Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said his administration will not be laying off workers for the fiscal year 2012/2013.
Skerrit made the disclosure in response to a question from Member of Parliament for Roseau Central, Norris Prevost, in parliament on Wednesday.
According to Prevost, a recent IMF report indicates that with fiscal policy reaching its limit “to support economic activity the authorities have budgeted a strong retrenchment for fiscal year 2012-2013.”
“Will the honorable prime minister and minister for finance inform this honorable house how many workers his government plans to retrench in fiscal year 2012-2013 and in what areas,” Prevost queried.
But Skerrit said his government has no intention retrenching workers, pointing out that Prevost’s question reflects a misinterpretation of the IMF quote. “Madam speaker, the term retrenchment as deemed by the IMF is defined to be a reduction in expenditure or economizing,” he remarked. “That definition is not specific to workers. There is no mention of retrenchment of workers in the IMF report.”
He said the report actually pointed to reducing expenditure. “To give the impression the IMF report is suggesting retrenchment in workers is unfortunate,” he noted.
Skerrit said as minister of finance, he has publicly called for reduction in discretionary spending by more judicious use of government resources.