Unfunded Government Pension a Worry

Fiscal Problem In Barbados ! eb2d17288e33d24ec34a90fd04dca0d0 Dr. Justin Robinson recently shared some interesting information on Facebook, he attempted to breakout government expenditure and revenues – see the presentation, ‘facts on the Fiscal Situation in Barbados last 20 years. A focus on Transfers and Subsidies‘.

Successive governments have been challenged by the size of the transfers and subsidies allocation and it has become more so in the last decade given the fiscal challenges being experienced. Although out of the scope the blogmaster used the opportunity to question the chairman of the NIS about government’s non NIS pension liability. Private registered pension plans AND the NIS receive input from actuaries to inform the level of funding required to ensure they are able to meet future obligations.

It is an open secret the pension plan which covers statutory agencies, members of parliament and other public sector agencies continue to be a significant pension expense for government. From arms distance the fund appears to be ‘under-funded’. This is the interesting point of the exchange on Facebook with the Chairman.

David King Interesting to see how you sliced the time series Sir. Was this by special request?
Justin Robinson I just went decade by decade
David King Do you have analysis of the pension expense for the same period for public sector separated by MPs, PSs, and other grades? Any info at all?
Justin Robinson the pensions were only broken out as a separate line item from the years shown. we can make some inferences. There is supposed to have been a sharp increase in retirements in the last five years or so.
Justin Robinson I am hoping that a comprehensive reform program is part of the campaign, so we can get buy in from the populace.
David King The concern by many is the existing burgeoning pension obligation.
Justin Robinson the unfunded pensions in the public service is a major issue that needs to be addressed. No doubt about that one. With pensions and interest, there has been less flexibility in terms of public expenditure than many think.
David King How is the pension managed? Who has oversight? Is it that the government has recourse to fund therefore there is no legal obligation to ensure the plan is adequately funded?
Justin Robinson the pensions mentioned are those not covered by the NIS.
Justin Robinson the public sector has a fairly large legacy of noncontributory pensions.
Justin Robinson as Philip mentioned persons have legal entitlements that were never part of a contributory scheme.
See full exchange on Facebook page – FB Senate

This is a highly technical issue and one worthy of public discourse to ensure an ignorant public is educated about one of the more hidden liabilities taxpayers and their children will have to honour in years to come. Here is a link to the approved 2017 -2018 Government Estimates. Select the Find option and enter the word pension, the size of the pension expense  of government will shock you.

The blogmaster is hopeful the BU intelligentsia will assist with the defogging of the issue.

105 thoughts on “Unfunded Government Pension a Worry


  1. A question please. Will each of the current Government Ministers aged over 50 and having served two terms qualify for a pension for life and will they pay tax on this? What is the current pension payable?


    • Adrian, see response from Caswell:

      A parliamentarian qualifies for a pension after serving 8 years. They qualify for a maximum pension after serving 12 years. Public officers qualify a pension after serving 10 years. They qualify for their maximum pension after serving thirty-three and one-third years. Workers at statutory boards qualify for a maximum pension after 40 years

      Pension Gratuity
      P.M. 8,465.65 423,282.50

      Minister (8 years) 4,761.94 238,096.88

      Minister (12 years) 6,349.35 317,462.50

      Parl Sec (8 years) 4,622.70 231,134.81

      Parl Sec (12 years) 6,163.58 303,179.17

      Please note the 8 and 12 years relate to time served in the House, not necessarily as a minister or parliamentary secretary. In order to qualify for a pension at the level of a minister or parliamentary secretary, an MP only has to serve in either of those capacities for three months.


  2. “….the unfunded pensions in the public service is a major issue that needs to be addressed. No doubt about that one. With pensions and interest, there has been less flexibility in terms of public expenditure than many think.”

    This obvious ‘fact’ has been known for decades now; probably going back to the Tom Adams administration which saw it as a sleeping fiscal monster. Grantley S could attest.

    The question is what will be done (implemented) to ‘address’ the problem which will soon blow up fiscally in the government’s face?

    Will there be the political will to implement what the current MoF proposed as a
    ‘partial’ solution to stem the rising fiscal tide by making contributions by existing employees mandatory (workplace pension as in the UK) or all future workers made responsible for their own pension arrangements outside of their NIS obligations?

