Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace says he is against serving food at brief government meetings, saying this amounts to wastage of state resources.

“One of the things that is very noticeable in the Public Service today, you know, every time you go to a meeting, I [am] surprised at the amount of food that does be served — a meeting lasting two, three hours.

“They shouldn’t serve any food. That is my view. If you want some tea or coffee, that should be it, unless you have an all-day meeting or something of the sort,” Eustace, an economist, said on his weekly radio programme.

“There’s a lot of wastage in the public service at this moment. It is not in the interest of our economy. You provide those services when there is a real need, not want…” the former minister of finance said.

“If a meeting last from 9 to 12, what you have to serve something for? People go and get their lunch.

I am not saying there aren’t times when you do that,” he said.

Eustace also talked about the work ethic of some public servants, saying, “When people come to work half an hour late, it’s a loss. If you come an hour late, it is a loss. If they don’t utilise their time effectively when they are on their jobs, it is a loss.

“And all these things impact on our economy, because you are paying for services you are not getting. And when people are appointed on purely politics, they feel they can do anything and take excesses with taxpayers’ money. What you need to do is appoint people on merit, people who can function, perform effectively the functions of government and make sure they do it in a manner consistent with efficiency. That way, we can save a lot. We don’t have to have all these large deficits that we have today,” he said.

16 replies on “Eustace against serving food at short gov’t meetings”

    1. John Kuumba Cato says:

      When public servants are elected to look after the people’s business and refuse to do so and still receive payment, that too is a waste of resources. If a business(catering) is benefitting, also products (food)are being sold which would generate business in the economy and put money in people’s pockets is it not worth it? It scares me how shallow Eustace’s thinking is.

      1. The ‘products being sold’ are mostly imported and it is another expense to the taxpayers. Eustace is right on this one. Give Jack his jacket and stop being ridiculous.

      2. kerwin hackshaw says:

        It is not rite to be serving lunch at meetings that last from 9-12.finger food is ok,but,there are more pressing issue for Eustace to deal with that a piece of food.

  1. Mr. Eustace is right. I live in NA worked in the co-operate world (oil industry/Environment) for 20+ years). If it’s a whole day meeting, lunch is served with a coffee break at 10 or10:30a.m. At that coffee break there will be coffee, tea, juices and pastries. Then there will be another afternoon coffee break if the meeting will end at 4 or 5 p.m. A meeting that ends at 12 deserves only a morning coffee break.

  2. The ULP is not even fully recovered from the many bugs, corruption or otherwise, and the NDP is already putting foot instead of food in its mouth.

    Mr. Eustace, it is food for crying out loud. Campaigns are starting to heat up and an offering of food is part of the deal. Why risk alienating a few civil servants votes over a meal?

  3. I strongly agree and while I am not against caterers getting jobs , but often times meals are highly priced but but a blind eye is turned because you are an active visible party supporter. Coffee or team and maybe a cake is good enough not the spread that is now the norm. Good call Eustace.

  4. It’s when I hear this sort of diatribe that I question the notion of a kinder and gentler society that Mr Eustace so often preached. Given all the nonsense that Gonsalves doing, the last thing people want to hear is the NDP nitpicking over food that people get at meetings. C’mon now Mr Eustace, you mekkin noise over food? WTF!

  5. Music to my ears! The whole of the government service — from top to bottom — needs a thorough investigation by impartial outsiders followed by a restructuring, downsizing, and large-scale privatisation.

  6. Mr Eustace I have been saying that for years. We have to be mindful of people who can’t put food on the table, while many are turning a blind eye to suffering of the Vincentians and eating thiefing down the place, and spending money like water. We have an Oligarch system in SVG that is stink to the core and it’s time we stop it. A little country like ours shouldn’t have people living like this on tax payers money. We are not rich like Saudi Arabia.

  7. “When public servants are elected to look after the people’s business and refuse to do so and still receive payment, that too is a waste of resources. If a business(catering) is benefitting, also products (food)are being sold which would generate business in the economy and put money in people’s pockets is it not worth it? It scares me how shallow Eustace’s thinking is.”

    – If this is your non-shallow reasoning, the government should cater even more food and feed the homeless and hungry, generate even more business, money will be in everyone’s pocket

  8. Augustus Carr says:

    This is absolutely appalling. I see nothing wrong with serving food or refreshment at any government meeting conferences or training. Refreshment is served for various reasons. Some persons have to travel very remote distances and are unable to eat breakfast or lunch on time hence the reason for this. I am of the view that Honourable Eustace is unfit to become prime minister. This is so cave man like. He obviously has not traveled regionally or internationally. Honourable Eustace you need to utilize your time more constructively. If you ever become Prime Minister SVG would go back to the 16th Century era. This is unbelievable.

  9. Mr. Eustace is bang on! As an economist he knows what he’s talking about. Lunch definitely should not be served at short meetings. Coffee, tea, etc. but a lunch? No. Even if it’s being catered, it’s still a frivolous expense.

    1. Mr.Augustus Carr, in this day and age, you tell me what location in SVG, including the Grenadines, one will have to travel for a meeting and would have to leave home without breakfast except by choice? They prepare and have their breakfast then get to work for 8 a.m, so why getting to a meeting for the same time would be any different.
      It would appear that in SVG when people carry a ULP card or is a die-hard, anything that comes out of Mr. Eustace or anyone opposing is petty or rubbish. SVG is a small, poor nation; those opposing Mr.Eustace concern calls it nit-pick, well, nations with budgets running in the billions of dollars not-pick so why does SVG has to be an exception. You people who continue to think Mr. Eustace is petty, it’s called looking out for the Nation’s best interest in all areas. Also, look at countries like Uk, Canada, US, just to mention a few and you would learn what nit-picking is all about when it comes to government VS opposition.

  10. Augustus Carr says:

    Madam Anita, SVG is not a poor country. As a matter a fact SVG is a very well to do Country. Look at the houses and the lifestyles of our people and compare it with other countries in the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia. There are a few persons who are experiencing financial difficulties but the majority are well to do. Let me establish clearly that I am not a ULP supporter. I am a Vincentian who wants the best for my country. I can tell you that I was equally appalled at the manner in which the Prime Minister has treated Leon Bigger Biggs Samuel and Howard of Howards Marina. The issue in SVG is that there has to me less emphasis on taxation, prioritization of spending, and more efforts directed at wealth creation. We have to utilize the very few that we and become very innovative in the process. Let us not sweat over small stuff. Madam Anita I respect your thoughts.

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