Sunday, April 14, 2024

No job and rent to pay, mouths to feed


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Dear Christine,
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the help you’ve been giving to others.
I have found myself in the same boat, as I’m one of the temporary public servants who have been sent home.
Christine, I have worked in Government for the past eight years and live in one of the Government’s new housing projects. When I received the keys to this house two years ago, arrangements were made with the National Housing Corporation to have my rent deducted from my salary.
Now that I have lost my job, where am I expected to live if I cannot pay my rent – which is $700? I have three children to look after and bills to pay.
When I first heard that people would be sent home, I am no politician or holder of any degree, but I felt that Government ministers would first lead by example by cutting their hefty salaries.
If my memory serves me right, [former Prime Minister] Owen Arthur refused to take a pay increase at a time when the country was facing some challenges.
I also thought that Government would look at those who were reaching the age of retirement – let’s say those who have just months or maybe one last year or two in Government, pay them out and save the jobs of those who still have mortgages, rent to pay, and children to feed, clothe and send to school.
I also thought they would have asked people in the public sector if they wanted earlier retirement, so they could be paid out and allow those who really need to continue working to do so.
Christine, my salary was roughly $1 050 a month. By the time I pay my rent, I have little left over for bills and food.
I do not want to think too much about how I will survive in the months ahead but I will trust the Almighty God who is ever faithful.
This Government has done grave injustice to the people of Barbados, many of whom are blinded by their sweet talk and failed promises.
I am no financial wizard, but common sense would tell me if you are in financial difficulty, you should not borrow above what you able to pay back. Bad financial decisions have been the hallmark of this Government.
Although it is falling headlong, they are too proud and arrogant to accept the help which is being offered. It’s a sad story. I no longer feel proud to be a Barbadian.
When I see what this country has come to, I get angry, but I know my anger will profit nothing, because this Government is bent on doing whatever it feels like. However, time is longer than twine.
Christine, I will have to find ways to feed my children and my grandchildren. I know I will just be one of thousands of people in this boat. May God help us all!   
I am now turning to you for help. I am not begging, but I am leaving my name and number just in case you know of any job offers.
I am writing this letter with a sad heart. Christine, if it seems like I am rambling, it’s just the way my mind is working just now. 
I will end here. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share, and may God continue to bless you.
– M.R.
Dear M.R.,
I understand your concerns, the anxiety and the fears about the future. Remember that God has the future in His hands.
I will keep your contact information, but my assistant is the one who will make contact with you.
Meanwhile, hang in there.


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