It is to be called “Re Re”. Phase two of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan – in which public sector job cuts are expected and will include retraining and retooling workers, the Prime Minister has declared.
But giving only a minor insight into the plan, Mia Mottley told the Sandals Global Sales Conference on Friday that the programme intended to make Government more efficient.
“We have like Sandals, to keep training, and as we confront this reality and make the adjustments, we have determined as I have said, it is not good to go back to where we are, we need to go to where we want to be,” said Mottley.
In a nod to iconic Barbadian superstar Rihanna – RiRi – Mottley said: “In those circumstances we have coined a programme which we feel will help us reach that destination of excellence. And being Bajans we call it the Re Re Programme. You will see why in a few days when we talk further.”
The Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan is to consist of three main phases.
Phase one, currently underway, consists of a number of new tax measures, removal of others and provision for improvement in some of the island’s infrastructure.
Mottley has promised to address the nation at month-end on what phases two and three would contain and when they would begin.
While not disclosing what form the planned Re Re programme would take, Mottley disclosed that “it is about retooling and empowering, it is about retraining and enfranchising”.
“It is about being able to all cause our people to live the best lives that we can,” she added.
Insisting that change was uncomfortable but necessary, Mottley said the process towards recovery was a critical one.
“What helps us manage change is the retooling, is the empowering. What helps us succeed and overcome the changes that we must make is to retrain and is the enfranchising,” she said.
“So when we say that our route to excellence is the Re Re Programme it is because we believe if we do these things, we are going to give you in this organization, a better product to share with the rest of the world, better returns at the corporate level [and] better returns at the individual level,” she said.
The prime minister has already hinted that as part of phases two and three, there will be job cuts and the possible privatization or merger of debt-riddled state agencies.
As part of the recovery plan, Government has also entered into discussions with the International Monetary Fund for a debt restructuring programme.