Barbados Finance Minister Chris Sinckler has tabled two options, taxes or job cuts, after the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) issued the Government a July 1, ultimatum to scrap crippling taxes imposed in the Budget or face industrial action.
“Make no mistake about it; those are the hard choices which we face at this time,” Sinckler told online newspaper Barbados Today.
At issue is the significant hike in the National Social Responsibility Levy which moved from two per cent to ten per cent, the introduction of a two per cent levy on foreign exchange transactions and a rise in the excise tax on gasoline and diesel.
Last weekend, NUPW president Akanni McDowall called on Government to reverse the tax measures or introduce a “coping subsidy” for public servants pending the outcome of ongoing salary negotiations.
He argued that the tax measures would hike the already high cost of living by 15 per cent, adding that workers who have been subjected to a wage freeze for some time now cannot cope.