Think of lump sum pay­ment

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Front Page -

Ex-econ­o­mist of­fers sug­ges­tion to civil servants

A for­mer Gov­ern­ment econ­o­mist is ad­vis­ing civil servants to con­sider the im­pli­ca­tions of a one-time lump sum pay­ment ver­sus an in­crease on their monthly salaries.

His com­ments came in the wake of the Na­tional Union of Pub­lic Work­ers’ meet­ing held on Wed­nes­day night, at which the mem­ber­ship re­jected two sce­nar­ios pre­sented by Gov­ern­ment to give work­ers what the union has called a “cop­ing mech­a­nism” on a scale of be­tween two and five per cent.

The econ­o­mist, who re­quested anonymity, said an­a­lyt­ics should play a ma­jor role in the over­all de­ci­sion mak­ing, not­ing that any sen­si­ble an­a­lyst would be look­ing at the to­tal amount and fol­low with a dis­cus­sion, while cross ref­er­enc­ing that fig­ure with the other amounts owed by the Gov­ern­ment to the pub­lic.

“Each Bar­ba­dian needs to un­der­stand their purse, and be con­scious of the de­ci­sion be­ing made. They need to ask is it bet­ter for me to take a one-time pay­ment of $2 000, which means I prob­a­bly would pay my bills on time this month, but I’ll spend the rest in leisure, or to get an ad­di­tional monthly in­come of $150 which can be put to­ward some­thing im­por­tant.

“The one-time pay­ment may hurt the coun­try’s bud­get tar­get, un­less it can be off­set with the sale of a ma­jor as­set. All these things need to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion, and the in­di­vid­ual in­formed as op­posed to how they feel. This is why an­a­lyt­ics is im­por­tant,” he said.

For the past two years, both the union and the Min­istry of Civil Ser­vice have been locked in ne­go­ti­a­tions to give pub­lic servants a salary in­crease, the last of which was nine years ago and the union has put on the ta­ble the cop­ing mech­a­nism pay.

“That is a one-time pay­ment, and if you’re say­ing to me now you’re find­ing ways to cre­ate a mech­a­nism of another one-time pay­ment that isn’t le­gally or con­sti­tu­tion­ally due, I, for ar­gu­ment sake, will want to put that whole thing into view and com­par­i­son. If you’re ask­ing for more, then that is a prob­lem,” he told the WEEK­END NA­TION.

Adding that each in­di­vid­ual’s purse had dif­fer­ent sizes, he said the Bar­ba­dian pub­lic needed to be con­cerned about their fi­nances and how much they were spend­ing.

“If no­body talks to you, and ad­vises you to look at how your ex­pen­di­ture pie is cre­ated, you would take the lump sum pay­ment. For ar­gu­ment’s sake, if the amount is $2 000, you will pay your bills for one month, and spend the rest in leisure. How­ever, if you get an ex­tra $150 per month, you can pay an ex­tra bill or add it to some­thing that is more mean­ing­ful.

“If some­one will sit and talk to peo­ple, they would


re­alise what makes more sense. If we di­vided that $2 000 by 12, that’s just over $150 per month. Any level headed per­son if given a choice of a one-time pay­ment of $2 000 or a monthly pay­ment of $150, would go for the ex­tra $150 a month as op­posed to the one-time pay­ment,” he ex­plained.

Re­cent re­ports from the busi­ness com­mu­nity have shown that the gen­eral spend of cit­i­zens has been down for this year. And with the in­tro­duc­tion of the Na­tional So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity Levy, cit­i­zens have not had ex­tra dis­pos­able in­come to spend out­side of their re­cur­rent ex­penses.

“You want peo­ple to have an un­der­stand­ing, an in­ner stand­ing and an outer stand­ing. How they feel about it and an ex­pres­sion of that feel­ing is what must be recorded. That isn’t be­ing recorded be­tween the unions and the peo­ple. You need to con­nect with and get the pulse of the peo­ple,” he said, adding that know­ing what he knows he would opt for the monthly in­crease as op­posed to the one-time lump sum pay­ment. ( RA)

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