NIS Reserves Projected by IMF to be Exhausted in 2037 – UPP Candidate Craig Harewood Muted by VoB

From the left Craig Harewood , UPP and Glyne Murray, VoB moderator

‘The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. Created in 1945, the IMF is governed by and accountable to the 189 countries that make up its near-global membership.’IMF Website

The IMF is one of the leading financial institutions in the world established to support member countries. Barbados became a member in December 1970 and under Stand-By arrangements in October 1982 and 1992 accessed SDR46.35 of SDR55.77 approved. Given the perilous state of the Barbados economy it is no surprise that there is a clamour from many quarters for Barbados to access foreign currency support at concessionary rate given our forex level and junk credit rating.

Our membership in the IMF ensures that we benefit from rigorous monitoring to ensure ‘’policies that are conducive to orderly economic growth and reasonable price stability, avoid manipulating exchange rates for unfair competitive advantage, and to provide the IMF with data about its economy’’. BU must conclude given our interrupted membership in the IMF for forty six years successive government see value in the membership.

In an IMF working paper titled  National Insurance Scheme Reforms in the Caribbean of October 2016 the IMF signalled to several Caribbean countries that with an ageing population, negative to anaemic economic growth, and rising unemployment numbers national insurance funds in the region, projected deficits will deplete assets in the coming years. The following graph extracted from the working paper estimates that on its current trajectory NIS reserves for Barbados will be exhausted by 2037. The reserves represent the excess funds explained as ‘income from contributions and investments that exceed the expenditures on benefits and administration that has accumulated over time’’.

On today’s (21/04/2017) Voice of Barbados talk show United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate Craig Harewood attempted to raise the matter and was bundled off the airwaves by moderator Glyne Murray. By asking the UPP candidate to investigate the assumptions used by the IMF in the working paper to support the projection  that NIS reserves will be exhausted in 2037 in the opinion of BU was unprofessional by host Glyne Murray. Given the importance of the NIS fund to protecting the financial security of senior citizens of Barbados the intervention by Harewood should have been welcomed by the moderator and used to share his vast knowledge as a former minister of government. It is ironic that the Nation newspaper cited the IMF working paper in an article  credited to Gregory Hinkson a former manager of Investments at the NIS Investment and specialist in pension investment analysis titled  Social Security under pressure. Someone should assure Murray that the analysis of the IMF staffers was supported by the 2011 Actuarial Review.

Listen at 17:17 into the recording to hear the exchange between Murray and Harewood.

The management of the NIS fund has been targeted by the BU community over the years –the  burning issue remains the unavailability of recent financials of the fund and the late disclosure of the 15th Actuarial Review as at 2014.  It is instructive under Concluding Remarks on page 18 of the working paper the IMF recommends, ‘’Finally, it is imperative that the authorities begin to build national awareness of the fiscal risk associated with the pension schemes and the need for reforms. At a minimum, the actuarial deficits should be systematically monitored and reported to the public with more frequency and a degree of detail to allow proper evaluation of the fiscal risk’’.

BU suspects Murray needs to understand what exhausted reserves by 2037 means AND VOB should apologize to Harewood by inviting him to make his point without fear of moderator harassment.


  • Yes, David but Murray controls the conversation……..

    Have you ever heard him how he carries on the Statsman but would allow Affa and the Pollman to talk the same nonsense every week…….the Pollman went on for about 15 minutes one day saying absolutely nothing of consequence and I was stunned when he ask him….it that all for now, do you have anything else to say?

    …………yet Statsman who brings facts is roughed up by Murray case in point the day Statsman dared to talk about Murray’s idol and god, OSA and the advisory post he was to get. He eventually apologised to the listening public for his behaviour but not to Statsman.

    Murray needs to be fair and stop interrupting callers, he needs to have a dialogue but give the callers time to make thir point instead of butting in and stammering………..his programmes are boring and I tend not to listen but follow the chat whose chatters are not so kind to him.

    Murray’s problem is that OSA hates Mia so he would never entertain any discussion favourable to the BLP……………a party that made him……..according to Wesley!