    The impending burden from the 1950’s baby boomers must be faced head-on immediately.

    Walter Blackman has been warning us for a long time now.

    We all know what is going to happen sooner or later. If nothing is done sooner, then later the IMF will be removing these unfunded entitlements.


    • @Miller

      Is this ‘contingent liability’ read expenditure albatross addressed in the government’s soon to be released Recovery Plan?

      Note to be fair to this government it had to expense an extraordinary pension item to pay BDF monies.


  3. Adrian Loveridge January 19, 2018 at 8:15 AM #

    A question please. Will each of the current Government Ministers aged over 50 and having served two terms qualify for a pension for life and will they pay tax on this? What is the current pension payable?(Quote)

    Are we not debating how to get the best out of a corrupt system? It is this pensions for life system that attracts lawyers like bees to honey.
    What we need is to get rid of the pensions for life and replace them with a pay-off for those MPs who have lost their seats.
    I have previously suggested a six-month resettlement grant, based on their annual fees (MPs do not get salaries since they are not employees). This will get rid of the problem.
    Or, in Bajan style, we prefer to discuss the minutiae of a systems that is not fit for purpose.


  4. We need to cut these pensions by at least 50 % in order to liberate the Barbadian taxpayer, who is the slave of 21st century.

    No pain, no gain. All these bureaucratic plantocrats should not complain, since they have done nothing for Barbados. Only hot air, talk, debt.


  5. @ David January 19, 2018 at 8:55 AM

    Government is a continuum except when it comes to ‘wastefully’ discretionary spending areas like funding football tournaments and useless parasitic constituency councils while the sewage system is breaking down.

    The BDF is one area which is ripe for restructuring. It is just a luxury for power-drunk politicians which the 2×3 country can no longer afford in its current fiscal straightjacket.

    This is one area where Hal Austin makes ‘affordable’ dollar and sense contributions.

    BTW, that much overdue self-designed homegrown “recovery plan” will be nothing but another ‘unimplementable’ incarnation of the same MoF’s December 2013 recovery plan still to be implemented.

    But do you really feel the kind of ‘austere’ plan which is needed to stem the current fiscal hemorrhaging and foreign reserves bleeding can be presented to the public for ‘ratification’ just before elections are due?

    Maybe De liar Worrell is being surreptitiously ‘re-employed’ as a political consultant to psychologically prepare the people for what is on the fiscal cards after they return to office the DLP.


    • @Miller

      This unfunded pension issue as your alluded in a comment above straddles administrations. We have to discuss the matter in context. It is too serious a matter to be framed in a partisan way.


  6. David

    Some years ago we warned you that large corporations or HNW individuals were fixing to buy countries through the assumption of debt. That Barbados may soon receive offers to change it’s name, national anthem etc from well known brands.

    Bill Gates is starting with Nigeria – https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/bill-gates-promised-to-pay-off-this-countrys-dollar76-million-debt-—-now-hes-doing-it/ar-AAuRIkk?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

    Amazon has received an offer from a US county to change its name to that of the corporation if it relocates a warehouse.

    Capitalism gone mad?

    Maybe these pensions could be so paid!


  7. “They qualify for a maximum pension after serving 12 years. ”

    See how greedy ministers have been, now dont they think if they had done their jobs as SERVANTS and not uncaring masters of the people, the electorate would have been willing to give them a maximum pension, well they blew that one.

    They gotta change the structure of these pension payments, they look like welfare and handouts whether the ministers work or not..,.and we know there are a lot of…or nots…

    ……..so tie minister’s accomplishments over the life of their parliamentary stints to payments…or they dont get anything

    No more free lunches, no wonder politicians all clamor with their mouth filled with lies to the people, jostling to be elected.


  8. …..so tie minister’s accomplishments over the life of their parliamentary stintsSHOULD BE TIED to THESE payments…or they dont get anything


  9. @ David January 19, 2018 at 10:19 AM

    Isn’t the same chair of the NIS operating in a “partisan” way by not belling the cat and failing to tell it like it is?

    This is 2018 and the NIS financials for many years are still outstanding.

    How can he talk or pronounce about pensions or on whatever fiscal or financial problem without ‘objective’ information to base his decisions or for that matter, any other users that require information to make serious decisions?

