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May 19, 2020

The Possibility of Retrenchment in the Public Sector is Real

Elena Smith

And while public officers and teachers are forgoing their increments, will they face retrenchment? At his press conference last week, the Prime Minister said he will borrow as long as he can to avoid retrenchment.  But PM Barrow predicted that whoever succeeds him as Prime Minister will have to speak to the IMF and IFIs in terms of economic recovery.  He said that any chance of further commercial borrowing is shot and international financial agencies will seek to extract their pound of flesh and the future government would have no choice but to cut down the wage bill, proceed with retrenchment in the public sector and follow through with a pension reform. This prescription, he recalled, was offered to the government for many years and according to Barrow, the government will not be able to continue to act heedlessly.  B.N.T.U. President Elena Smith says the Barrow administration was given the same advice several years ago, but nothing was done. 


Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“Every time we meet with the IMF they come with these same type of discussions, the wage bill is too high, government needs to look at the pension, they have to do some retrenchment. It is always ideas, suggestions that affect the workers and we keep saying to them when they come to us that the government needs to look why the wage bill is so high. The number of contract officers that they have and the political appointees that they have, those persons that are supportive of their party who when they win they feel that they must give them a job. Those are things that add to the wage bill. As well as we have so many persons now that form the government, the different ministers and union ministers. All of those things are adding because when those persons have to leave and get their huge packages it adds to the wage bill. So it will not be the ordinary public officers who will be the ones to be ballooning the wage bills. It is all of those additions.”


Hipolito Novelo

“The Prime Minister he said that any chance of further commercial borrowing is shot and so whoever comes after him will need to talk to the IMF, IFIs to see if any loan or any economy recovery can happen and those financial institutions in his words collect or extract their pound of flesh. He said that they will not give the assistance that the government would require except f they say you will no longer will be able to proceed as though you are heedless.”


Elena Smith

“Exactly, which government was that for the past twelve years? It was under your government and now that you know that you will be leaving you are telling us, I am sorry for you, I will pray for you, I pity you because of what will come but what will come also has to do with you for the twelve years that you were there.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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