Solutions for Barbados – Put Public Servants on Four Day Week and Cut Salaries…

Submitted by William Skinner

As the clock ticks, those of us who refuse to be drawn into the web of deception that is now the main engine driving the ambitions of the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party, can do nothing more than rely on a dwindling number of independent thinkers to save our country.

Fifty years of non-creativity, excessive dillydallying and two parties that are now totally lost, have brought us to the brink of what some have now gleefully determined as doom. The armchair economists are regurgitating figures with almost gay abandon; the trade unionists want increases that we cannot afford and unfortunately, the new third parties seem to be struggling with producing exciting alternative policies to capture the imagination of a populace that is looking for leadership in all the wrong places.

A Prime Minister who once hijacked the salaries of public servants has asked us with a straight face: How did we get back here? Well Sir, we never left here because we refused to have a progressive and enlightened economic plan for the country. So, you are as guilty as all those who went before you and came after you.

Throughout the years, we have been told about: the Singapore model; a service economy; we were to be leaders in offshore business; manufacturing was to be revitalized; the sugar industry was to be brought into the twenty first century; flyovers were to be used to reduce and improve traffic; the public service was to be restructured and I can perhaps write another forty or more promises and policies that were never implemented, were completely botched or simply were dead on arrival.

Somewhere along the way we could amass so much debt that a third of this year’s estimates will now go to debt servicing. Imagine that over a billion dollars including 30 million per year on a new jail. In the meantime the promised revitalization of Bridgetown is now another pipe dream; we have allotted 300 million to pay policyholders because we allowed an insurance company to operate without placing the necessary funds to protect policyholders in the treasury; as a result of political skulduggery , we paid a contractor about ten times more rather than settle as was advised by mediation; somehow we found millions to spend on a cricket field to watch the West Indies “get beat” or the occasional concert by Rihanna.

It will therefore pain any sincere citizen to even be in the same room as the BLPDLP supporters because they are either blind to the mammoth collective economic ruin that these two parties have visited upon the country or they have imbibed some mind-altering portion while at George and Roebuck Streets.

The answer to all this mismanagement and political chicanery is to be elated because some Indians and whites decided to “march in disgust”. Somebody needs to tell me, what is the suffering the whites and Indians are experiencing, when in fact everything that the Black political class has done and not done has redounded to the economic benefit of these two groups. These days are very funny nights indeed.

We need to put public servants on a four-day week to reduce the wage bill. If this is not done we would never get out of this hole. In the mean time begin a restructuring program to reduce the public service. Utilize the Polytechnic, UWI and the community college as sophisticated vocational training centers to make people employable within a year; embark on a road and highway infrastructure plan, included should me a mammoth relocation of houses and buildings to have more lanes and wider roads. Such a program should cost about one billion dollars over fifteen years and guarantee thousands of jobs. Any Minister of Finance should level with the country and forget pie in the sky economic theories and seek to use technology to ensure that all citizens pay their fair share of taxes. Over the next ten years at least 200 million must be spent to have a modern fishing industry that can effectively reduce the food bill and lead to healthier diets. Another 200 million should be spent on small farming with modern business concepts. Such expenditure would rapidly off set unemployment, in the public service, caused by the restructuring job losses. The Ministry of Education should be radically reformed and the Human Resources Department should be guiding educational policy to ensure that education is directly for ensuring job opportunities. This will allow the armchair economists and party hacks to go to the beach and stop talking crap! As the elders say: they need a good bush bath.

Where will the money come from? Cutting out wastage; proper road network and public transportation to improve productivity; investing in technology to ensure faster and more accurate service providers; educating future citizens in areas such as robotics and coding; eliminating praedial larceny and the immediate appointment of a Contractor General with the powers to prosecute white collar criminals. The thousands of jobs created will reinvigorate the economy and thereby generate wealth.

