NIS Vigil

Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, Minister of Labour and Social Security

The news that the Barbados Rights Bill is currently being debated in parliament is good news. It is one of many bills which was in danger of being still born. Of interest to BU though is the visibility which a successful reading of the legislation will afford Dr. the Hon. Esther Byer-Suckoo, M.P who is Minister of Labour and Social Security. There is a view that St. George South, the constituency she represents, is a bellwether constituency, one which the government cannot lose if it desires to win a second term. Her fight against Dwight Sutherland, the BLP candidate is already shaping up nicely between the two with deep roots in the constituency.

It is not unfair to suggest that Minister Suckoo has not satisfied legitimate expectations about her performance in the several portfolios she has been give responsibility. Her homage to late Prime Minister David Thompson in parliament suggests she maybe disappointed with her performance as well! Many do not know what to make of her invisibility in the current national debate about the the NIS investment strategy. Besides one statement made in the recent Budget debate which was a general statement she has allowed her male colleagues Messrs Sinckler, Kellman and Sealy to defend the investment strategy of the NIS.

Of further interest has been her decision not to renew Tony Marshall’s contract to serve on the NIS Board. Let the record show that BU agrees with the decision for reasons flagged in earlier blogs. However Tony Marshall’s did issue a press release before he was rushed out of office which committed to regularizing NIS Financials up to 2009 by making the required submissions to the Auditor General by December 2011.  Given the level of demand on our most important fund to bailout REDjet, Four Seasons, Almond, UWI and several others it seems a nobrainer a vigilant citizenry would want our government to make available up to date financials. It is one of the checks and balances derived from a democracy system of government where an educated public would bring an educated curiosity to bear.

Although we were reassured on March 07, 2012 by incoming Chairman Justin Robinson, that the issue of delinquent financials will be addressed soon, here is his comment on BU –   “The board expects to be able to make a very positive statement to the public on that score shortly. I can say that a lot has been achieved in terms of getting the financials up to date.”  this is an important matter and must be treated with dispatch given the prevailing circumstances which have placed a severe demand on the fund. Let us remember that NIS funds should be used for investment purposes to guarantee the social security needs of pensioners for years to come.

The local media in the same way it is flogging all the issues swirling with political agendas in mind so too the issue of the NIS and dated financials must be worthy. Perhaps Barbadians will have to call on Tony Best et al in the Diaspora to bring focus to this matter.

39 thoughts on “NIS Vigil

  1. BY how many seats will the DLP lose the next election ??
    HOW many votes will Suckoo lose by ?
    WHY is Freundel Stuart still Prime Minister of Barbados ??
    *The DLP will lose the next election 2 to 28
    * Suckoo will lose by 1600 votes
    *Freundel is still Prime Minister because Sinckler says that he dont want to be Prime Minister and Inniss seemed to have gone to sleep and the Eager 1 1 seemed not to understand their role in politics.

  2. “The local media in the same way it is flogging all the issues swirling with political agendas in mind so too the issue of the NIS and dated financials must be worthy. Perhaps Barbadians will have to call on Tony Best et al in the Diaspora to bring focus to this matter.”

    Well said.

    There are several matters that are affecting the general populace of this country, and most directly and mightily, that are in need of being seriously dealt with by the broad masses and middle classes, e.g,

    Evil Taxation policies;

    Wicked Interest Rates policies;

    Damning Exchange Rate policies;

    Abominable Mortgage policies;

    Despicable Institutional Repayable Productive Loans;

    Iniquitous Motor Vehicle Insurance policies;

    Manifold increases in poverty in recent times;

    Big, unwieldy, inefficient and unrational government;

    Gargantuan increases in the size of the government debt;

    Obscenely high rent costs in relation to private residential and commercial accomodation;

    Abject landlessness, esp. amongst many of the masses and middle classes;

    The very exploitative WORK CULTURE;

    The very unprogressive aspects of the formal educational system;

    Too many roads being in a state of disrepair;

    Atrocious DLP and BLP Governance;

    The gross inefficiencies and irrationalities within ;the Royal Barbados Police Force;

    Importation of very corrosive foreign influences.

    And many more matters affecting the general populace.


  3. Strange Legislation that allows The Chief Labour Officer to enter an employer’s premises unannounced to search and siege….with or without the attendance of the police to secure documentation deemed as necessary to carry out his duties.(subject to per TV news). Remember if you employ a maid or a gardener at your home, you are an employer….hmmm, yet another piece of legislation on the way back to drafters for correction…..When will the blunders end ? ( other cases :Directors -Vat; Govt empl. traveling, Tax on Pensions)

    • @robert

      Not since the hullabaloo in parliament about how much is to be transfered and whether an adequate number is provided for in the appropriation,,,blah blah blah

  4. Labour Laws……thread carefully….workers rights….start with LIME…move on to the teachers…..while you at it Almond….no bubbie to start..Suckoo really what is all the noise about.?

  5. Suckoo’s an Indian and, as you know, they don’t marry blacks. However, they’re perfectly happy to rule you and to take your country from you, if you’ll allow them to – the choice is yours!! Mind you, I’ve never seen a single black in India!!

  6. There are many more important loopholes in the employeremployee relationsbreaches that are in dire need of attention than are presently being addressed Minister Suckoo……for one the present English Laws are fashioned on the old principle of Master Servant rule whereby the former is given the advantaged position of right (master) to start…while the latter of a lesser equal.In the event of any compensatory wrong payments entitled to employee,such are a mere slap on the wrist of the employer, and hardly worth the time and effort.Wrongful dismissal compensations are fashioned under such old law.

