Businesses may have to cut jobs, warns Abed

Amid a rough economic climate, the private sector today warned that it could no longer afford to maintain jobs out of sheer patriotism.
President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Eddy Abed told a BCCI business luncheon at the Hilton this afternoon that as a result of the “restraint and maturity exhibited by the private sector” the country has been able to maintain employment at well over 100,000 people.

He also said the sector had chosen to put social considerations above the bottom line for a protracted period, to its own detriment.
“This has however come at a cost of lower profit levels and reduced capital investment in new and existing ventures. Our economic future is at best uncertain. In fact, uncertainty and a lack of confidence are the two buzzwords that I hear from businesses,” Abed said.

Though he did not explicitly state that layoffs were on the horizon, Abed cautioned that it could not be business as usual while suggesting that Barbadians must be willing to shed their cloak of entitlement and be prepared to pay their way.
“I am aware that the entitlements that many take for granted for the last two generations must be reviewed and a buffet of options guided by means testing, user fees and outsourcing will have to be embraced.

“The toughest obstacle in my opinion would require a reboot of a generally poor customer service and a generally low productivity in both the private and public sectors,” the BCCI president said.
“Unless all Barbadians recognize that the gravy train will no longer provide an easy ride as before, and every citizen must be meaningfully engaged in a work environment, we will forever be chasing an elusive lifestyle that cannot be maintained,” he added. His comments came against the backdrop of two recent economic downgrades and a significant drop on the island’s foreign reserves to less than $700 million, or less than 12 weeks of import cover, that threatened the stability of the Barbados dollar.

With strong concern also being registered about the national debt, which reached 111 per cent of gross domestic product at the end o 2016, Abed said: “Sadly this calamitous situation has continued unabated, the results are everywhere to be seen. Government services have drastically deteriorated, as generally there has not been any realistic allotment for maintenance or replacement of essentially equipment. Yet we are told that our Central Bank continues to print money at the dizzying amount of $50 million per month to pay public servants . . .

“Consequently I am fully aware that there has to be further austerity and I fear that the medicine would most certainly be bitter, but opportunities would abound to invest in local gems which are scratched or even chipped but could shine again if properly managed and capitalized,” he added.

24 Responses to Businesses may have to cut jobs, warns Abed

  1. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea March 29, 2017 at 11:39 pm


  2. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince March 29, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Even if they must. Great excuse to keep profits….

    • Jennifer March 30, 2017 at 3:16 am

      @Anne – well said woman. And to add, why not let us use this advantage to get our own community cloth store. Instead of like the little child crying and begging the oppressor not to let us go.

  3. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore March 30, 2017 at 12:12 am

    Barbadian businesses as well as its people were told to hold govt’s hand as we voyaged across tempestuous seas in search of calmer waters & a safe haven in which to berth.. As we sailed the ocean, the waves became more turbulent. In an effort to salvage the vessel DEM jettisoned the passengers to lighten the ship. Against our best efforts the vessel is listing & about to capsize. The reality of the above analogy is simply this, now that DEM have taken away our ability to pay for essential services, we are now being made to pay for them by digging even deeper into pockets that have sprung a leak as our livelihoods drain into an ever depleted reservoir.

    • Elvis Goodman
      Elvis Goodman March 30, 2017 at 4:50 am

      The problem here with this analysis is that it is only partially true…from the 1980s governments have been warned that they was a need to make fundamental structural changes to the economy….particularly they have been advised to reduce the size of the civil service and to find a viable financial model to pay for the free social services….over the years no substantive policies have been introduced to address these matters…because politicians are afraid to take unpopular decisions….in 1996 the government was advised to implement fees at university they refused because it would have been too unpopular…in 2004 they were advised to reduce the civil service again they refuse….anyone who does an honest analysis over the past 35years …both parties have made some bad decisions

  4. Khati D
    Khati D'Souza March 30, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Ghee Mr.Abed, you know I ain your fan but really you must know no matter what you say people will take it the wrong way. You might as well stay quiet dont say and ride de tide.

  5. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn March 30, 2017 at 3:20 am

    Start cut cabinet. It is to large. Cabinet is the first place to start from.

    • hcalndre March 30, 2017 at 8:58 am

      @Angus Benn: Barbados has a population of approx. 275.000, 11 parishes, plenty of constituencies, I don`t know how many of them vote but they have 30 seats plus hanger-ons, London has 5 million electorates, 17 constituencies and elects one person for each constituency, if barbados had that amount of voters their cabinet would rival China.

  6. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall March 30, 2017 at 5:13 am

    Government cut so the private sector could also cut.

  7. Loretta Griffith March 30, 2017 at 6:52 am

    This is what you get when you are dealing with hypocrites. You don’t know who is telling you the truth.
    Until some of us stop compromising our integrity, this country will continue to go further and further down the drain. Too many of us like kissing backsides.
    What we need are men and women who are upstanding in every respect to chart our destiny.
    Let’s stop the hypocrisy and get on with what is in the interest of Barbados and not self serving.

  8. hcalndre March 30, 2017 at 9:43 am

    I heard a 21 year female caller on the call-in program yesterday, (wednesday) accusing brother Mc Dowall of not fighting her case for permanent employment instead of trying to get a raise in salary for the workers because she don`t need the raise, the government don`t have the money and she was given kodos by the host as usual. At 21 most likely she can`t be in the CS no more than 3 years and living at her parents, I would bet that she don`t have a dependent and whether temp or permanent and this party is lucky to regain the government she will be on or the first to go if they do it by seniority.

  9. Ossie Moore March 30, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I could never understand why little Buhbaydus needed two representatives for a tiny 10 x 5 mile Parish ,

    Exp: St.James North
    St. James South

    St. Phillip East
    St. Phillip West.