  • The DLP sycophant from Strakers Tenantry,Arthur,Wesley,the BLP sycophant whose handle I don’t know but who thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread,they all should be banned from VOB.They can call CBC,I dont ever listen to CBC.


  • I am AWARE that: “The talk show is controlled by the producer who an employee of the station and NOT the moderator.”

    However, judging from the way some callers are treated, it is obvious that the moderator may “signal” the producer to “cut” that caller or intervene to control the discussion.

    Case in point, Murray usually treats certain callers in a particular manner, especially those he thinks are supporters of Mia Mottley. The caller known as “Stats Man” reminded listeners of a statement he alleged Murray made in 2014, when Owen Arthur was still a member of the BLP. He told Murray that his position has changed since OSA left the BLP and has now become defensive of the DLP. Murray muttered something and quickly ended the conversation.

    Was that action imitated by the producer?


  • *** Was that action initiated by the producer?


  • Agree with you but all your example highlights is a producer who is not doing their job well. In the case of Harewood the producer should have whispered in the headphones let hm make his point. Note when Anti America calls Denis Johnson says nothing because the producer allows him to speak even though Johnson prefers not to for whatever reason.


  • @ David
    As Bushie said from the VERY beginning, Murray is a square peg in the wrong hole. He is the very WORSE choice as a moderator.
    His voice, temperament, attitude, political bias, stuttering, mumbling and hesitant speech ALL shout that he is a bad fit….
    Who ever INSISTS that he be kept in that role is clearly trying to make someone else look good in comparison.

    It is like the old trick that HR managers play to get around people like Caswell…
    In order to give a job to your mediocre friend or family member, you shortlist six other ‘applicants’, each of whom is so much worse, … that your ‘planned selectee’ is easily the ‘best candidate’.
    Murray is obviously there to make Peter of the “poles’ look like a top pick… 🙂

    You know that DJ is one of Bushie’s favourites, but his approach to Mr. Anti American is downright CHILDISH. Mr. AA is a top notch call-in contributor who brings creative, fresh perspectives. Why these moderators feel that THEY must agree with, or even understand, a particular perspective in order to entertain a caller …is beyond the bushman….

    Perhaps the whole point is that the show is targeted for low-rate brass bowls with predictable positions – mostly on parochial politics….

    Like most things in Barbados…. it is, and has been, doomed to mediocrity.


  • When the history of the 20th century is written,it should be recorded that JMGM ‘Tom’ Adams bestrode the political landscape of Barbados like a colossus despite his shortlived oversight.His regional and international reputation outshone most if not all Barbados offered.One at ease in perpetuum,the epitome of an engaging personality.


  • @ David

    What are your thoughts on creating duty free zones and increasing departure, cruise visitor head taxes and import taxes, as recommended by the Foreign Exchange Working Group of the Social Partnership?


  • @Artax

    Have no problem with increasing departure tax NOT arriving.

    Given the fact we need to attract businesses and increase exports Barbados should have established Free Zones a long time ago.

    On Sun, Apr 23, 2017 at 2:09 PM, Barbados Underground wrote:



  • @ David


    But as it relates to the duty free zones, since many of the items to be sold duty free will be obviously imported, how would creating duty free zones generate any significant amounts of additional foreign exchange?

    If certain locations in the island are set aside as duty free zones where US$ for example, is used to buy the items, this essentially creates a “dollarization” of those zones.


