No pay rise

Boyce says increase would devastate the economy

If public officers were to be given even “a nice, comfortable” ten per cent pay rise it would deal a blow so devastating to the economy that it would be difficult to recover, one Government senator has suggested.

In making a case today against an increase in wages, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Darcy Boyce told the Senate a ten per cent hike would cost the country at least 1.5 per cent of its gross domestic product, causing an even bigger deficit. The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) has demanded a 23 per cent wage hike, while the Barbados Workers Union is seeking a 15 per cent increase.

With parliamentarians from the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) having recently voted to restore the ten per cent of their salaries voluntarily given up in 2014 at the height of austerity, the NUPW is insisting it is proof that Government can afford to give the public servants a pay rise.

However, Boyce was adamant today that an increase was not affordable, stating during his contribution to debate on the 2017-2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure that a ten per cent hike – a figure that none of the unions has demanded – would add $122 million to the $1.2 billion wage bill, drive the economy to death’s door and force more taxes on Barbadians.

“You will recover from that with more taxation, but you are still going to be down by about close to $100 million for ten per cent increase in wages,” he told the Upper Chamber.

“If that were to happen you have to find foreign exchange to support not $100 million, but $400 million of spending in the economy. That is probably going to cost you $200 million in foreign exchange. I used ten per cent because that is a nice, comfortable number. I did that so that the Senate may have a little guidance such as it is, in analyzing these calls for wage increases in a situation where you have this fiscal situation. It is something to deal with, and we are told not to deal with it because the confidence level will not return.”

Boyce placed some of the responsibility for the state of the economy on the public sector, saying that people transacting business here have been complaining for sometime that productivity in the sector had been a cause for concern.

And he suggested that too many public servants were slacking off and cheating the state by not putting in a fair day’s work.

“The international partners have been rating us that we are not doing so well on doing business. Things are taking too long, they say. Sometimes they are wrong and sometimes they are not wrong. If somebody gets paid a day’s wage, those in the public service or anywhere else who supervises that person should ensure that the person has a day’s work to do. A full day’s work should be measured
in terms of what the person is supposed to produce during that day.

“You hear all sorts of stories of persons working a couple of hours and they get paid for a full day’s work. You hear all kinds of stories that people do not come to work. You also hear of people who come to work early, work late and work hard and produce. What I am saying is that all public officers should be doing that, not just a few of us because we all get paid with the same good money, so we should all be doing it,” the DLP legislator said.

He warned that those who failed to produce were not just hurting their employers, but themselves and the country also. And he advised supervisors to do everything possible to increase productivity.

19 Responses to No pay rise

  1. Sunshine Sunny Shine March 22, 2017 at 12:59 am

    Good ole Darcy ”Hidden Agenda” Boyce. Darce do not look at it as a pay rise, look at it as restoration of earnings. In that way, you can give the civil servants back what you took without giving them a rise in salary, which, according to you, will hurt the economy. I mean, your DLP boys got a restoration and that did not hurt the economy now did it ? You know you very good when it comes to money.

    • Jennifer March 22, 2017 at 5:39 am

      Heheheheheheheeee – DO AS they SAY NOT AS they DO.

  2. Tony Webster March 22, 2017 at 5:40 am

    There is a season- and a reason- for everything under the sun.
    Some chickens come home to roost; others come home to roast.

    How do you like your chicken done?

    • Milli Watt March 22, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      shaken not stirred

  3. Jennifer March 22, 2017 at 5:43 am

    CAPABILITY – At the end of the day this will all BOIL down to what a PEOPLE is CAPABLE of doing, and COOKING up.

  4. chris hill March 22, 2017 at 7:23 am

    This is the same party that said “we have turned a corner” “economy bouncing back” we want back our 10%. well they have done it again. no money for the common man or woman just for the ministers. Another nail in the DLP coffin. now the question is will the public workers many unions step up to object to this.

  5. hcalndre March 22, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Some of these politicians when I hear them speaking of work ethics is what lacking in barbados from the politicians down. Whatever profession they have, they want to be a politician and it`s not to help the people, it`s about themselves and then become so pompous and big-up like they are Dons.

    • jennifer March 22, 2017 at 9:27 am

      House negro style.

  6. Ernesta Catlyn March 22, 2017 at 8:40 am

    No other that Minister Jones, in his usual colourful way, indicated that all the workers sent home were rehired. It would be interesting to find out by how much the wage bill increased between the time the 7 000 odd workers were sent home and right before the 2013 elections.

    Darcy, we know you are the biggest politician of them all. Owen learnt that the hard way. Why should any credibility be attached to anything you say? Are you putting in a fair day’s work Darcy? Are public officers slacking off? and if they are, why Darcy? What is your analysis of this phenomenon? Are the Ministers doing a day’s work Darcy? Do as I say not as I do Darcy? Who is responsible for public officers and what have you all done in the last 8 years to inspire or motivate them? Right now you politicians make it sound as if public officers responsible for the rut you have put the country in. If public officers are such a burden, then send them all home.

