Tough times for all
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.