Amid the hustle and bustle associated with the Yuletide season, the Central Bank of Barbados is cautioning people to be vigilant against counterfeiters.
Through a Press statement released today, adviser to the Governor, Celeste Wood, warned shoppers that though all Barbadian banknotes, and especially the new series, contained security features that were hard to duplicate, they were “at the same time easy and quick to use”.
To that extent she implored Barbadians to check their notes carefully and be observant when completing cash transactions, to avoid falling victims.
“Counterfeiters are counting on you to be too busy, too distracted to check your money. Don’t allow them to fool you. Learn three or four security features and check for them every time . . . . These features can only be effective if people use them,” the banker added, noting it was particularly during times of high commercial activity that criminals attempted to pass fake money.
Earlier this year the Central Bank launched a series of new bank notes. Some of the major distinquishable features are two watermarks on the left of the note that become visible when the note is held up to the light. For each denomination, these watermarks are the person featured on the portrait and the note’s denomination.
Another security is the thread near the centre of the note. The thread initially appears as a series of bars printed from the top to the bottom of the paper, but when the note is held up to light it becomes an unbroken line that reads CBB and the note’s denomination. On the $2, $5, and $10 notes, the bars are silver and wave–like, while on the $20, $50 and $100 notes the bars change colour from red to green when the note is tilted.
There is a holographic patch on the right of the $50 and $100 notes. On the $50, the main image is the pelican, while on the $100 the main image is the heraldic dolphin. When the note is tilted, that image, as well as the background images –– Broken Trident, Pride Of Barbados flower and the note’s denomination –– appear and disappear, as well as change colour. Under UV light, the waves and Broken Trident in the centre of the note fluoresce. On the $2, $5, and $10 notes, these glow in a shade of green, while on higher denominations, they glow in two colours: pink and green ($20), green and yellow ($50) and yellow and green ($100). Tiny fibres also fluoresce under UV light and the note’s denomination appears.
Features of the 2007 series include a watermark on the left of the note that features the map of Barbados. The image becomes visible when the note is held up to the light. There is a secondary watermark to the right of the primary watermark. On the $2, $5, and $10 notes, the image is of the Broken Trident. On the $20, $50 and $100 notes, is the image is of the Pride Of Barbados flower. A security thread is near the centre of the note.
The thread initially appears as a series of bars printed from the top to the bottom of the paper, but when the note is held up to light it becomes an unbroken line that reads CBB and the note’s denomination. On the $2, $5, and $10 notes, the bars are silver and wave-like, while on the $20, $50 and $100 notes, the bars have a silver sheen. The security thread on the higher denominations fluoresces under UV light and a highly reflective foil on the by Marlon Madden
A step in the right direction is how president of the Barbados Economic Society (BES) Jeremy Stephens has described government’s decision to cut public sector jobs and salaries of some government officials.
In a ministerial statement in Parliament last Friday, Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler announced that approximately 3,000 public sector workers would be sent home between January and March next year. This was in an effort to plug a $143 million annual gap.
The workers will come from central government and statutory corporations.
Sinckler said too that all Members of Parliament, permanent secretaries and personal assistants were taking a ten per cent salary reduction.
However, speaking on behalf of the BES, Stephens said the cuts may have come “a little too late”. He also expressed concern that the entrenched workers would need to be reabsorbed back into the workforce, adding that there was a need for a contingency plan.
“We at the Society are not surprised by the decision that the government decided to take, particularly the cut of 3,000 workers within essential government and the statutory government,” said Stephens.
“So we recognize government is using this as a recovery point. We, however, think the timing might have come a little too late for this. Nonetheless, we believe that the cuts were necessary. We also believe that there should be some measures of reallocation within the public service. We understand there are quite a few departments that could use the manpower to get things done more efficiently, especially seeing that the government has began to focus more on business facilitation going forward,” he said.
Stephens said he anticipated some “far reaching implications” for the economy if the thousands of individuals were not reabsorbed into the work force. He said there could likely be a drop in aggregate demand and spending.
Stephens said there was therefore an urgent need for a short to medium term plan to be put in place in order to help with overall economic recovery.
“What can these 3,000 people and others who may become marginalized as a result of dropping demands in the economy, what can they do, what opportunities can be provided to them? Can an investment be allocated to them to go into business perhaps?” said Stephens, asking if it could also be possible to make some funds available to some start-up businesses or small firms to help those affected get employment.
“So we also recognize that there should be some measure of investment to help prop up the economy going forward, if it is a matter of government doing so that is one side to look at it. . . However, it should be noted that for the economy to perform we recognize the need for these marginalized workers to be absorbed somehow back into the economy whether we want to encourage entrepreneurship . . . We need to see some contingency put in place to see that these cuts work the way they are supposed to,” added Stephens.
“With respect to the ten per cent cut [in salary],” said Stephens, “we understand the need for senior government officials to show a level of solidarity.”
On the $50 note, there is an aquamarine pelican, while on the $100, there is a gold dolphin. On both notes, the foil is overprinted with the Pride Of Barbados flower. (KC)