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69 Comments on “Solutions for Barbados – Put Public Servants on Four Day Week and Cut Salaries…”

  1. angela Skeete April 7, 2017 at 3:04 AM #

    Skinner muh man you brave soul real brave for putting out a solution of cutting public servants jobs to a four day week ,but wait do your really believe that such a solution would ever make its way past the Unions without a fight and by the way how about productivity do you really believe that such a suggestion if implemented would serve a better purpose towards productivity, for sure as if the slow pace approach was not bad enough in doing business one can only imagine what the effects of a four day work week in the public service would be in bringing productivity to a grinding halt ,
    Barbados has not reached the high level of technological advancement in order to be brave enough to implement such a policy until such advancement takes its place in this society barbados would be stuck with an an army of civil servant occupants protected by bulling security guards called unions who would fight tooth and nail against what is in the best interest of barbados
    However on the good side the four day job cut might help decrease the early morning and afternoon excessive flow of traffic on the highway

    Like

  2. Hal Austin April 7, 2017 at 3:38 AM #

    William,

    This is a very good idea and would have been a great solution to the crisis when it first started, but may now be a bit late. You may remember Marion Williams first suggested this for the private sector when she was governor of the central bank at the time she denied the global crisis would affect Barbados.
    I can see a number of likely problems. Can you imagine the rebels we have as union leaders accepting a wage cut, even in the national interest and in the interest of their members since your suggestion would protect jobs?
    What about productivity? Cutting the working week would drastically reduce productivity and, so, impact on growth.
    Then there is the Barbadian class consciousness, or lack there of, and collective selfishness. If you have a government that is so immoral that it is prepared to re-impose a 10 per cent pay cut at s time like this, when most of them have businesses and second and third salaries, do you think the senior civil servants, who are cut from the same cloth, will accept any cut in their salaries? So it can be assumed that the people who would be first in line are the same 3000 people they have sacked.
    Then there are other issues such as the impact of such a policy on pensions and other benefits.
    @William, you are assuming that politicians are as ethical as your self. May I suggest that you are an exceptional Barbadian.

    Like

  3. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 7, 2017 at 4:48 AM #

    Fruendel the Fraud and his government ministers are morally and ethically bankrupt….this is their blowback from all that corruption. …they are even bankrupt of ideas.

    Like

  4. David April 7, 2017 at 5:36 AM #

    Two point to consider:

    1.It is an election year.

    2.This government does not have the credibility and moral authority to lead public sector change.

    Like

  5. angela Skeete April 7, 2017 at 6:34 AM #

    Not even divine intervention would be of relevance or accepted by the unions to the implementation of similar solutions in the nation interest
    This society has been fed that govt owes them a job and govts have all but come to a self defeating posture that is the way it is and always should be except in the Saniford era when the inevitable called for a correction but afterwards when a new govt took reign the old method of regaining control took a foot hold
    What moral authority or credibility ? the truth and evidence lies in acceptance and those who stand vanguard against any policy that does not support their self interest and country be dam
    Hence one see the infiltrators and actors in the theater of politics willing able and ready legally to strike down any positive action taken by govt that would protect the nation interest

    Like

  6. Frustrated Businessman aka 'Nation of Laws' my ass. April 7, 2017 at 6:49 AM #

    When dismantling the freeloading, yardfowl-job morass that is the public sector and statutory corporation behemoth, there should be one simple test: is this service provided by the private sector in a competitive (non-monopolistic) environment?

    Successive BB gov’ts seem to think there is nothing wrong with unfairly competing against the people whose success they depend on for tax revenue.

    I wonder what Vic Fernandes could do with CBC’s budget? What Morris Lee could do with BTB’s budget? Etc., etc., etc.

    When gov’t tender considerations and awards are aired on Parliament TV by non-political Senate sub-committees we will be on the right road towards transparency, accountability and recovery.

    There will be no economic, moral or social recovery under Fumble’s Fools.

    Like

  7. William Skinner April 7, 2017 at 7:27 AM #

    @ Hal

    Thanks for your compliment.
    The above was penned after very deep soul searching to save our country from the IMF and to at least give the next generation a fighting chance. This is about national sacrifice and accepting a modern application of the cut and contrive philosophy that built communities and by extension the country. An economic policy that reaches into the innate strengths of our people. A vision to correct what we have done wrong while recognizing that we have the ability to also do it right. To remove the psychological dependence on a collective black political class that is essentially hopeless. And to expose the underlying non patriotic sycophancy of a traditional white corporate class. In other words, to seek the best path for those who get the least but are expected to carry most of the burden. And finally to ensure that this sacrifice is never again squandered in the interest of the few. That will be part two.

    Like

  8. David April 7, 2017 at 7:35 AM #

    To implement change it must be led and the change cannot be piece meal. The culture required to create thta culture of excellence is missing. It will call for charismatic leadership currently missing from the landscape. We must pursue excellence in all that we do.

    Like

  9. Frustrated Businessman aka 'Nation of Laws' my ass. April 7, 2017 at 7:45 AM #

    William Skinner April 7, 2017 at 7:27 AM #
    to expose the underlying non patriotic sycophancy of a traditional white corporate class.

