Barbados Plans Job Cuts For 3,000 Public Sector Workers

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - December 14, 2013

Above: Barbados (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Barbados’ fiscal consolidation efforts could soon mean the loss of 3,000 public sector jobs, Finance Minister Chris Sinckler announced this week.

The proposed cuts, part of a wider fiscal consolidation programme, would be done over the period from January to March of 2014, with the first 2,000 cuts by Jan. 15, 2014 and the final 1,000 “no later than March 1, 2014.” The job cuts would be to the central government and statutory entities.

The country’s Cabinet has also agreed to 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.”

According to the Minister, the attrition is expected to reduce central government employment from around 16,970 to 14,612 jobs over that period, a projected loss of 2,358 posts.

Sinckler said the government planned initiatives that would “create newer, more sustainable private sectors jobs” to help redeploy those included in the job cuts.

“We understand and empathize with the anguish which these measures will cause the many people affected by them,” he told Parliament. “They will be your constituents and ours. But having tried our utmost over the past five years and some to avoid this road, the exigencies of the negative impact of the world’s worst recession have dictated that we cannot continue on the course which we have been pursuing.”

Barbados is currently undergoing serious economic problems; an IMF mission that concluded this week said the country faced “considerable economic challenges.”

Late last month, ratings firm Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s credit rating, warning that the country had fallen back into a recession.

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