Economist Dr. Kevin Greenidge and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley at the press conference.

GOV’T TO CUT COSTS

As government seeks to cut expenditure, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) may face restructuring, mergers, and job cuts over the next two years.

During a press conference at Government Headquarters yesterday evening, Barbados’ Economic team outlined the structural adjustment programme would be looking to reduce the heavy burden statutory corporations were placing on the government’s purse to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

Barbadian Economist Dr. Kevin Greenidge, who was seconded from the International Monetary Fund, outlined that in the first phase over an 18-month period SOEs would go under a transformation via retooling, retraining and enfranchisement, which may lead to at least 1 000 workers being sent home.

Pointing out aspects of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Programme, Greenidge noted that several mergers and consolidations were recommended including that of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, the Government Information Services and Government Printery Services; the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium and the National Sports Council and the Cultural Industries Development Authority and the National Cultural Foundation.

Regarding the Transport Board, he stated that the target was to reduce its $123 million bill by at least $30 million, which could be done through an increase in bus fares, and moving to mobile payments to reduce accounting needs.

“The process involves having drivers and their teams to own buses and Sanitation to own their trucks and commit to some minimal standard of public service,” he added.

Under the proposals, the lone government owned utility service also to see its total cost cut by half.

“With the Barbados Water Authority, there are considerable savings to be had. The true cost of running that is somewhere in $120 million, government is targeting to at least save $60 million from that,” he added.

Also the Rural And Urban Development Commissions and National Housing Corporations, “who basically are doing the same thing,” would be rationalised.

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