JIS News

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says the government will be looking to remove more posts from the public sector before the end of the year.

This is in addition to 3,100 posts that are to go soon, as part of measures to reduce the public sector wage bill in keeping with the overall debt reduction strategy.

Minister Phillips made the disclosure during Wednesday's (September 19) Jamaica House press riefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Although he was unable to give a figure as to the number of posts that will be cut, Dr. Phillips assured that the process would be done without impairing the functions of the public bodies. He noted that the posts to be removed would be those that are not currently filled.

"We have a number working with, but I don’t want to share that number at this point because it is subject to refinement," he informed.

"We won’t just cut posts 'willy nilly'. What we are trying to do is to look at posts that are not now filled, and those that can be dispensed of without impairing the functioning of the bodies," he stated.

Dr. Phillips said that while the previously announced 3,100 posts to be removed were from central government, these additional cuts will be taken from public bodies.

"In both cases, what we have done is to proceed agency by agency, Ministry by Ministry, department by department, and look at posts, which can be cut without impairing unduly the functioning of departments," he remarked.

Dr. Phillips assured that even while the government works to improve the economy, it will proceed carefully to ensure that it did not disrupt people’s lives and "hurt families".

"Even while we balance the books, we are working also to balance lives," he stated.

Dr. Phillips stated that  the government has "chosen deliberately to try to accomplish the reduction of wage costs as a share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) without a massive laying off of persons from the public sector."

He stated that ultimately, the government's goal is create a “highly remunerated, small, lean, efficient, public sector".