    That ‘class’ does not exist anymore and has not for years. It is now a Trinidadian corporate class.

    The ‘white corporate class’ builders of and share-holders in BS&T, Banks, Sagicor etc. sold out when business in this country became too damned difficult.

    That money sitting idle is the biggest resource we have to Bajan recovery but not one cent will be spent while Fumble’s Fools blunder from one day to the next clueless. The longer they stay in office, the more of it leaves these shores for brighter opportunities.

    Unlike Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana, poor economic circumstances has not caused an exodus of black/white/Indian/Jew business acumen in this country. We are all still here waiting for these morons to piss off back to the gutters they came from.

    Like

  10. David April 7, 2017 at 7:55 AM #

    What we have in Barbados is a surrender by key stakeholders to a lazy path fueled mainly by greed. Solutions will not be efficiently implemented until we crack the prevailing culture.

    Like

  11. David April 7, 2017 at 8:13 AM #

    Let us get specific to describe the climate that currently exist.

    A poor industrial relations climate. All unions seem to be unhappy with government.

    A poorly functioning Employment Rights Tribunal.

    The BCCI and BPSA agencies have been publicly critical of government’s policies.

    The former Governor of the central bank has publicly disassociated himself with government’s economic policy.

    You can add so much more to the list.

    Like

  12. Vincent Haynes April 7, 2017 at 8:14 AM #

    I heard that Sandy was hamstrung by the private sector with the then BS&T promising to withhold taxes if he did not implement certain actions.

    I wonder why Massy does not hold this govts feet to the fire…they do have the power to do it.?

    Like

  13. Watchman April 7, 2017 at 8:14 AM #

    @ angela Skeete

    From as far as is known, 1976 , Whenever the DLP get KICK OUT, divine intervention, is a must have, but this time the curse DLP is much WORSE.

    Like

  14. Frustrated Businessman aka 'Nation of Laws' my ass. April 7, 2017 at 8:22 AM #

    Vincent Haynes April 7, 2017 at 8:14 AM #
    I heard that Sandy was hamstrung by the private sector with the then BS&T promising to withhold taxes if he did not implement certain actions.

    I wonder why Massy does not hold this govts feet to the fire…they do have the power to do it.?

    It is much simpler than that. It wouldn’t take 100 trucks to block every port and gov’t office in this country. The private sector owns thousands.

    Despite the misery we are suffering, there is no collective will. We could have brought down this gov’t years ago.

    Like

  15. angela Skeete April 7, 2017 at 8:28 AM #

    Ok Watchman i have stuck a pin at the end of your comment. In as far as who is worse it behooves anyone to belive that present economic conditions are not a greater part of past policies by the Blp.
    The debt crisis which is a major effect to the down grades did not start seven years ago.
    The situation getting worse would have been inevitable no matter which govt would have been presently in place as the tackling of debt in a one nest basket would not have suffice
    Furthemore pursuing a path of austerity would have catspraddled both social abd economic enviroment
    Btw what solutions have the blp offered the country on the cusps of an election
    Absolutly none .

    Like

  16. David April 7, 2017 at 8:32 AM #

    It is too late, we are in the grip of the debt trap. No pain no gain.

    Like

  17. Tron April 7, 2017 at 8:43 AM #

    What is more harmful for Barbados?

    The drugs, the crimes, the low work ethic, the public sector, the mentality of the plantation?

    You decide.

    William´s ideas are excellent, indeed. However, like Grenville, he would be best in Scandinavia, Singapore or Switzerland. Here in the Deep South, nothing will change. The masses are apathic and easy to bribe with corned beef and silly promises before election.

    Like

  18. Bush Tea April 7, 2017 at 8:49 AM #

    There is only one cure for brass bowlery…
    …and it is none of the above.

    Like

  19. lawson April 7, 2017 at 8:53 AM #

    The US is giving away free tomahawk missiles you should ask for some …problem cured

    Like

  20. CUP Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZ April 7, 2017 at 8:57 AM #

    Tron April 7, 2017 at 8:43 AM #

    What is more harmful for Barbados? @@@@ The Lawyers then Ministers,Then Bankers Police,
    Records keeping , history, Crooks, getting off of what is said in the news , but there is a lot not said in the news, ,We are seeing and saying, do not sidetract on pothole and trash in the streets, People at top is about greed and , Rule of law put all things where they need to be, Focus on these crooks inthe News , theses are the ones to be watch and those they defend,

    Like

  21. Tron April 7, 2017 at 9:07 AM #

    Lawyers? There are by far too many in Barbados in parliament and elsewhere. Most lawyers have zero experience in running a business: iudex non calculat.