  7. @onions

    Is it true that the bill debated yesterday and specifically the clause queried by you is the same as it was when the bill was originally proposed in 2001.

  8. Oh give of leave, those begrudge, forsaked
    All seems a wasted effort fore
    Your cause twisted, never investigated
    Now thrown to the infinity moors to spore
    Transfer or transferred til your delight
    Lark dogs of self gloat,wit infested,
    Til none accompany Jim Jones and moe.

    “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it”
    Marcus Aurelius

  9. We are operating in a new time.

    No longer shall the people tolerate being kept in darkness.

    It is the age of information.

    (An original thought)

    • Politicians must have vision if they want to master the issues, if they come with the same old the people will reach for the gutterperk.

    • Interesting to note thosw who followed the debate in the lower house yesterday Minister Stephen Lashley was the one who led the charge on defending the bill NOT Minister Byer-Suckoo.

  10. The front page of today’s Mid Week Nation Newspaper says, “JONES LASHES OUT”.

    How many people really care about what the Nation Newspaper perceives to be Mr. Ronald Jones lashing out at whatever, or if he has in fact lashed out at whatever for what ever reasons.

    What frivilous nonsense by the Nation Newspaper to get many people to buy into the weakmindedness emptymindedness of whosoever at the Nation Newspaper crafted the story or headline itself.

    Barbados continues to sink at a rapid rate, politically, socially, materially, etc. and that is what the Nation Newspaper in an age of increased political agitation and intellectual enlightenment but in an era of increased suffering and misery across the world, wants many Barbadians to pander to to Jones’ ego trips, perhaps.

    What trash to print and especially to have emblazoned on the front page of the newspaper!!!

    What a new low in journalism and civil responsibility in this country!!

    PDC .

    • @observing

      Yes she would have piloted the bill but questions will be raised during the debate raised by the opposition which will require clarification. The substantive minister is usually the one to defend the bill with support from colleagues. Defending the bill would manifest itself in the form of catching the eye of the Speaker on points of order.

  11. k. I think understand how the process is supposed to work. So are you saying then that though she presented the bill, Minister S. Lashley did the majority of the parrying and fending off?

    If so, that’s not a good sign.

    • @observing

      Yes and in some cases when she did parry some of the questions from the other side she had help doing so. This is the kind of critique we need to have of our leaders and hold them to account. There should be no patience with those who bluster there way. If we compare Suckoo to former minister of labour Rawle Eastemond it is not a goo comparison to make.

  12. Even without the comparison anyone can reasonalbly say that she is reasonably underperforming across the board. It speaks a bit for teamwork as well considering the importance of this bill. Disunity of thought and message cannot be hidden forever. Jones’ broadside is but an example of this TIme will tell.

  13. Byer-Suckoo is the worst-performing of all Cabinet members and is easily the worst minister and M.P currently.

  14. Byer-sucks is best described as a blonde. Not even her spouse wants her why should the people of Barbados do opposite. She gets two thumbs down for her performance.

  15. 2D, don’t think it’s fair of u to comment on the state of the lady’s marriage here. That’s hitting below the belt and which we shouldn’t encourage. Let’s stick to the subject bro. I doubt whether anybody’s marriage is perfect. Not sure but Dave seems to agree.

  16. @bimbro
    perfect marriage? Do those two words go together?? far less in public life?

    I agree about 2Dpoint. Stick 2Dissue.

  17. Old onion bags
    That pc of legislation that would allow the CLO to enter your house unannouced and without a warrant,at any time, is tantamount to dictatorship in action.Not even the police can do that, so why legialate for anyone else to do it. My house is my castle and anyone entering MUST prove they have a RIGHT so to do. That RIGHT comes from me or a signed warrant from the police

    • @The Scout

      Have you read the bill? The link is provided in the blog above.

      Here is a clause which you should read with understanding.

      (4) The Chief Labour Officer shall notify the employer or his representative of his presence before carrying out an inspection pursuant to subsection (3), unless he considers that such notification would be prejudicial to the performance of his functions.

  18. David; I did’nt watch the debate so I have to take your word that Minister Lashley took the brunt of the questions. Could it be that (1) He likes to talk. (2) He sought the eye of the speaker and got it more often than the Min Sukoo to respond to queries. (3) He fancies himself as a lawyer who can jump into the breach and explain everything. (4) He recognized that Min. Sukoo was underprepared and was merely assisting her.

    • @checkit-out

      (1) Maybe
      (2) Any MP can rise on a point of order by standing,
      (3) Maybe
      (4) Perhaps he has a comfort level from his experience as a lawyer and was more comfortable defending the bill.

  19. @David and Bimbro
    Why is it that when comments are made about Owen Arthur related to his personal life, there is no admonition in fact there is encouragement. However, a fact has been stated about Byer-Sucks and it draws your wrath.

    Are female MPs untouchable in this regard? The truth is the truth and that is what BU is about regardless of who it offends.

  20. @2D

    You are correct in your observation of course and the only explanation is that some subscribe to the view, a declining one, that our woman folk should be treated with differently.

  21. @2D
    I’m not familiar with this ‘fact’ to which u refer about Suckoo, or any facts or rumours about Arthur’s private life – I’m not really too in touch with Bajan life – nor do I care very much really. What concerns me is the substance, rather than the dross, plus I still consider to refer to ‘the lady’s husband not wanting her either’, is a step too far, and the commenter should be ashamed of him/herself.

  22. David,
    Have you heard anything from Chairman Justin Robinson on the status of NIS financials? This is certainly cause for concern seeing that this inept government is running parts of the economy out of NIS funds.

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