A senior Barbados government minister says he is uneasy about the direction of the island’s economy and is promising to make public his position.
Agriculture Minister, David Estwick, a former finance minister, told reporters Wednesday he was prepared to put the country above politics when he makes a full statement on the ailing Barbados economy.
“I am going to make my statement very, very soon on what my position is,” he told reporters, adding “I was a man before I got into politics, and I can stay one if I am out of it.
“But I will do what I believe I have to do, honestly and diligently in the interest of Barbados and in the interest of my children and grandchildren to come.”
The Barbados government has said it would soon lay off 3,000 public servants as it seeks to turn around the ailing economy. Trade unions have called on the Fruendel Stuart administration to reconsider proposals they have submitted for consideration, but Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Chris Sinckler has said these proposals do not go far enough.
Sinckler said that the government has already drawn up the list of public workers to be dismissed. The government had originally indicated that the dismissals would have started on January 15, but agreed to a delay because the necessary list had not been prepared.
Estwick told reporters that he has served as a government minister from 2008 and prior to that he was the spokeperson on Finance and Economics during the prolonged period in Opposition.
“In fact between January 2000 and 2008 I served as minister of health with the responsibility for hospitals, the Barbados Water Authority, the Sanitation Services Authority and the National Insurance Scheme,” said Estwick who also served as the minister responsible for economic affairs and economic planning between the period October 2008 and October 2010.