Dr. Davies Defends $89 Billion Public Sector Wage Bill

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies, has defended the $89 billion set aside in the budget for wages and salaries, noting that the intention was to ensure social stability and retain quality professionals in the public sector.
Dr. Davies, who was opening the 2007/08 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (April 12), said that while the government must ensure that the allocation for wages and salaries did not grow out of line with increases in revenue, the administration must take into consideration, the need to maintain services at an acceptable level and to retain professionals, who are trained to world class standards and were marketable anywhere in the world.
“There are too many who, under the guise of protecting the fiscal accounts, would risk instability and deterioration in our basic services as our professionals choose to ply their trade elsewhere,” he remarked.
“This is more than an economy based on fiscal accounts,” Dr. Davies added, “this is a country in which we intend to raise levels to first world standards.”
Stressing that the country needed to build a public sector producing services at the highest levels, the Finance Minister said, “we have no apologies about being able to meet with the representatives of the various (negotiating) groups ..and coming to acceptable compromises.”

JIS Social