    Like

  22. Artaxerxes April 7, 2017 at 9:25 AM #

    @ Angela Skeete

    It seems as though AC changed their name to “Angela Skeete” to appease Carl Moore. Different name, same shiite rhetoric.

    Perhaps you would care to enlighten BU how “present economic conditions are not a greater part of past policies by the BLP.” And what were these policies? However, I don’t expect an answer from you, AC

    Rather engaging in your assigned role as the resident DLP yard-fowl, spewing the usual rhetorical political diatribe, surely it time you come to the realization that the “mendicant policies” of previous BLP & DLP administrations are responsible for Barbados’ “present economic conditions.”

    Additionally, do you really believe that by constantly repeating “what solutions have the BLP offered,” will change the minds of Barbadians as to your fate in 2018.

    The NUPW’s elections should be an “eye opener” to you, especially under circumstances where Derek Alleyne and his two failed coup attempts and Walter Maloney, Ronald Jones, Irene Sandiford-Garner and Esther Byer-Suckoo actions behind the scenes, as well DLP interference, FAILED to convince civil servants not to vote for McDowall

    Like

  23. Artaxerxes April 7, 2017 at 9:26 AM #

    Likewise, “Where will the money come from” to FINANCE “proper road network and public transportation to improve productivity; investing in technology to ensure faster and more accurate service providers; educating future citizens in areas such as robotics and coding…..”

    However, I agree with Hal Austin re: “(These may be very good ideas) and would have been a great solution to the crisis when it first started, but may now be a bit late.”

    I also agree with the suggestion that technology should be used “to ensure that all citizens pay their fair share of taxes.”

    We have situations, where vendors or wayside mechanics, for example, are allowed to “set up shop” anywhere they please without permission or the paying the required licenses. They do not contribute to the NIS or file income tax returns.

    These individuals, in addition to artisans, farmers, freighters and owners of the popular village shops, are fully aware that any attempt to enforce compliance with the statutory requirements, will be quickly averted when they cry “the poor black man trying to mek a dollar.”

    Yet, they are the first people to protest if, for example, a rumour surfaces that there will be an increase in bus fares.

    Like

  24. Bush Tea April 7, 2017 at 9:29 AM #

    @ Tron
    Most lawyers have zero experience in running a business: iudex non calculat.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    …and the two or three percent that are not outright crooks ….are mostly inept lackies.
    Our lawyers are EASILY the biggest burden around the neck of this damned country.

    Bunch of parasites ….ALL!!!

    Like

  25. Artaxerxes April 7, 2017 at 9:30 AM #

    @ David BU

    Seems as though there is a problem trying to access BU

    Like

  26. Wily Coyote April 7, 2017 at 9:30 AM #

    “No pain no Gain” from David.

    Sorry David it’s too late for TOUGH LOVE. Tough Love MIGHT have worked 5 or 6 years ago, it’s now toooooo late. The patient is in INTENSIVE CARE and on LIFE SUPPORT, just waiting for the Plug to be Pulled.

    Have to congratulate Mr. Skinner for his brave attempt at offering solutions, unfortunately what he is proposing might have worked 5, 6 or 7 years ago, would only now make a bad situation worse.

    Barbados is yet another example of a social experiment gone horribly wrong.

    Bad governance will always lead to disastrous consequences.

    Like

  27. David April 7, 2017 at 9:31 AM #

    Your comments were retrieved from spam.

    Like

  28. Tron April 7, 2017 at 9:36 AM #

    Wily,

    Assisted suicide now? Maybe Maduro and Comrade Commissioner could help …

    Like

  29. angela Skeete April 7, 2017 at 9:43 AM #

    Yes we are caught in a debt crisis but pray tell how a fourday work week would be a template to solving the debt.
    In economic terminology it works well as a band aid to slow down the bleeding but overall the policy would be riddle with problems that would effect the progress of the social enviroment accustomed to by barbadians
    How long would barbadians agree to being given excuses on situations that effect their everday lives
    Cant imagine the average barbadian being agreeable for the sake of national interest

    Like

  30. David April 7, 2017 at 10:14 AM #

    Here is a quote from lowdown today, appears he reads BU:

    ‘They ditched Owen, best qualified to negotiate these perilous times; took no urgent action as enjoined by Irish Central Bank Governor Dr Patrick Honohan. If Balaam’s jackass were to talk again, one doubts they would listen.’

