Government will meet with union leaders tomorrow to continue discussions on the proposed National Pandemic Solidarity Bonds offer.
Addressing a virtual service of thanksgiving this afternoon to mark the 2nd anniversary of the Barbados Labour Party election victory, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the Government of Barbados wants to issue the bonds to public servants to help the country get through the crisis brought on by COVID-19.
While not providing much details about what will be on the table, she pointed out that she has “always been sensitive to the issue of wage cuts”.
“We are not interested in cutting persons’ pay but we are interested in creating a scenario where we can carry as many Barbadians as possible,” Mottley said.
“To that extent therefore, what we’re proposing is a form of forced savings, what I’m now going to call a national meeting turn. Tomorrow morning the Ministry of Finance officials will meet with the labour movement and they will explain how this will work.
“And believe you me, every public servant and every person who is paid by Government will receive their full salary package,” Mottley added.
She said while the majority will be paid in cash, Government will also be asking some workers to look at bonds that will carry interest rates of five per cent.
“At the end of the day, the Government is going to have to be the one driving the capital works programme in Barbados, dealing with water, dealing with roads, dealing with cleaning the country, dealing with building gabions, dealing with fixing schools that are the subject of environmental problems every week, or other facilities that government has that literally are in bad need of repair,” the Prime Minister said.
“So my friends, believe you me, I’m sensitive to the fact that every Bajan needs to play their part, but I equally do not want you to be out of pocket. And that is why in the same way that this Government refused to touch savings bonds when we were restructuring the debt, I’m going to insist that we find a way of immunizing and protecting those bonds that any public sector worker or any other Barbadian may take as part of the National Pandemic Solidarity Bonds that the Government of Barbados wants to issue to help us get through this moment.”