Barbados Plans 3,000 Public Sector Job Cuts

December 16, 2013

On Friday [Dec 13] Barbados Finance Minister Chris Sinckler announced cost-saving measures that could result in approximately 3,000 public sector employees on the island losing their jobs.

Speaking in the Barbados Parliament, Mr Sinckler said they propose that the process be spread over the period January to March 2014, starting with the first 2,000 job cuts by January 15th 2014, followed by the second tranche no later than March 1st 2014.

“Additionally, Cabinet has 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. This attrition is expected to reduce central government employment levels from approximately 16,970 to 14,612 jobs,” Mr Sinckler continued.

In addition, the Barbados Cabinet also agreed on a 10% cut in the salaries of all Ministers, Government MPs, Parliamentary Secretaries, Personal Assistants, and other persons designated as political appointees in the employ of the government, and a 50% cut in the external travel budgets of all ministries, and statutory boards.

An IMF mission to Barbados that concluded this week said the country faced “considerable economic challenges.” According to the CIA World Factbook, Barbados had around $4.5 billion in external debt as of 2010, and their public debt-to-GDP ratio rose from 56% in 2008 to 83% in 2012.

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  1. Kangoocar says:

    Being our CS is approx half the size of Barbados, I suggest we follow their lead but cut 1500 workers starting in Jan, 2014. Well done Barbados for doing what is fiscally correct, OBA are you listening???

    • Break Promise Plan aka (BPP) says:

      So now we can blame the Barbados economy on the PLP. That’s what the OBA keeps playing and they will continue to play the same tune right up until the next election and every election after that.

      In reality the only plan the OBA has is is called the Break Promise Plan.

  2. X man says:

    I don’t care how many Jobs they cut in Barbados – so long as you don’t bring them here.
    Then I can bet a couple ends up here anyway knowing we can’t even find work for our own People.
    The Job situation here could make the OBA a one term Govt. if they don’t get this Job situation under control.

  3. inna says:

    Barbados population = 288,275
    Barbados CServants = 16,970
    CS to pop ratio = 5.8%
    Nation debt = $4.5 billion as of 2010

    Bermuda population = 65,000
    Bermuda CServants = 6,000
    CS to pop ratio = 9.2%
    National debt = $1.4 billion as of 2012

    • Just the facts... says:

      The numbers speak to the problems we face! How can we continue to support a civil service that is bloated and inefficient?

      But then…. what do we do with those that we have cut? We have effectively killed the back office functions that used to be the bread and butter of our Island’s mid-level workforce! If we can’t find ways of giving incentives to businesses to hire support staff, we will find ourselves with a angry population!

    • campervan says:

      Bermudas population is smaller than the fig above and the debt is larger.

      • Meeeee says:

        True. 2013 population is probably closer to 60,000. Gross Debt. after adding the $750m from July is now more like $2.3bn. So the figures should really read:

        Barbados population = 288,275
        Barbados CServants = 16,970
        CS to pop ratio = 5.8%
        Nation debt = $4.5 billion as of 2010

        Bermuda population = 60,000 (in 2013)
        Bermuda CServants = 6,000
        CS to pop ratio = 10%
        National debt = $2.3 billion as of 2013

  4. San George says:

    The cost of credit is too high in Bermuda relative to our U.S. neighbors 19% credit cards 6.75% mortgages. I suggest the government address the high cost of credit as a way to stimulate the economy as opposed to focusing on layoffs which will cause the economy to contract further.

  5. Speckled Hind says:

    One wonders if Bermuda will have the gonads to do the same. Ain’t holding my breath.

  6. Jay says:

    @Kangoocar… while yes I do believe that our CS is bloated the run on effects of simply cutting 1500 posts is a very slippery slope. That is 1500 ppl potentially having issue paying Belco, paying rent, affording mortgage payments, car payments, school fees, groceries, land tax and let’s not talk about health insurance. That is 1500 ppl having to become a non-working spouse which drives up income deductions on the family member with a job OR no insurance at all. More ppl at the ER at KEMH more ppl sick and in critical care beds. Yes we need a smaller CS and a plan to reduce it needs to happen but simply cutting jobs is not the answer.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      So, in your world the CS should continue to be a source of welfare.

      • Brad says:

        Exacly. We can’t continue as we are. CS needs to be cut. Yes, it will hurt at first but we all need to live leaner. If i lose my job tomorrow, i know ways that i can immediately make cuts to get by. We should all have a plan for this.

    • Kangoocar says:

      So, we all have to be responsible for those that did not prepare themselves in the CS for the day that anyone with common sense could see coming??? We need to drastically cut government spending now, this debt is not sustainable!! I bet you will not like it and have a different outlook on things the first day that whatever Government is in power and tells you to hand over all your money so the Government can pay its bills!! And if you think that can’t happen you have obviously forgotten what Greece did to their citizens last year!!! When a government cant tax anymore they will just take what you and everybody else has to pay their bills!! Many locals are bringing this day closer by protesting what the OBA is trying too do with getting jobs for Bermudians, the screams of broken promises ever since Friday should be heard by you!!! If we can’t increase revenue we have to cut costs, it really is that simple!!!

  7. lifeblood says:

    Whenever the International Monetary Fund (IMF) become involved in the financial affairs of a sovereign nation, it usually means said nation has borrowed money from them, under the condition that they cut jobs. As I stated in another news story, this is not about hard times; it’s more to do with restructuring which will intentionally destroy the middle class pillar and move more money upward into the hands of fewer people. If that isn’t obvious by now…

  8. Vote for Me says:

    “In the end though, Sir, as a country we cannot hope to cut or tax our way out of this economic decline. We must push ahead even more radically with our growth initiatives through greater public and especially private sector investment. As a government the pressure is on us to step up and remove all obstacles to investment in our country whether from domestic or foreign investors. We must work harder and faster and facilitate more.

    Our private sector partners must bemoan less and invigorate more. We must together do more to help each other rather than just satisfy ourselves with highlighting every fault that exists on either side.”

    This quote is taken from the Barbados Finance Minister’s statement. Bermuda needs to ensure we have a 5 year revenue plan to match the SAGE recommendations.

    Note also, Bermuda can not simply cut or tax its way out of the current decline.

  9. Truth is killin' me... says:

    At least Barbados doesn’t have their heads in the sand!!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      But but but Paula said we were coming out of recession. Booohooohooohooo. Ewart said we were in our ‘Platinum Period’ Whaaaawhaaaawhaaaawhaaaawhaaaa.

      Surely they did not lie to us. The PLP would NEVER lie to us.