PM: Plans to re­hire early next year

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS - Bar­ryal­[email protected]­tion­

By Barry Alleyne GOV­ERN­MENT will not rest un­til al­most half of the 1 000 work­ers presently re­trenched are earn­ing a monthly wage again.

That prom­ise came from Prime Min­is­ter Mia Mot­t­ley, as she re­vealed that early in 2019, be­tween 300 and 400 work­ers would be brought in to help digi­tise Gov­ern­ment as part of pub­lic sec­tor re­form now that re­serves are healthy again.

The Prime Min­is­ter was speak­ing dur­ing a spe­cial Christ­mas con­ver­sa­tion with econ­o­mist Shane Lowe, as part of an event hosted by the CIBC First­caribbean In­ter­na­tional Bank at San­dals Royal, Maxwell, Christ Church.

Mot­t­ley said that in Jan­uary, Gov­ern­ment, af­ter re­ceiv­ing loans from the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, the Caribbean De­vel­op­ment Bank and the In­ter-amer­i­can De­vel­op­ment Bank (IDB), would be in a po­si­tion to start the Re Re Pro­gramme, which also in­volves the re­train­ing of a num­ber of for­mer Gov­ern­ment work­ers to help take the coun­try for­ward.

Re­peat­ing that hav­ing to send home the 1 000 work­ers was the tough­est de­ci­sion she had made since tak­ing over as Prime Min­is­ter, Mot­t­ley said Gov­ern­ment did not want to let those work­ers down.

“We will not rest un­til we re­lo­cate those per­sons. The IDB loan will al­low us to pick things back up,” she said to loud ap­plause.

“The ap­plause is for the coun­try. I want to thank the pub­lic for their sup­port. I re­alise some­times how much we take things for granted. De­cem­ber is al­ways a good time for re­flec­tion. This is a spe­cial case for Bar­ba­dos. We have been able to share the bur­den fairly, when you con­sider the in­sta­bil­ity that had ex­isted be­fore. We can only con­trol what we can and we have done that,” Mot­t­ley said.

She ex­plained that with a

$100 mil­lion cap­i­tal works pro­gramme al­ready un­der way, Ross Univer­sity com­ing to Bar­ba­dos, San­dals Beaches also ex­pected to open its doors next year and other projects in the works, there is more light at the end of the tun­nel for Bar­ba­dos.

She also re­as­sured the bank­ing sec­tor and busi­ness peo­ple on hand that Gov­ern­ment was now in a bet­ter po­si­tion to con­trol its fi­nances and, by ex­ten­sion, the econ­omy.

The Prime Min­is­ter said her of­fice is be­ing made aware of in­flows and out­flows of money from cen­tral Gov­ern­ment daily.

“I know what we are spend­ing as a coun­try, and what we are tak­ing in. This is a ma­jor ad­just­ment for the coun­try,” she said.

Mot­t­ley then con­firmed that as of No­vem­ber 30 ( In­de­pen­dence Day), Gov­ern­ment had raked in $1 934.8 bil­lion, com­pared with ex­pen­di­ture of $1 870.8 bil­lion. She added that when both do­mes­tic and ex­ter­nal in­ter­est on debt is taken into ac­count, Gov­ern­ment has a sur­plus of a lit­tle over $300 mil­lion. “That shows we are on track,” she said to an­other round of ap­plause.

The Gov­ern­ment leader promised her ad­min­is­tra­tion would be not only re­spon­si­ble but nim­ble as they con­tinue to open mar­kets and cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that would lead to in­vest­ment into Bar­ba­dos, while at the same time al­low­ing Bar­ba­di­ans to in­vest from here and take in cash as global cit­i­zens.

Univer­sity lec­turer Dr Justin Robin­son ques­tioned Prime Min­is­ter Mia Mot­t­ley about what Gov­ern­ment was do­ing to at­tract com­pe­tent and qual­i­fied Bar­ba­di­ans to be part of its pro­gramme go­ing for­ward.

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