No bonus this year for public servants
December 23, 2009

No bonus this year for public servants

The injection of cash into the economy during the 30th anniversary of independence should ease the squeeze caused by the absence of a bonus this Christmas.

That’s the view of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, which he expressed last Thursday morning at a press conference at the Cabinet room.{{more}}

Responding to a question, Gonsalves indicated that no Christmas bonus will be paid this year, and said there will be other opportunities for further stimuli.

“The central government had given a stimulus package at Independence time,” Gonsalves recounted.

“The 6,000 public servants, when you give them $200 bonus it’s $1.2 million. When you add some other workers on top of it, you might reach up to $1.8 million.”

“For the students we gave $6 million. We put money in the families.

“There was a million dollars in the NIS (National Insurances Services), and for the public assistance you may recall that for public assistance recipients, I gave them $200 for the 30th anniversary.”

The Prime Minister stated that other initiatives, including the Christmas work programme by BRAGSA, is also an input of income into the economy around this time.

“The stimulus that we gave for the 30th anniversary is bigger than what you would normally even get in the families at Christmas time,” he said.

Gonsalves said that the economic situation would have been ‘tighter on the ground’, hadn’t the Central Government given these incentives.

He said that he believes that the economy will recover as time goes by, and indicated that the Christmas season is not the only time when bonus can be provided.

“I wanted to make sure that opportunities be there for the public enterprises and statutory bodies outside of the central government as we go along. I am quite sure that we’ll have opportunities for further stimuli.”

“What I find strange,” he added, “is that some of the same people who for political purposes said I shouldn’t give the $200 to the students are saying I should give them now $200.”