In an effort to “save” public workers’ salaries and jobs and provide working capital for development projects, Government is proposing they invest in the Barbados Optional Savings Scheme (BOSS).
Originally touted as forced savings before morphing into a national meeting turn and its current form, BOSS, according to Government’s senior economic advisor, Dr Kevin Greenidge, also makes good investment sense.
He was speaking at a media briefing hosted by Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Thursday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre after a meeting with the various trade unions and workers’ representative bodies in the public service.
Using an example, Greenidge said if a worker opted to invest in bonds for the full life of the 18-month programme, he or she would have $4 280.33 in the bonds accounts and earn $856.07 in interest (at 5 per cent) over the four years. In comparison, saving that amount in a traditional bank would earn about $25 before fees were deducted.
He said in 2019, Government’s wage bill was $806 million and through BOSS, they would be able to ensure no worker lost his or her job while providing funds to upgrades schools, for road works, repair of building and environmental projects such as cleaning the roads and beaches. These are areas of the economy which would grow while they wait on tourism to rebound in the wake of COVID-19.
Greenidge said no one’s salary would be cut.