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Public servants back pay come September—Colm

Published: 
Friday, January 22, 2016
Finance Minister Colm Imbert

Finance Minister Colm Imbert says public servants will receive back pay long before the end of fiscal 2016.

He said so during yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing while responding to questions from reporters.

“That will be done long before September 2016. I don’t want to give a precise date at this time but I will say in a month or two, I will be able to give a precise date as to when we will be settling the arrears,” he said.

He added that he was meeting with the banking sector to determine how much money was available.

“We are out there in the banking sector right now determining how much money is available, what it will cost but we will be borrowing to pay the arrears because we simply don’t have the cash.” 

Imbert also said the Government still needed more money to pay billions of dollars to contractors.

“Every day, we are discovering more and more contracts and more debts that are piling up and more and more payments that are due and it will require a debt management strategy on the part of the Ministry of Finance. 

“It’s running into the billions I can tell you. Every day we hear about some other contract that was entered into on the eve of the general election and contractual obligations entered into the hundreds of millions. It’s something we have received from the past administration. They didn’t pay their bills,” he added.

He said the Government was seeking to pay these debts by issuing bonds.

Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie announced yesterday the Government would contribute $1.1 million to schools Carnival competitions, including junior soca monarch and schools’ Panorama.

He said the contribution was a decrease from $1.3 million last year.

He also announced that the Government would be upgrading the Moruga fishing port. He said the first phase will begin with the fishing facility.

"It includes an upgrade of the facilities and utilities for the Moruga area, constructing a new fishing port and facility, constructing parking facilities within walking distance of all the town services and amenities.

The project would also include creating a pedestrian-oriented environment around the commercial heart of the town and building a waterfront at the end of Moruga Road.