    Shouldn’t he be considering ‘resignation’ before he is forced to, like Worrell?
    He, along with Worrell and Alleyne, has contributed tremendously to the current parlous state of fiscal and monetary affairs because of the obsequious silence in allowing the MoF to screw-up the entire country.

    Look at how Worrell is now trying to behave like a professional 4 years too late.

    Would he be assigning blame to ‘somebody else’ after the IMF takes over?

    It has been an overly long time that he, as the head of a committee, submitted a report in respect of the restructuring of the SOE’s requested by the MoF 4 years ago.

    Now what has happened since then? Isn’t the unfunded pension problem an integral part of the same SOE’s funding scenario?

    The political circus is in town; so there is only smoke and mirrors, fun and games, concerts and free food to be taken seriously. Not the fiscal emergency required to save the country from economic meltdown and Devaluation to wipe the smiles of their faces.


  10. UNFUNDED PENSIONS are not an issue. Let all unfunded pension plans collapse, justice for all the lazy assed civil servants, politicians, board etc. employees that have been living off the avails of taxpayers for years. HARSH JUSTICE but justified, what goes around comes around.


  11. Civil Servants’ pensions were always charges on the Consolidated Fund. They are now to be paid from the NIS ;and GOB and the beneficiaries are to make contributions going forward.

    What is so difficult to understand ?

    Most state corporations were supposed to have their own pension schemes like the private sector corporations. Did somebody drop the ball again?

    Tom Adams envisioned this move years ago. As I said in a previous intervention we are just bouncing from pillar to post like atomic particles. There is no conceptual difference. We have to finance both schemes collectively. David you may be preconceiving a non problem.


    • @Bernard

      There is a science to funding pension plans as far as our layman’s understanding goes. With an ageing customer base offsetting pension expenditures from the consolidated fund with the prevailing state of affairs this is not sustainable is it?


  12. @David

    Any pensioner “that deserves a pension” can go and complain to their BDLP Management to see if any member is willing to part with his/her Mercedes, BMW, Foreign Bank Account etc. to pay poor civil servants pension.

    You want to let your politicians operate with immunity then you’ll have to be prepared for the consequences. HARSH JUSTICE. Bajan’s have been beggars since colonial days, they have it down to a science, go practice on your DBLP overlords.

    One of the basic laws of science is “EVERY ACTION HAS AN EQUAL RE-ACTION”, welcome to the reality re-action.


    • @Wily

      Targeting the benefits of the public servant is not the best approach. This is not where the problem is located.


  13. @David

    Another Wily Coyote prophesy ” New Government Insurance Company RES LIFE is doomed to failure”, my estimate gives them no more than 3 years to join CLICO in bankruptcy. This 3 year estimate could be much sooner depending on the pending Financial Collapse of the Barbadian Government.


    • The insurance ‘brand’ has taken a beating let us wait to see if there is a public education program to address this challenge.


  14. It is very important to understand what we are dealing with before we attempt to correct apparent malfunction. As Miller said in an earlier contribution:” There is good reason why we do not let monkeys play with guns”.


  15. are there no quarterly reviews of employees performances, they are ALL employees of the people and should be getting quarterly or biannual assessments on their job performances…

    this includes government ministers who sees their job titles and salaries as some kinda entitlement without showing their employers, the people, what they have achieved or accomplished every cycle. before having access to these bloated pensions.


  16. A decade, the world went through a period of pensions reforms; Barbados even brought in the 2003 Act which all its faults.
    It failed to capitalise on the reforms that had taken place: 1981 in Chile, the New Zealand Kiwisaver, the Australian superannuation, the UK stakeholder, the US 401(k). There have also been reforms in Poland, Hungary, Germany, France and others.
    Why do we have to try to re-invent the wheel when it comes to social policy? All we have to do in the current circumstances, in regard to MPs salaries, is to commit the leading parties shaping up for the general election to a reform of the system before the election.
    We have a good idea they would not: remember their recently voting for a pay increase.
    Until something fundamental is done, the talk is just hot air. It is like giving the prime minister and governor general a 100 per cent pension. In the case of the GG, after a successful professional career.