  • @Artax

    Free Zone with this definition:

    Free zones generally fall into one of four categories: free trade zones, export processing zones, special economic zones, or industrial zones. Free trade zones, typically located near seaports or airports, mainly offer exemptions from national import and export duties on goods that are re-exported. Local services gain, though there is little, if any, value added to the goods traded. Export processing zones go a step further by focusing on exports with a significant value added, rather than only on re-exports. Special economic zones apply a multisectoral development approach and focus on both domestic and foreign markets. They offer an array of incentives including infrastructure, tax and custom exemptions, and simpler administrative procedures. Industrial zones are targeted at specific economic activities, say media or textiles, with infrastructure adapted accordingly. – See more at:


  • It seems as though Marla Dukharan made similar observations, and her views and analysis were explicit, as outlined in “Barbados Budget & Outlook 2017”

    “Regarding duty-free zones, the Minister spoke of the establishment of a committee to research and possibly implement various duty-free zones to encourage more shopping domestically, less travel for shopping abroad, and to encourage more inflows of US dollars. While this measure might encourage some of the USD being held informally or ‘under the mattress’ in Barbados, to be spent by domestic consumers in the duty-free zones, I have a bit of concern that this is unlikely to generate meaningful additional foreign exchange inflows into Barbados, because most of the goods that would be sold on a duty-free basis in Barbados to foreigners and locals would be imported anyway.”

    “The second thing about this measure is the earmarking of certain zones where you can shop on a duty-free basis but only in hard currency – which to me means that you are, in effect, dollarizing certain zones in your country, and I am not sure I understand how that is going to work, in practice. This approach seems somewhat complicated to me, and I actually think that if your aim is to encourage higher net inflows of USD, -it might be easier to just relax some foreign exchange restrictions, allowing USD deposits for example, or to just completely dollarize, or perhaps to even devalue the currency. But the latter is not a policy option that the Barbados authorities are prepared to entertain.”


  • @Artax

    Aren’t they seeking to soak up USD from the market? Foreign dolalrs are being spent informally anyway to transact locally.


  • I was wondering how long it would take for Team BU to get around to Mr Murray. Without doubt he must have been a good journalist when he practiced the craft and would probably still be master of the written word BUT broadcasting is not his forte. This is no reflection on him personally, he just does not make the cut, with or without prejudices. Someone also mentioned Mr Babb as an unsuitable voice for radio and with that observation I totally agree. One sometimes wonders what is the selection criteria at our media houses for on-air talent – audio and video. Are our standards so low that all one is required to do is sit behind a mike or in front of a camera and let loose? Tone of voice, modulation, fluency, pronunciation, visual impact all seem to be non-existent in the selection process….and I haven’t even broached the main topic under discussion yet.


  • @ FearPlay
    You are correct.
    There are no standards, mediocrity is king, and shiite rules the airways.

    The VERY worse are the so-called DJs…. these, generally, represent the crudest, lowest, most class-less, currish, and apparently minimally educated among us….. and the music that they generally choose to promote displays a desire to reach UPWARDS towards the gutter.

    The News people are pathetic…. led by Stetson…. whose forte is in interviewing a neighbour who ‘was not a witness’; was ‘not at home’; barely knows the victim …. but goes on at length during the news brief… about what they brought for dinner two weeks ago….

    Not to blame Starcom, because Bushie has long established that OCM is a foreign-owned vehicle that has been purchased as a mechanism for the destruction of Barbados in the interest of some ‘One Caribbean’ entity.

    Bushie is still trying to assess their latest mystery move….
    …bringing Maurice Norville to do radio duties….

    Lotta shiite!!
    This man is smooth, cultured, a pleasure to listen to…., uplifting and classy.
    All it does is highlight even more, the crassness of the other Dog Jobby (DJs)…
    Why would they do that??!!

    Perhaps it is a new and dastardly phase of our subjugation by our new Tricki masters…
    Who knows…???!!





  • @Bush Tea April 23, 2017 at 7:51 AM ” Mr. Anti American is downright CHILDISH. Mr. AA is a top notch call-in contributor who brings creative, fresh perspectives. ”

    No he isn;t.

    He is more like Mr. Predictable.

    Same old, same old,same old.


  • @Gabriel April 23, 2017 at 7:52 AM “When the history of the 20th century is written,it should be recorded that JMGM ‘Tom’ Adams bestrode the political landscape of Barbados like a colossus”

    The bell ring eva since.

    Ya can go home from worshiping Tom now.

    Cuh dear. The man has been dead, dead, dead for a few generations now.


  • For those who missed the exchange the audio is updated to the blog.


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