Fri | Aug 23, 2019

Barbados PM hints at more layoffs

Published:Monday | February 11, 2019 | 9:59 AM
Prime Minister Mia Mottley - CMC photo

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Prime Minister Mia Mottley has hinted at more layoffs within the public service, as she promised to update Barbadians on her government’s external debt restructuring plan.

“Those discussions are continuing, and the public will be advised shortly of what we will be doing with respect to the foreign debt situation,” Mottley said on a radio programme.

She told listeners that “the truth is, the foreign debt has always been the smallest part of our overall debt, it’s just over 20 per cent.

“But we do anticipate that we will have to bring resolution to that within the next few weeks to months,”Mottley said, noting that her government, which came to power in May last year, had inherited more than BDS$15 billion in public debt.

She said that workers at state-owned could be sent home as the government goes about restructuring the ailing economy.

“We’ve sent home so far just about 1,000 [people],” she said, adding “there are still a few more layoffs, what I call the peak structural layoffs, to come in one or two state-owned enterprises.”

Prime Minister Mottley sad that the additional layoffs will come during the third phase of her administration’s restructuring programme.

“Phase three starts in April this year and goes to December 2020 to deal with some of those State-owned enterprises that require a greater amount of time and process to go in and do what has to be done so that you don’t end up without the services that have to be delivered.”

BDS $780 million and that an estimated 10,000 people would have been placed on the breadline if her administration had not undertaken the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan.

“No wonder you heard the former governor of the Central Bank talking about sending home about 5,000 or 6,000 people . . . But imagine what would have happened if we’d sent home five times that, if you have the kind of crying and dislocation that we’ve seen, legitimately so, from what we sent home,” Mottley said.

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