    Like

  31. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 7, 2017 at 10:21 AM #

    98% of the lawyers in Barbados are mediocre, I have seen some of them perform in court and it was painful and horrifying…I wondered, though knowing, which law school would pass them.

    Like

  32. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 7, 2017 at 10:23 AM #

    70 tomahawk missles at 1 million a piece, nice profit, but civilian collateral damage.

    Like

  33. Hal Austin April 7, 2017 at 10:37 AM #

    William,
    It is pity that every time we try to get serious debate going some ‘regulars’ intervene, not to advance the discussion, but to once again raise their pet hates and personal vulgar attacks.
    There are numerous other good policy initiatives that can still be introduced at this late stage; but being Barbados, the decision-makers will sit on the side, read BU then try to appropriate the ideas.
    You may know of the biennial so-called Diaspora Conference which takes place in Barbados. A few years ago a young Barbadian in New York, with a rather interesting job (I won’t say) wet down to Barbados with a number of proposals for the improvement of regulation.
    When and the others got there they had to tolerate Ms McClean ranting on about what she thinks her experience in government and MBA from some second-rate US university entitles her to do. The young man returned to the US promising never to attempt any such thing again.
    But it is not just a Barbados. I have previously mentioned the Billie Miller experience when Barbados and Trinidad held a joint meeting in the City of London with the intention of persuading investors to look at our islands.
    The end result was a doctor booby, some Trinidadian permanent secretary, preaching at people who manage hundreds of billions of pounds.
    I slipped a business card to Ms Miller with a promise to have a private discussion with her. I have not heard from her to this day. I know that the late Peter Simmons, high commissioner at the time, was keen on the idea. She obviously felt I could not introduce her to any interesting persons. Maybe she was right.

    Like

  34. David April 7, 2017 at 10:57 AM #

    @Hal

    Reducing work week and other suggestions included here have been done repeatedly over time.

    We have to address the governance structure / framework in which we operate. Our system has become poisonously partisan. Until the sheeple find a way to influence the system positing ideas will be like a flame from a candle blowing in the wind.

    Like

  35. Tron April 7, 2017 at 11:03 AM #

    Hal,

    Lots of ideas on BU are excellent, like the article above.

    However, when you actually live in Barbados, you soon figure out that things are a bit different from the North. It starts at the airport. Even more important than firing civil servants is the attempt to change the local attitude. No IMF or foreigner will achieve this but only the Barbadian citizens themselves. The colonial habit of black civil servants to sabotage everything worked well to achieve independence but is now an obstacle for every foreign investment in Barbados.

    Since habits hardly change, I am very pessimistic that the local economy will recover. The numbers are simply too bad. Greece and other countries had external help, but this government is just going on, pushing Barbados into the abyss.

    Like

  36. Bush Tea April 7, 2017 at 11:10 AM #

    @ David
    Could you kindly point Hal to another blog that may be more suitable for his particular taste of ‘smelling up under white peoples donkeys’ and then trying to talk down to Bajans?

    He is becoming quite overbearing now….
    Someone needs to tell him that BU grew to its current position of influence with all the values (or lack thereof from his perspective) that seems to bother him…… and that if the kitchen is not to his liking, his options are many and varied….

    Neither you, or other’BU regulars’, are in need of his retarded, condescending, advise or guidance.
    Nor, apparently was Ms Miller……

    Why does the man keep trying to prove Pachamama right….?

    Like

  37. William Skinner April 7, 2017 at 11:15 AM #

    @ Hal
    Those who torpedo the discussions, on behalf of their parties will disappear in time depending on the outcome of the next elections. We must press on-the party hacks will never see Barbados beyond George and Roebuck Streets.

    Like

  38. David April 7, 2017 at 11:15 AM #

    @Hal

    For example, how does one address the burgeoning pension expense in the public service. You send home public sector workers on one side of the equation and other the other we ignore?

