the layoffs. The ministers have been mum on everything in Barbados for the last six years because no mater how they try, they been saying nutten.


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