The U.S. Department of the Treasury will pay all federal benefit and non-tax payments electronically. Benefit recipients can choose to receive their payments by direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or to a Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card account. You must make the switch from paper federal benefit checks to electronic payments by March 1, 2013. Learn more or sign up now.
The decision by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to retreat from distributing pensions to bank accounts only is the correct one. To inflict such hardship on our most senior of senior citizens reflects a level of uncouthness and inconsideration by those responsible. BU surmises that if Director of the NIS Ian Carrington recommended the change in policy, the Board headed by retired banker Tony Marshall – who reports to Minister Esther Byer-Suckoo – should have blocked the idiotic proposal. It has the smell of Tony Marshall, who possibly rammed it down Minister Suckoo’s throat. Whether it occurred as described or not, it demonstrates weak leadership on the part of the government and in particular Dr. Byer-Suckoo.
Did the NIS complete a benefit analysis which measured not only the financial impact but social as well? Barbados is a small island which is partly defined by its personable makeup. Would it not have made more sense to run a campaign to encourage pensioners with bank accounts who are receiving cheques to switch? Such an approach would have tested the appetite of the pensioners for making the change, sensitize pensioners to how NIS principals are thinking and intelligently inform the right decision. It is ironic that in the most impersonal of countries, the USA, the same same move is currently being processed but on a phased basis.
Why would a government about to enter general election mode try to rollout such a disruptive policy? Is our government so out of tune with the reality of the situation? Are they so driven by the economics of the decision that every other consideration becomes inconsequential? It challenges the perception that the DLP is more easily persuaded to implement more social programs compared to the BLP.
It is scary to contemplate that these are the people we are making decisions everyday which will impact our lives and those of our children now and the future.