Opposition Leader Mia Mottley is confident public servants will get a salary increase this year.
However, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader told the party’s St Michael North East branch last night this was not because the Freundel Stuart administration wants to grant the workers a pay hike.
Instead, she contended, it was because the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) parliamentarians would be looking to inflate their pensions and gratuities.
“They’re not doing it because of the public servants, they’re doing it because of themselves . . . so that when you restore this ten per cent and if you give the public servants increases, then it means they have a higher salary, a higher pension, and a higher gratuity from which to go home when the people of Barbados say enough is enough.
“This is about pensions and gratuities for this Democratic Labour Party Government,” Mottley claimed.
She slammed the administration for restoring the ten per cent cut from the salaries of parliamentarians and senior civil servants in 2014 during austerity.
In a relentless attack on Government for the restitution, Mottley last week accused members of the DLP administration of telling people to tighten their belts while enlarging theirs, before leading her party in a walk out of Parliament during debate on the resolution.
She returned to the subject last night, telling supporters the governing parliamentarians “were prepared to take a cussing from the people of Barbados, because if after the cussing they can go home with a larger pension, and a larger gratuity, it is worth it”.
She also sought to dismiss reports that the reinstatement would not include back pay, insisting that the resolution called for full pay retroactive to last April.
“That order signed by Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance, on the 15th of April, 2016, says that that restoration is effective from the 1st of April 2016,” Mottley said.
She reiterated her party’s position that BLP legislators would not accept the ten per cent unless public servants receive a pay rise.
“We will not be accepting any increase on what we are getting now until such time as the public servants of this country are treated with respect and are given a salary increase,” she stressed, adding it was the wrong time to restore the full pay because the country was still stuck in an economic squeeze.
“You have not achieved anything. The reserves are worse, your debt is worse, your deficit is not where you said it would be,” she said of the DLP administration.
“But yet, you single yourself, and yourself alone to start the process [of compensation].”