Finance minister shoots down union proposals

Published: Tuesday | December 31, 2013 Comments 0

Barbados' Finance and Economic Affairs minister, Chris Sinckler, says the proposals outlined by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) to save the jobs of public servants do not go far enough.

Last weekend, the NUPW submitted a 10-point proposal to the authorities for consideration as it sought to avert government plans to cut an estimated 3,000 public sector jobs in the New Year.

The union is calling for a reduction in the Value Added Tax as well as a 30 per cent cut in the salaries of government ministers.

The NUPW, which represents the majority of the 28,000 public servants, said it had also submitted proposals calling on the government to consider the reintroduction of bus fares for school children as part of the new economic strategy to revive the ailing economy.

But Sinckler told the Daily Nation newspaper Monday that while the proposals were "interesting", they would not achieve the objectives of the Freundell Stuart government's plans to put the economy on a strong footing.

Sinckler told the newspaper that the 10-point proposals had "some interesting ideas, but it will not get us where we have to go".

Earlier this month, Sinckler said that the plan to cut public service jobs would result in the government saving as much as BDS$143 million, and that the government had also agreed to institute a "strict programme of attrition" across the central public service, filling posts only where it is absolutely unavoidable, over the next five years ending 2018-2019.

The government said the first 2,000 job cuts would take place by January 15, followed by others by March 1.

- CMC

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