Government Brushes Aside Talks of Late Payments for Public Sector Workers

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Friday 5th October, 2018 –Government is giving the assurance that late payments of salaries to public sector employees will not become the norm, pushing back at criticisms that government workers should brace themselves for delays in the future.

Both established and non-established government workers have been paid their September salaries, but it took approximately two business days after the end of September for it to be completed.

In response, Cabinet spokesman, Minister Daryl Matthew says it is unfair for such predictions to be made, taking into consideration it hasn’t been occurring frequently.

Earlier this week, the Financial Secretary led a team to Cabinet, consisting of the Budget Director, the Debt Manager, the Deputy Financial Secretary, the Public Debt Financial Manager, and two Economic and Financial Analysts. The Financial Secretary presented a report that focused upon three broad categories: a) The fiscal performance of the government from January to June 2018; b) The critical challenges which the administration faces; c) The options from which the administration may choose in order to adjust for imbalances.

Total Revenue Collections, including non-tax revenue, during the January to June 2018 period, is estimated at $394.14 million dollars. Total expenditure during the same period rose to $464.15 million dollars.

According to the Cabinet notes, “the increased expenditure is largely accounted for by the resources allocated to addressing the distress of our Barbudan relations, who were all evacuated from Barbuda following Hurricane Irma. It cost tens of millions of dollars to provide shelters, services, food, transport, contract labour in Codrington, and other expenses connected to the Hurricane Irma after September 2017.”

Additional employment to meet increased demand for professionals and others within the Government’s service also accounted for the escalation during the January to June 2018 period.

The Financial Secretary reported that by the end of 2018, expected end-of-year net position will likely result in total Budget Expenditure exceeding published 2018 Budget by less than $5 million dollars, if certain options are applied.

Minister Matthew explains.