‘What about our money?’ civil servants ask, as Browne Administration swells public-sector rolls with 1,000 new hires

As the public-sector pay-roll is set to increase, some civil servants say they are “disgusted” and “frustrated” that there is no talk of salary increases for them. 

They point to the dramatic hikes in fuel prices at the pump and the rise in the cost of food, noting that their salaries have not kept pace with inflation.

“While we are stretching our little pay to make ends meet, the Prime Minister is busy hiring other people that Treasury can’t afford,” an administrative worker complains to our News Room.

She shared a list of 17 persons reportedly hired at the Development Control Authority (DCA), as of April 1, 2022, while noting that the Administration is “still fighting down ABS people for their money.”

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has promised to take persons on the Government’s Job Programme into full employment – reportedly almost 1,000 new hires. 

Given the state of the local economy and the uncertainty of the world economy, pundits say this is a reckless move by an administration that appears desperate to remain in office.

A business consultant says that this is “not a good time to increase expenditure, because the Winter tourist season is at its end and the cruise sector has not lived up to expectation. 

“Where is the rest of the Cabinet in all this?” he asks, adding that “the Minister of Finance should not be advising himself.”

Also weighing in on the decision is an auditor.

“If you had to radically increase the cost of fuel – immediately at the start of a war in Europe, why would a responsible government now take on salaries; statutory payments to Medical Benefits and Social Security; other benefits, like providing uniforms and even drinking water; and the long-term commitment of pensions?” she asks.

“This is economic suicide by Gaston Browne, or planned homicide for an incoming administration,” she says, adding that, “either way, it’s just bad business.”