  17. I am lost in interpreting the numbers provided.

    The reader is told, when dissecting T&S as an expense category, it comprises of
    *Grants to public institutions
    *Retiring Benefits – Public Servants Pensions
    *Subsidies
    *Grants to individuals – principally constituted of support to the welfare department and support for bursaries for children in some private schools through the ministry of education , as well as national development scholarships.
    *Grants to non-profit organizations
    *Subscriptions and contributions

    Then a numerical breakout is provided, titled 2000-2016 Major Transfers (does this include subsidies?). The glaring change occurs in 2010-11 when category “Grants to Individuals” goes from 0 in prior years to $304M, and continues as an expense annually thereafter. And the total within category listed items DOUBLES. It is also in this year the column title “Share” kicks in.

    Based upon the descriptions provided, there is a disconnect. WHAT changed in reporting in 2010-11 year? And where are the retiring benefits included?


  18. I suspect Mr.Loveridge would know this. I see 4 ‘tourism focused’ related entries…the BTA (which in unrecognised in the State Owned entity listing, but I think is the Barbados Tourist Authority?), the BTMI, the BTPA, and BTII.

    I thought the BTMI and BTPA were to replace the BTA? Yet under fiscal 2015-16 I see numbers associated with each. I note the BTMI+BTPA = BTA. Isn’t this double entries? I suspect the BTA should have gone to $0.


  19. Also noted is prior to 2012-13 the expense related to BAMC Barbados Agricultural Management Company, was $0? In 2012-13 it appears as a $27M item, increasing annually to $56M in 2015-16.
    I note for the fiscal year ended June 2013, it was the TWENTIETH annual report.
    https://www.barbadosparliament.com/uploads/sittings/attachments/f45b56de9c0e4e489ee6807ee3ac26b2.pdf

    What changed in reporting?
    Readers will also note from the Annual Report p6 a $13M NIS loan, and an ANSA Bank bond for ‘up to’ $72.5. [I have been told frequently ANSA has been funding the GoB, I just never knew how]


  20. @John [or anyone who knows]
    because you know about things agricultural and sugar. How do these various bodies relate?
    Barbados Cane Industry Corporation (BCIC)
    Cane Industry Restructuring Project (BCIRP)
    Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC)
    Barbados Agricultural Credit Trust Ltd (BACT)
    never heard of this before…last report I can find, says BAMC is a subsidiary https://www.barbadosparliament.com/uploads/sittings/attachments/a865d9c4a6e9b68339ee879a3c80a6b8.pdf.

    [I omitted Barbados Agricultural Development & marketing Corporation (BAMDC), for I believe that is non sugar related?]


  21. The FSCS guarantees all personal investments to the tune of £85000; so, if a bank or insurance company collapses then the FSCS will pay out within days. So investors spread their money around. There is a short window, for example, people who have sold real estate and have to bank the money, but they must move it fairly quickly.


  22. @ David at 1 :58 PM

    Yes there is a science to retiree pensions. It is in Demography and Actuarial Science. An aging population becomes a dying population to whom no pension is paid. So in a sense it is sustainable.


    • @Bernard

      Doesn’t the science factor the mortality rate? Is it about dying per s and not funding? The numbers in the Estimates clearly show it is growing.


  23. NorthernObserver January 19, 2018 at 5:02 PM #

    and so the claims?…when one of the investments approved by HMRC goes bad?

    What exactly do you mean?


  24. @ David at 5:22 PM

    Where in this submission is the pension transfer figures ? You asked for them and they were not provided.
    The age of retirement was raised by a factor higher than the mortality rate was increasing/improving.
    In addition Public Servants will now be under the unified pension scheme, receiving in the future one NIS pension like the rest of the private sector pensioners.

    A significant number of retired public servants do not live to enjoy pensions for too many years after retiring.

    So we need to see the figures before we rush to judgement.


  25. @ David

    Time and time again I have warned you about framing of points in arguments. Transfer for Pensions was put top of that list,and you assumed that it comprised the largest portion of transfers. Soi did I .