    Like

  39. Hal Austin April 7, 2017 at 11:23 AM #

    Tron/David,

    Any reduced working week must by definition be temporary. In the 1970s we had 3-day working weeks with lights off at 10pm and couples sharing baths, bodies not being buried and the army collecting rubbish.
    Also, Tron, the old excuse of not knowing Barbados, an excuse used by a number of loud mouths to curtail discussion (apologies to you), is wearing a bit thin.
    I talk to more people in Barbados by email and telephone every week than I do to people in Britain; I do not go on any UK paper websites, but do on Barbadian ones; there is no official UK publications (partly because they are free) I buy, but subscribe to the Official Gazette; and to top it all, I visit Barbados twice and sometimes three times a year. More than that, lots of Barbadians visit the UK.
    And although I have stopped buying the UK edition of the Nation – partly because of the poor content, the semi-literacy of Richard Hoad and the nonsense written by Toni-Ann Johnson, both of whom should be sent on a writing crash course), I still read it.
    What more do you want?

    Like

  40. Hal Austin April 7, 2017 at 11:34 AM #

    Here is a tweet from Gary Younge, an outstanding UK-born journalist of Barbadian heritage who writes for the Guardian in the UK and the Nation in the US.

    Honoured to learn I’ve been awarded the James Aronson Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Justice Journalism. http://bit.ly/2p3HXd2

    Like

  41. Tron April 7, 2017 at 11:44 AM #

    Hal,

    Neither do I want to disrupt discussion nor do I claim that you have no deep insight in what is going on in Barbados. Rather I would like to stress the fact that this country needs a fundamental change of mind to recover. It is simply embarrassing that some services in Barbados take six months for what is sorted out in Britain in two to three weeks. The price for the service is the same or even higher, but it takes ages.

    Like

  42. Hal Austin April 7, 2017 at 11:48 AM #

    I agree. A new mind set. For example, why do you have to go to a lawyer to set up a new company, apart from legal robbery?

    Like

  43. David April 7, 2017 at 11:55 AM #

    @Hal

    Donville is on it!

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/94082/costly-lawyers-cut

    Like

  44. Hal Austin April 7, 2017 at 12:21 PM #

    David,
    Barbados is in such a mess that even Donville can seem sensible sometimes.

    Like

  45. angela Skeete April 7, 2017 at 12:48 PM #

    Barbados financial mess was long in the making having policies endorsed by many here who still talk of the golden years of plenty and speak of a barbados punching above its weight
    Now that the imbalance of that weight has lead to financial collapse all here are expecting an easy way out and quick relief
    The good news however means every man jack has to help pull the weight in order for barbados to recover.
    The bad news is no one is willing to do so but rather grip and complain about what is

    Like

  46. Artaxerxes April 7, 2017 at 12:51 PM #

    @ Bushie

    It seems as though some of these guys who post contributions using their “real names,” believe they are always correct and their opinions should be readily accepted by the “annonymice.”

    Like

  47. angela Skeete April 7, 2017 at 1:08 PM #

    To those who keep bitching about the 10 percent wage cut which govt gave as a good faith gesture in response to the economic climate five years ago.
    Funny how many here have not given up a dime worth of any thing but can cast moral dictates against those who have made a sacrifice no matter how small towards this country
    Many keep saying the members should not be seeking a recovery of those wages given
    Question how many here would leave there ten percent cut of wages for a longer than desired or agreed term in light if the fact the general election can make a difference

    Like

  48. David April 7, 2017 at 1:54 PM #

    @Hal

    Do you remember when David Estwick recommended a public sector wage freeze in 2009 how the late David Thompson responded?

    In 2010!

    http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100203/business/business9.html

    Like

  49. Hal Austin April 7, 2017 at 2:37 PM #

    David,
    Workers in the UK have not had a real wage increase for over a decade. The result of this is that instead of dealing with the recession in the traditional way of laying off workers, employers were able to keep people in jobs at the same or lower wages. Most sensible people prefer that. Job creation is the big challenge for the unions, not wage increases. The Philip’s Curve tells us there is a trade off.
    For years I have been calling for the creation of prices and incomes commission, based on the irreducibility principle of limited state intervention or even the principle of the dependence of needs – conspicuous consumption.
    But controlling wages and spiralling consumer prices, which unethical importers are forcing on the working people, is only one part. We need a long-term strategy which the current generation of politicians is incapable of creating.
    Such a policy must also be based on the subordination of needs. If people want to live above their means then the nation suffers.
    Because government is so weak it is subject to blackmail. After over 55 years of ‘free’ secondary education, this is where we find ourselves.

    Like

  50. Artaxerxes April 7, 2017 at 2:46 PM #

    David April 7, 2017 at 1:54 PM #

    “Do you remember when David Estwick recommended a public sector wage freeze in 2009 how the late David Thompson responded?”