  7. roger headley March 22, 2017 at 8:52 am

    The Ministers are all temporary public officers, and right now I can think of 12 of the 16 Ministers that should be the first to go home next time there is any retrenchment, if it comes before elections.

  8. Alex Alleyne March 22, 2017 at 9:40 am

    “A nice comfortable 10 percent pay raise”. If given it would deal a blow so devastating to the economy that it will be difficult to recover.
    In other words are you telling me that the workers must continue to collect “slave-wages”. ????????.

    • jennifer March 22, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Alex – are u trying to say they are on a plantation????????

  9. Ryvan C March 22, 2017 at 10:27 am

    What is wrong with the current members of government. You were elected to govern and the buck stops at your door instead, the blame is place on everyone else. You accepted your 10% without fanfare and no objections from any members. Please outline how much each person in the DLP salary currently is then compare that with 90% of the Civil Service. See who suffered the most without a salary increase?

  10. greengiant March 22, 2017 at 11:48 am

    What we should all want to hear is the opinion of the opposition party on this one. If they become the government tomorrow morning would they give a pay increase and what percentage? Would you freeze wages and for how long? Would you implement a salary cut across the board, what percentage and for how long? Would you send more employees home, consolidate some services, or departments, restructure work hours and conditions to improve productivity, or privatize state entities?

    We in Barbados need to hear your solutions, or would it sound more appropriate to say, “we need solutions Barbados”

    • jennifer March 22, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Greengiant – good one. They r saving the best for last. Would a hunter tell u that u are the game?????

    • Corey Broom March 22, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      I am just tired and fed-up of hearing people say that the opposition has no plans. People! You all need to become active in seeking out information. Stop just listening to the narrative that no one is offering suggestions, even the new political parties have some sort of approach to managing the affairs of the country. I hear it day in and day out from even my friends, that no one is bringing solutions; yet, no one gets themselves involved in the political process. They don’t go town hall meetings, they don’t go to any political party’s general meetings, they don’t voice their opinions to those in authority, they don’t read and they do not involve themselves in community activities. I have nothing else to say, and I know the first question people will ask is so where are the solutions and here we go again….

  11. hcalndre March 22, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Can the PM and MOFalse information stand up and let the people know the truth of the economy, you accused Moody and the IMF as enemies of barbados for what reason you would not say. Did not for Moody and the IMF barbados would believe everything is fine with the economy because you said that the economy has bounced back and you`ll demanded that the 10% be reinstated and since the IMF and Moody is wrong, give the Civil servants their due.

  12. greengiant March 22, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    hcalndre the government (PM or MOF never said the rating agencies or the IMF were wrong with their reports on Barbados. They said the ratings did not affect the country at this time as they weren’t going to the international community for funding. They also said that their current method of financing the the country’s operations were local.

    Our real issues according to them, like the rating agencies and local economic professionals are dept servicing, foreign exchange earning, increased local production and purchasing locally so as to reduce the use of foreign exchange for imports.

    Honestly, those individuals, companies, and conglomerates who continue to import items and services we can produce or provide locally are as careless and recklessly selfish are they accuse the government of being. If we want to examine statements that are purely politically intended read the statement from N U P W Assistant General Treasurer Beckles in the other media today. His point is that the public sector employees deserve a pay increase because the MP’s got their salary cut restored. This is the said Beckles who had political ambitions to represent the opposition party and was defeated at the constituency level. Now nobody said the workers don’t deserve an increase, but not 15% and certainly not 23% at this time. Darcy Boyce ( the said Darcy Boyce) who worked in a similar position under the government (now the opposition) is saying the country can’t afford the increases being asked for at this time by the unions. So please tell me. Is the government alone being irresponsible? What about the Unions with their requests? Would we prefer the increases be given and thousands more be placed on the breadline? This is not about who’s responsible, it’s more about who’s not being responsible.

  13. Loretta Griffith March 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    As I have said before, this country abounds with hypocrites.
    There are too many double standards. We say one thing and do another. Politicians should level with the electorate. Tell us the truth and we will understand. Stop the false hopes and playing with emotions which is very dangerous.
    My limited intelligence tells me government is too big and that although all civil servants including policemen and nurses deserve an increase in pay, we just cannot afford any exorbitant increments.
    All of us should call a spade a spade and stop playing to the gallery. BARBADOS belong to ALL OF US . When we drag it further and further down the mire, who are we hurting, not Jamaicans, Guyanes or for that matter Trinidadians; just ourselves. The rich and politicians will continue with their ostentatious lifestyles and we the sycophants will suffer.
    Before we commit political suicide let us think Country and not self. I have no dual nationality.
    Stop encouraging others to make us the laughing stock of the Caribbean


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