Henderson Bovell1

The Barbados Government’s Ultimate Core Responsibility – is to pay Public Servants: By Henderson N. Bovell, Social Observer

The Barbados Government’s Ultimate Core Responsibility – is to pay Public Servants: By Henderson N. Bovell, Social Observer

Henderson Bovell1

It is said by respected persons who know what they are talking about, that, a ‘fiscal crisis,’ is: ‘an actual or supposed inability of the state to raise enough tax revenue to pay for its programme.”

Barbadians are being ‘taxed to the max‘ and because of its fiscal and political recklessness, the DLP continues to spend a lot more than it has or even has the capacity to earn.

That, having been said – I suppose the logical question is: given the specific core business and core responsibilities of the Government of Barbados, which results in re-current expenditure (that is to say – whether a BLP or DLP Government, the Government is obligated to spend money on things like, healthcare, education, public service wages; defense and security and so on) what new programmes did the DLP add, which are not important because they do not have a transforming effect on the Barbadian society and therefore constitute a cost-overrun, especially since they represent duplication; political-hush-money and an attempt to bribe taxpayers with their own money?

The question was asked in September 2010 – what role should the Government of Barbados be performing, going forward. It was a remarkable question but one, which the country did not, seemed prepared to answer at that time. Good leaders are capable of that! Often, they have a vision, which the rest of the society, take some time to understand.

The Barbados Labour Party is also on record, as calling on the present government to entertain serious discussion, to reach national consensus on an issue of urgent public importance (or public expenditure) as it relates to the: ‘Goods and Services and Transfers and Subsidies Vote.’

I am often angered when I hear the DLP seeking to induce public sympathy by trying to create the impression that they are trying to keep public officers employed. Such gimmicks are share political nonsense, especially since the first responsibility of the State is to pay Public Servants; NIS Contributions; Income Tax; public debt; accommodation, utilities plus goods & services – in that order.

Therefore, any-time the question of paying Public Officers arises as a serious issue, it simply means that the Government has collapsed or is on the verge of collapsing. It also rings hollow, that the very Government, which un-constitutionally robbed public servants out of their allowances (contrary to Section 112 of the Barbados Constitution) would be the one purporting to be interested in keeping them employed. The DLP just does not get it!

Despite being the Government, while the DLP complains about having to honour its primary or number-one core responsibility (paying public servants) – it has added a number of entitlement programmes or political spend, which constitute unjustified recurrent expenditure and yet – despite free bus rides; summer camps and constituency council, unemployment in this country jumped from 6.7% to close to 15% by now.

The rate of poverty has sky-rocketed from 8.7% to 19.3%; prices have risen by over 30%, while the rate of inflation is an alarming 9.4% – three times the rate of America, Canada, Britain or even Guyana. The point I am making is that Barbados has a serious fiscal crisis because of the DLP’s fiscal and political recklessness.

My advice is: "ignore the DLP's distraction!" My Fellow Barbadians, your pain is not being caused by Public Servants but by the acts and omissions of the DLP.

The DLP’s excuse and weak explanation for its fiscal recklessness and dangerous mismanagement of the Barbados economy – cannot be that it is running a high deficit because it does not want to send home Public Servants. If the economy is stable, why would the DLP have to reduce government’s primary core responsibility of paying its employees (Public Servants) who provide service and execute programmes for the country, unless the DLP is a Government in retreat and one, which is hiding the truth, as regards the true state of the economy?

How will the DLP explain or justify its swelling the ranks of the public service by over 3,000, in a recession? When the DLP talks about not sending home people from the public service, that is “political speak” and a mirage, where the DLP is merely seeking to protect the over 3,000 dems it added to the Public Sector workforce, during a bitter recession.

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