    @ David

    2009 was the appropriate time to have introduced a wage/salary freeze, restructure the civil service, invest in technology to speed up business development processes and reduce the delays in business facilitation.

    In 2017, why should an individual have to wait 3 weeks to get a birth certificate or or a passport?

    The government could have reduced the high costs associated with rent, by establishing as department responsible for refurbishing and subsequent maintenance of all government property. This could be extended to vehicles as well.

    Like

  51. CUP Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZ April 7, 2017 at 2:50 PM #

    Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 7, 2017 at 10:21 AM #

    98% of the lawyers in Barbados are mediocre, I have seen some of them perform in court and it was painful and horrifying…I wondered, though knowing, which law school would pass them.@@@

    Many of these new lawyers are set up to fail so that the ones with Sir and QC can prevail ,Its a set up , i have seen it over the years injust how the law book are written , Even the law dictionary are smaller with less word meaning and cases sited, the books for the 30s 40 and 50s are different after BROWN vs THE BOARD OF ED. the informantion was removed and reduced as black children entered the school,Known a dumbing down, its all busines not justice or fairness based on law, or even rule of law in BARBADOS,

    Like

  52. lawson April 7, 2017 at 2:54 PM #

    rae days social contract

    Like

  53. NorthernObserver April 7, 2017 at 3:08 PM #

    Some interesting ideas….it is never too late.

    @FB
    “I wonder why Massy does not hold this govts feet to the fire…they do have the power to do it.?”

    All the BIG co’s have diversified themselves such that interests in Bim are “just another location”. They are not going to insert themselves politically in a public way. In NONE of them is Bim by itself their major market.

    All efforts towards ‘feeding ourselves’ is a step forward. While new infrastructure is never bad, maintaining what we have, and bringing it up to snuff is a first step. Face it, we have “too many cars pun de road” (my title for next years Crop Ovah song). While public expenditure must be addressed, I suspect that NGO expenditure is a huge savings opportunity beyond the civil service.

    The ‘divide’ between business and government has widened substantially over the past years. This needs to be narrowed. It is less about policy, than about attitude. And I will add, the attitude of a few.

    And across the board, the lifestyle of Barbadians has exceeded sustainability. Not just the public expenditures, but also private expenditures. And they become tied.

    Like

  54. David April 7, 2017 at 3:17 PM #

    @Hal

    This is why many here have been making the point that promoting ideas is not the challenge, it is for all stakeholders to anchor on consensus first. For example the NUPW is asking for a wage hike AND appointment of temporary officers. Couple the ask by the NUPW with the fact Akanni and co were reelected with a large majority. You get the point? There is a leadership vacuum in the country.

    Like

  55. Hal Austin April 7, 2017 at 3:23 PM #

    David,

    You may not believe it, but the leadership of the NUPW is more crazy than the Stuart-led government; they want a 23 per cent wage hike and more jobs. Have they been drinking?
    The members voted for them because they are scared of losing their jobs. What is more, not a critical article appears about them in the media.,

    Like

  56. David April 7, 2017 at 3:29 PM #

    @Hal

    Do not be naive. The NUPW does not want 23% increase. They have pitched at 23% to compare with the government pitch at 0%. It is just a negotiating ploy. Added to which the IR climate is health at this time. If the government was sensible to manage the relationship with the social partnership it would have gone a long way to building consensus with stakeholders at a time when difficult decisions have to be made.

    Like

  57. Pachamama April 7, 2017 at 3:47 PM #

    We see the big head, big brain (space) people commending this missive from Solutions.

    We still think it is all shiiiite.

    Just tinkering with the furniture on the Titanic

    This is the kind of idea that would reliably come from the inheritors of the neo-liberals, Richie Haynes acolytes

    The vicious, backward conservatism of Barbados, as a culture, will never accept that we are in unchartered territory and that any ideas we have known of, or which have been forwarded for the last 30 years are totally useless.

    If Solutions Barbados can do no more than has been suggested previously, we must conclude that they cannot be serious.

    We are not at all impressed!

    Like

  58. David April 7, 2017 at 3:59 PM #

    @Pacha

    This ‘missive’ is from William.