  10. Milli Watt March 30, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I never hear Eddy Abed name call in manufacturing to earn foreign exchange yet he could speak bout who entitled. I come from a tourism and manufacturing family and we don’t feel entitled. This from a man who has to decide what deal to buy low to make and come in here and sell high. That does take a lot of effort and manners from you when customers walk in your store. Lay of 5,000 I DARE YOU AND ALL THE BANKRUPT OF AN ORIGINAL IDEA CAPITALIST AND POLITICAL CLASS. I DOUBLE DARE YOU.

  11. greengiant March 30, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    This is a different Abed dynasty. The old cat has passed away so now the two mice is playing. This is comical, it’s time we find the courage to by pass these merchants. They have been profitable for decades, but they will now be the first to talk about lay offs.

    This is why i’m for private / public sector partnerships and not full privatization. There is no moral conscience to business.

    Just to mention. It may seem way out and of no concern to us, but it should be. I am an addicted news reader so on reading UK evening standard today I saw the Prime Minister trying to use security support to negotiate a British trade deal with the EU post brexit. The british government has been told that they need to exit the union first then to negotiate, but in her attempt to pre – negotiate a deal using security cooperation as a weapon simply shows that business has no morals. We should also learn that the african race is indeed unique. We are the only race who are still focused on morals and look good principles. The other races are focused on winning at all cost, so maybe somewhere in my genetics there must be another race hidden.

    • jennifer March 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      @green giant – well said. It Is no conscience at all or morals. From their fore fathers era, this was passed down. It has to do with the DNA. Then some of them even have the guts to say we are owed nothing while we continue to sit, talk and allow them to threaten us with job layoff and nonsense. Our people cannot thrive in any facet of society hooked to these other nations. This is why we are the sheeple towing the line. Now the person who does not tow the line is castigated as anti social.

  12. Alex Alleyne March 30, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    @Jennifer, add….. trouble maker, agitator , communist.

  13. Donild Trimp March 30, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    The private sector owes the Gov’t over $600 million in taxes and refuse to pay up.

    There was some rumblings lately from a few Gov’t officials about this.

    Just wondering.

  14. Lorenzo March 30, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Donald Trimp tell me how much does Government owe in Vat Returns and income tax?Just wondering.I heard the young lady also castigating Mr McDowall to the delight of the
    host Maureen Holder who urged her on while arguing with another member who supported Mr mcDowall asking her to provide evidence of his support.Mr mcdowall only crime seems to be he is supporting the BLP which is his right in a Democracy.This has these Dems in a tizzybut which party included Mr Trotman.Evelyn Greaves Bobby Morris and others?These Dems believe we have short memories.

  15. Greeng March 30, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Yes Lorenzo, these men weren’t public servants and they came out boldly and faced the electorate. As I said before I do have much regard for Akanni, I however believe he is being set up to fail so as to discredit the more youthful brigade of the public workers union. This will obviously extend the expiration date of the older dead weight officers.

    They have been a part of the cowardly negotiators who compromised the workers when they really could’ve gotten decent wage increases.

  16. Donild Trimp March 30, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    @Lorenzo – “tell me how much does Government owe in Vat Returns and income tax?”

    I think you are putting the cart before the horse.

    By your logic, every person in Barbados the Gov’t owes income tax return money to, should stop paying taxes until they receive those funds from the Gov’t.

    Not a sensible or realistic approach.

    Just remember the Gov’t wields the bigger stick.

  17. Mark Adamson March 31, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Three things here.

    1) Eddie Abed lives in the distant past. Vote PDC for a System of National Partnerships where all those persons who are part and parcel of the functioning of business enterprises in the private sector of this country will become PARTNERS (part-owners) of PARTNERSHIPS that will run those business enterprises and be recognized as such. As for those persons that are part and parcel of the functioning of the government, they will become PARTNERS (part-owners) of PARTNERSHIPS that will be mandated to manage the government sector of Barbados. ALL PARTNERS will determine – on a majority basis – which PARTNERS enter or exit them.

    2) Eddie Abed lives in the distant past. Vote PDC for the Abolition
    of Taxation in Barbados and for its replacement with strategies for the government – far greater than now – coming by its own
    incomes and revenues, and for the government – far greater than
    now too – having greater access to money coming out of the core
    financial system of Barbados, and – at the same time as it is
    doing so – its not having to incur wicked cost of use of money
    transfers (Interest, Debit Transfers).

    3) Eddie Abed lives in the distant past. Vote PDC for the
    establishment of two schemes: A National Institutional Productive
    Money Transfer Scheme and A National Institutional Non-
    Productive Money Transfer Scheme. Each Scheme will be
    embedded in the core financial system of this country, and will
    each – in their respective ways – make sure that those individuals,
    businesses and other relevant entities which qualify for monetary benefit under them – including the government of Barbados – will be GIVEN monies consistent with each and every year of their having contributed totally to the National Receipts Generation process of the country, and the amounts of monies they will get consistent with the minusing of the costs to them of their contributing to the receipts of those persons running the Schemes or those persons and businesses doing business with the
    Schemes. The PARTNERSHIP (S) running the government sector
    will be limited to a combined maximum regular use of 30 % of any monies in the Schemes in any given year.

    So they you go.

  18. Watchman March 31, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Bajans, boycott any millionaires that lay off your friends and family,
    that easy.

    • Jennifer March 31, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Watchman – that will never happen, the fraying, the love, commitment, dedication, etc is too strong.

  19. Lorenzo March 31, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Donald Trimp only a fool would suggest to anyone to stop paying taxes,my point to you is that Government owes these businesses a lot in vat returns which they need to keep afloat to pay the said taxes.You sem to be only looking at one side of the equation,and based on your contributions I can believe you are a Dem,so tell me who is preventing the Government from collecting the owed taxes?


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