Thursday 4 June, 2020

Social Partnership given failing grade by BEC

From left: Executive Director of the Barbados Employers' Confederation, Tony Walcott; President of BEC Marguerite Estwick, Kim Griffith-Tang of the Barbados Light & Power

From left: Executive Director of the Barbados Employers' Confederation, Tony Walcott; President of BEC Marguerite Estwick, Kim Griffith-Tang of the Barbados Light & Power

President of the Barbados Employers Confederation (BEC), Marguerite Estwick, is of the view the tripartite arrangement is lacking efficiency.

While commending the progress the subcommittee of the social partnership has made, Estwick said it was time for the roles of the working groups within the subcommittee to be properly defined if any improvements are to be made to the state of the economy.

Her comments were made during a press conference held by the BEC to announce events for the organisation’s week of activities in celebration of the 60th anniversary. She said it was time for less talk and more action.

 “Institutions, like people, need to move from infancy to adulthood. We think that there must be a process of making consultations far more efficient. There are formal discussions, the actions coming out of these discussions cause us some concern and we need to see some improved efficiency in terms of how issues raised at the social partnership- the timeliness with which they are addressed, so that we do not spend as much time talking around issues and having these issues come up and we reiterate the matters coming out of the minutes with too little action coming out of them, we want to see some more action.”

Just last month the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) held its mass meeting to discuss the state of the country’s economy with members. President of the BPSA, Charles Herbert said members were also updated as to discussions coming out of the sub-committee of the Social Partnership where a number of recommendations were put forward to remedy government’s worrying economic situation and he hoped the recommendations would be included in the upcoming Budgetary Proposals scheduled to be delivered by month end.

Executive Director of the BEC, Tony Walcott, also shared his hopes with those in attendance at the press conference as to what he hopes to see coming out of the upcoming budget as well as the economic update to be delivered by the Central Bank Governor on Tuesday, May 9.  

“I would hope that we can find specific programs targeted at reigning in government’s expenditure, dealing with the fiscal situation and improving the debt to GDP ratio. What comes out tomorrow will probably give us a good guide as to what is likely to be reflected within the budget presentation.”

The highlight of the BEC’s week of activities will be a business luncheon on Wednesday, May 10 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center. Delivering the key note address will be the Managing Director of the Barbados Light & Power, Roger Blackman under the theme “Business Transformation – A Light & Power Perspective’.

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