    Like

  59. Hal Austin April 7, 2017 at 4:42 PM #

    David,

    Really? And there I was thinking that they really wanted a 23 per cent rise. So if government negotiators know this is just a ploy, then when does the real negotiation begin? In a so-called nil inflation economy, one with a massive debt-to-GDP ratio, with a current account imbalance that matches Greece, then the 23000 members of the NUPW seem to have a winning hand….or do they?
    In fact, if Stuart was not such a coward he would take the nuclear option: no pay rise, sack McDowall, and the unions would walk out on strike. High unemployment, and even higher consumer debt, all the government has to do is put the police on the street and prepare to protect the peace.
    Put judges and magistrates in protected hotels and with the banks and other lenders demanding payment it will be a fight to the end. Who will win?
    Have you ever heard of the National Union of Seamen and their 1964 strike, Reds under the Bed? Or Arthur Scargill and his 1982 miners’ strike; or the air controllers against Reagan? I can go on.
    Tough leadership to pulverise these silly school kids such as Mary Redman and the good Rev Morris playing at politics. It is one thing talking, but something else taking tough action. Then there is the alternative of putting union leaders in protective custody. The members will abandon them.

    Like

  60. de pedantic Dribbler April 7, 2017 at 5:24 PM #

    Good Heavens, @Hal. So glad you never got interested in elective politics on any of those regular visits to the island.

    You cite 1960’s & 80s era strikes which were of a totally different time and context; an Air Traffic strike where a President was able to use ‘special’ directives to break the back of that matter and conflate those to current day Bim and a civil servant walkout that would bring the country to a crippling standstill.

    Geezus. Is that ‘tough leadership’ or utter foolhardy brinkmanship!

    Even if Stuart did ‘win’ some aspect of the initial brouhaha he and party would lose badly politically.

    Like

  61. Watchman April 7, 2017 at 6:43 PM #

    @ Angela Skeete

    Barbados is weight down, and every voter can help very soon Shed weight, put all DLP MP out of Parliament,No pension for this bunch of DLP Ministers/MP for the next 10 years.The new Government must shed weight, so No Parliamentary Ministers,No deputy PS in Ministries

    Like

  62. fortyacresandamule April 7, 2017 at 6:45 PM #

    Too many of our people have an attitude and an air of entitlement. Our expectations are running way ahead of our reality. We want to enjoy the same quality of life like those in first world country without the economic clout. We have a discriminate taste for all things foreign. This model is upside down, something must give .

    Who do we expect to support or bail-out our foreign lifstyle when we hardly earn enough cover the basic? We have too many importers vs exporters. Our imports are over twice our exports. The economy needs a rebalance. We don’t need any more businesses running down the same babados dollar.

    Like

  63. Tron April 7, 2017 at 8:17 PM #

    After a second reading of William´s article, I have to admit the article contains great ideas. However, you cannot wash out the attitude of the plantation within two or three generations. The madness and tragedy of the Deep South will go on for generations in Barbados. The masses and their representatives in the Talking Assembly are not ready for self-governance.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Tron April 7, 2017 at 8:33 PM #

    … Example: Give a Barbadian government 1 billion as a gift. They spend it for parties, for holiday, villas and new cars for their cronies. A country with 18 ministries and 60 state agencies for a few people. After one year, all the money is gone. They blame postcolonial trauma and bad weather. Give the same amount to Switzerland. They drill a new tunnel through the alps to improve traffic, pump it into innovative sectors of state universities and move the rest into a trust. A country with eight ministries and 90 state agencies for 8.4 million people.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Bush Tea April 7, 2017 at 9:05 PM #

    @ Tron
    Top drawer observations boss….

    Like

  66. Vincent Haynes April 8, 2017 at 9:09 AM #

    When will contributors to this blog realise that bim does not lack for ideas or studies,just check each ministry of govt and see the amount paper submitted by a myriad of consultants over decades which have never been implemented………the question is why?

    Tron and Bernard have made the same point differently from time to time…..it takes the natural social evolution for the masses to arrive at a suitable way forward……I would add or a cataclysmic occurence e.g. Trump.

    Like

  67. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 8, 2017 at 9:59 AM #

    Troñ….ya oñ track…..huñdreds of taxpayers millions spent òñ çoñsultants and idèàs òver the ďèçàďes as Vìñçèñt said, but when the sĺavès iñ parliament keep getting calls from their local bribemasters Cow, Bizzy et al, all those fiñè çoñsultants ideas fly away….75 years more to wash away that slave miñd.

    Like

  68. Gabriel April 8, 2017 at 10:23 AM #

    In respect of the government and the unions negotiations,both EWB and JMGM resorted to legislating salaries and wages when the twain fail to agree.

    Like

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