Tough times for all

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS -

are not some­thing with which any­one can feel com­fort­able. For de­spite all the prom­ises to have peo­ple re­tooled and re­trained, the re­al­ity is that some of those ex­it­ing the work­force may never make it back in again, ei­ther as self-em­ployed or em­ploy­ees.

How the process has been han­dled – or mis­han­dled – is open to de­bate, but this is about peo­ple, many of whom were in a eu­phoric mood at the end of May. To­day, many peo­ple, even those still in the work­force, speak of a feel­ing of uncer­tainty and fear.

The Mot­t­ley Ad­min­is­tra­tion it­self has made some se­ri­ous blun­ders. It clearly knew of the sever­ity of the is­land’s eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion even be­fore it took of­fice. That is why in­creas­ing the size of the Cab­i­net – from 16 to 26 – and by ex­ten­sion the num­ber of ex­ec­u­tive posts in the bu­reau­cracy, then to fol­low with a ma­jor lay­off ex­er­cise which has pri­mar­ily af­fected largely those at the bot­tom, has not been a good move. This can only evoke scep­ti­cism.

With or with­out BERT, there was the gen­eral un­der­stand­ing that the pub­lic sec­tor was bloated and needed to be right-sized, but it never hap­pened over many years and across dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal ad­min­is­tra­tions.

What has many peo­ple un­easy is that the bur­den of get­ting the econ­omy back in shape is be­ing placed on all, salaried em­ploy­ees and even pen­sion­ers, who will find them­selves car­ry­ing a big­ger load of the bur­den. It is ob­vi­ous that both the Govern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly the com­mer­cial banks, will pass on any ad­di­tional costs to con­sumers, by way of user fees and other di­rect im­po­si­tions.

Tough times are ahead. There will be some de­spon­dency.

Maybe next year some ac­tivist will start a lobby for the le­gal­i­sa­tion of mur­der, just like mar­i­juana.

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