BRIDGETOWN: Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says his administration intends to meet the deadline set for implementing a fiscal adjustment program.
The adjustment program was announced in the national budget which was presented last month by Finance Minister Chris Sinckler and Stuart, who met with union leaders last week.
“We intend to meet this 19-month program of targets, not in a chaotic way, but in a clear and humane way,” said Stuart.
The Prime Minister met with officials from the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) to clarify issues pertaining to temporary employees in the public service.
Stuart emphasized the importance of the union’s role in helping its membership and said it was necessary to put all the issues into perspective so the NUPW could advise accordingly.
“I met with the relevant government officials and we have put in place a set of procedures that will govern the process which was outlined in the Budget,” he said. “The ministries and departments are expected to gather all relevant information by September 30, 2013, for the analysis of the existing financial situation. That analysis will put us in a position to assess the real impact of the 10 per cent cut in government’s expenditure on the emoluments of temporary employees, persons in acting positions and substitutes.”
Last week, Stuart held talks with senior public servants amid ongoing reports of retrenchment within the public service.
At the end of the 90-minute discussion with the head of the Civil Service, Chief Personnel Officer, permanent secretary in the Ministry of the Civil Service and other stakeholders, Stuart assured that there is no need for alarm.
He said all the stakeholders, including the Ministry of the Civil Service, would continue dialogue on the matter, but stressed that the discussions were not intended to compromise the objectives set out in the financial statement, which must be met.
Following the meeting with the trade union, a government statement indicated that Stuart reiterated that his administration, which was re-elected to office in February this year, “was dealing with some stubborn economic challenges which had to be tackled now, so as to put the country back on a growth path”.