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Cuba to cut one million public sector jobs - not just the Tories eh?


Rob W
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11291267

 

Cuba has announced radical plans to lay off huge numbers of state employees, to help revive the communist country's struggling economy.

 

The Cuban labour federation said more than a million workers would lose their jobs - half of them by March next year.  Those laid off will be encouraged to become self-employed or join new private enterprises, on which some of the current restrictions will be eased

 

Analysts say it is the biggest private sector shift since the 1959 revolution.

 

Cuba's communist government currently controls almost all aspects of the country's economy and employs about 85% of the official workforce, which is put at 5.1 million people.  As many as one-in-five of all workers could lose their jobs.  "Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies, productive entities, services and budgeted sectors with bloated payrolls and losses that hurt the economy," the labour federation said in a statement.  "Job options will be increased and broadened with new forms of non-state employment, among them leasing land, co-operatives, and self-employment, absorbing hundreds of thousands of workers in the coming years," the statement added.

 

To create jobs for the redundant workers, strict rules limiting private enterprise will be relaxed and many more licenses will be issued for people to become self-employed.

 

Private businesses will be allowed to employ staff for the first time.  The self-employed will have access to social security and will be able to open bank accounts and even borrow money to expand their businesses.  They will also have to pay tax on their profits and for each person they employ, something which could dramatically boost the government's income.  And they will be able to negotiate contracts to provide services to government departments.

 

A minority of Cuban workers already work for themselves, for example as hairdressers and taxi-drivers, or running small family restaurants.  There is also a thriving black economy, with many people working independently without proper permission from the state.

 

 

President Raul Castro outlined some of the changes in a speech in August, saying the state's role in the economy had to be reduced.

 

"We have to end forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world where you can live without working," he said.

 

 

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President Raul Castro outlined some of the changes in a speech in August, saying the state's role in the economy had to be reduced.

 

"We have to end forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world where you can live without working," he said.

 

 

 

Communist Cuba declares 'death to the unemployed!'

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I think the point is to cut the jobs of people like government barbers so that there is a defined middle class of small business owners in Cuba.  People who have cushy jobs in the government will be forced to go start businesses.  At least that's the way it was made to seem when I heard about this on NPR.

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Wonder what their economy would be like without the blockade.

 

Same as most other Latin American countries - buggered - and they'd either have a right wing generalissimo in charge or some carpet chewing nutter like Chavez

 

Latin America isn't a great advert for any sort of political or economic system TBH

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Wonder what their economy would be like without the blockade.

 

Same as most other Latin American countries - buggered - and they'd either have a right wing generalissimo in charge or some carpet chewing nutter like Chavez

 

Latin America isn't a great advert for any sort of political or economic system TBH

 

The point I'm making is that it's impossible to draw any conclusions about systems, when the country involved has been totally hamstrung by a 50-year blockade. That's like saying that the capitalist system doesn't work because the UK was totally fucked after the second world war. Until the totally unjustified blockade has been lifted no-one can claim with any credibility to have the first idea about whether or not Cuba's economic system works or not. It definitely doesn't work under the circumstances as they currently are, but name me a system that would.

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