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(Barbados Today) The threat of dismissal was today placed over the heads of “thousands of public servants from the service” unless they shoulder the increased taxes announced in the recent Budget.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has left no doubt about what action the Freundel Stuart administration was prepared to take if it were pressured by the unions to rescind the crippling increases to the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), as well as the tax on foreign exchange transactions and increases to the excise duties on petrol.

The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) is threatening industrial action if Government does not scrap the tax proposals or institute a “coping subsidy” for public servants until salary negotiations have been concluded.

However, Sinckler would have none of it, telling Barbados TODAY the choices were clear – the public servants must either accept the taxes or go home.

“I would say that if this really is the union’s position, it is as ill-advised as it is unfortunate at this time. I do not believe that the union leadership is oblivious to the fact that the alternatives to the measures which we introduced, including an increase in the NSRL, will be far more hurtful to public officers than what is proposed,” Sinckler said.

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