  26. My interim comment, beyond questions already raised, is in researching the various SOE’s mentioned, one reasonably consistent factor is the lack or absence of timely reporting.
    Much seems to come via barabados parliament links, for which I cannot find a common front door.
    https://www.barbadosparliament.com/htmlarea/uploaded/File/Needhams%20Point%20Holdings%20Annual%20Report%202012.pdf
    https://www.barbadosparliament.com/htmlarea/uploaded/File/Needham%20Point%20Dev't%20Inc%20Annual%20Report%202012.pdf
    https://www.barbadosparliament.com/uploads/sittings/attachments/b04983771184954fa54b72f10948e617.pdf

    Hence one has no way of knowing the most recent, beyond Google.


  27. I suspect we are all at the same point?

    Bernard Codrington January 19, 2018 at 5:40 PM #
    @ David at 5:22 PM
    Where in this submission is the pension transfer figures ?
    NorthernObserver January 19, 2018 at 2:40 PM #
    And where are the retiring benefits included?


  28. I hadn’t read the FB exchange…..”Dr JR: the pensions were only broken out as a separate line item from the year shown. we can make some inferences.”

    Hence are we to infer “Grants to Individuals”,referenced earlier, is Pensions? And if they were “broken out” what were the broken out OF, as I see no corresponding deductions of that magnitude.
    Glad to see VH is alive and well.


  29. On AG report….good point. Cannot necessarily SEE them, but when I find 2008, it is helpful to know if 2009 onward are available.


  30. @ David at 5:52 PM

    I am not sure what Dr .Robinson’s point is as it relates to unfunded public sector pensions. You are the person who said it was unsustainable. I would need to have the facts to agree or disagree with your position.

    An “unfunded” pension is sustainable both in the Private and Public sectors as long as they are budgeted for and the entities generate the revenues to effect the transfers.


    • @Bernard

      We seem to be going around in circles. Based on what we know of the financial health of SOEs cant we agree unfunded pension is a worry?


  31. @BC…from the FB exchange
    “Justin Robinson: the unfunded pensions in the public service is a major issue that needs to be addressed. No doubt about that one. With pensions and interest, there has been less flexibility in terms of public expenditure than many think”

    The point he makes repeatedly…”Justin Robinson: in my opinion the adjustments going forward have to be based on expenditure reductions. the nature of these cuts will require a political mandate”


  32. @ David at 6 : 57 PM

    My short answer is no.

    A pension is an agreed condition of employment and is a binding contract that should be fulfilled and GOB should set an example. It is illegal and political unacceptable not to do so.

    Whereas a private company may claim /file for bankruptcy, a Government is continuous and cannot walk away from its obligations.

    These SOES when they were part of the Civil Service were funded from the Consolidated Fund via taxes. Somebody got hoisted by his own petard.

    @ Northern at 7 :10 PM

    I would have to see these excerpts in their context to understand what Dr Robinson intended to say.” Expenditure reductions” cannot translate to pension cuts. But he is quite right that there is less ( I say no) flexibility in terms of public expenditure.

    Even in a private bankruptcy wages and pensions rank before all other debt obligations.

    I hope this makes clear my position on this matter.


  33. NorthernObserver January 19, 2018 at 6:50 PM #

    Hence are we to infer “Grants to Individuals”,referenced earlier, is Pensions?

    No. A pension is legally defined as delayed pay, not a ‘grant’ from your employer.. In the UK pensions became a problem when they were shifted from under the umbrella of HR to that of the finance director, where they appear on the books. So, as in Carillion, we her a lot about pensions deficit.
    So the idea of an unfunded pension is a misnomer.


  34. @ David

    I still require the dollar values of transfers for pensions over the period. I deal in facts not assumptions.


  35. Bernard Codrington January 19, 2018 at 7:50 PM #

    Even in a private bankruptcy wages and pensions rank before all other debt obligations.

    In the UK, if a company goes in to bankruptcy with a defined benefit pension deficit, it is usually taken over by the Pensions Protection Fun, a lifeboat. Those pensions that are already in payment continue to be paid, those not yet in payment automatically lose ten per cent of the pension promise.
    Since a defined contribution pension member carries the risk, the problem is different. It depends on the performance of the investments.


  36. @ Hal Austin at 7:51 PM

    I agree with you. A pension is a delayed salary and not a grant. It is decided in the same manner as a condition of engagement. So any future politician looking to that as a solution will be upsetting both law and convention.


