Saturday 28 March, 2020

Walk with alternatives, demands Sinckler

The country is set to share in the “gains and pains” when government rolls out the budgetary measures laid in parliament come July 1, unless entities and persons bring suitable and feasible alternatives.

This is the word of the Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler who assured that the government is not shut off from hearing suggestions, however, he asserts that they must be credible and not fly-by-night, farfetched options.

In a question and answer segment with the media on the sidelines of a loan contract signing ceremony with the Inter-American Development Bank recently, he affirmed:

“We’ve not closed the door to any discussion; we are open to any discussion.

“The truth is, that in all of the chatter which you hear from both sides or all sides, you don’t hear any alternatives you know? You hear what cannot work, what does not work, what should not be done and what cannot be done, but you never hear people saying, ‘This is my alternative’.

“So if you say lower the rate of the NSRL (National Social Responsibility Levy) fair enough , and replace it with what? If you say, don’t cut public sector jobs, which this government said it is not interested in doing at this time, then tell me what is the alternative, what is your proposal for achieving fiscal balance?”

As it relates to the unions, Sinckler stated, “so we [the government] are prepared to sit down as normal and discuss these issues, but I urge people to walk with firm, credible and implementable alternatives, outside of that the government has to proceed with what we put on the table because this is what we believe is in the best interest of the country.”

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The  Head of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall has told Loop News they are putting plans in place to meet with the Minister by month-end.

In addition, with members of parliament talking about threats by this administration to layoff workers, Sinckler reiterated that this government wants to keep as many people as possible.

“First of all you have to have a plan and there is no plan to layoff anyone, in fact the government has made itself abundantly clear that is not an option that we have chosen at this time. If the union wants that option, they are free to tell us that, but that is not our option. Our option is to keep everybody, as many people, every body as possible, that is our option.”

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