Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King is seeking to clarify his recent comments about Government layoffs, which have been labeled as insensitive by some Barbadians.
King came under fire last week after a Barbados TODAY news story entitled, “Stop dwelling on job losses,” reported him as stating that some Barbadians were wasting too much time discussing the current wave of public sector layoffs.
The article raised the ire of Barbadians, many of them accusing the Minister of being arrogant and showing a lack of empathy for the plight of working-class public servants currently on the breadline.
“For those persons who obviously misconstrued what I was saying, I would apologize to them first,” said the Minister in an interview with Barbados TODAY.
In clarifying his statement, King said he still believed the point was one which needs to be driven home.
“Sometimes people need waking up and for me, this [Barbados’ economic condition] is a wake up call for our people.
“I was just trying to tell people yes, this is a hard time, yes. There are layoffs and there’s going to be pain. Nobody wants anybody to lose their job; it wouldn’t make sense for anyone to be happy about it. We’re not happy about it.”
King indicated that he was only attempting to encourage Barbadians not to lose hope despite the current challenges.
“It is hard. I will admit that. Do we want it to be like this? No we don’t. But what are we going to do? We have two choices: we can roll over and die, or we can get up and fight. I say get up and fight. When one door is closed, another door is opened.
“The Prime Minister has said on a number of occasions that new doors are going to be opened. Let us not focus on the doors that are closed, but let us focus on the new doors. I hope that people begin to understand what I’m saying,” the minister concluded. (KS)