  37. Bernard Codrington January 19, 2018 at 7:56 PM #

    I still require the dollar values of transfers for pensions over the period. I deal in facts not assumptions. (Quote)

    Pensions are based on actuarial assumptions. So the transfer value is an estimated value, based on an assumed growth figure, currently seven per cent annual growth..


  38. @ Hal Austin at 8 :03 PM

    There is a misunderstanding.
    Transfers is a line item in the Expenditure of the GOB Estimates. I need to see whether the provision for public pensions have increased over the ten year period as is implied in the article by David. I also need to see whether it coincided with the raising of the age to retirement. In any case it would be balanced by lower salaries in a process of staff reduction.


  39. @ALL

    Question — assume BARBADOS devalues it’s currency from 3:1 to say 10:1, what happens to the unfunded pensions. As the majority of BARBADOS debt is locally held then I suspect the unfunded pensions are now no longer a big issue, right or wrong. Debt was accumulated at 3:1 and after devaluation is payable at 10:1, instant 300+% saving.

    Local debt settlement is easier dealt with than forgien debt, ie: you piss off your local populace vs incur the wrath of the sanctioning international bodies.

    Food for thought.


  40. Bernard Codrington January 19, 2018 at 8:41 PM #

    Transfers is a line item in the Expenditure of the GOB Estimates….

    In conventional pension speak the transfer value is the value attached to a pension pot which is being moved to another manager. For example, you have worked for Coca Cola for 20 years and got a job with Pepsi and seek to transfer your pension to Pepsi. You will have to get a transfer value – Coca Cola will try to give you as little as possible, Pepsi will want as much as possible.
    Pension accounting is a specialist area and not one that most experienced actuaries and consultants will ever try to understand. In Barbados we do things differently.

    @ Wily Coyote

    Question — assume BARBADOS devalues it’s currency from 3:1 to say 10:1, what happens to the unfunded pensions…

    Over the last year, the US dollar (Bajan dollar) has plunged to its lowest level in three years against a basket of trade-weighted currencies. In other words, there has been a devaluation, something that has not been discussed in parliament, the traditional media, or the blogs. During this time, the S&P 500 has returned over 21 per cent, including dividends. (plse get the NIS to explain this against its investment policy).
    Worst of all, our academic economists seem not to even realise that is economy is fluctuating like a seesaw.
    Endogenous debt is not a big problem, it can be inflated away – at great political risk – by flooding the market with dollars. The government can also do a deal with the NUPW and other public-sector union: productivity growth for wage growth.


  41. @ Hal at 9:09 PM

    Please reread the submission and the tables in the attachment. Transfers in this context relates to transfers from the Consolidated Fund to State Owned Institutions such as QEH, IDC. BAMC etc.


  42. @BC
    Dr Robinson is referring to ALL EXPENDITURES, He is not promoting one over another, or even suggesting Pensions be cut. What he does say is pension expense is significant.

    His greater point, on which I gravitate, is the need for a “political mandate”, which I infer to mean “a mandate to perform these cuts” because, the current administration did NOT run on that platform. Hence, he would like to see the various parties run on such a platform. I think this is a pipe dream.

    I would contend, any party which is duly elected, has the mandate to RUN the financial affairs of the country as they see fit. The current administration did not run on increasing NSRL?

    What boggles my mind, and his efforts to ‘extract information’ are valiant and admirable, beg the question, why is this information not easily and currently available. Why are so many of these SOE’s and statutory bodies years behind in Reporting?


    • Dr. Robinson reported that there was not breakdown in the T&S figure. Another guarded bit of information?


  43. Let me see if I have this right. According to David’s and Caswell’s, figures then each Minister who has served at least 8 years and is 50 years of age and has a possible life expectancy of 30 years will be paid over BDS$7.15 million in pension. I pose the question again – is this taxable like the rest of us?


    • Also the MPs qualify for pension 17 years before other pubic officers. The pension is taxable. Shouldn’t public officers be concerned about this trivia?


  44. Bernard Codrington January 19, 2018 at 9:34 PM #

    Please reread the submission and the tables in the attachment. Transfers in this context relates to transfers from the Consolidated Fund to State Owned Institutions such as QEH, IDC. BAMC etc.(Quote)

    I have re-read it. The principle is the same. If the original pensions came from the Consolidated Fund, there was a cost; if responsibility then is transferred to a statutory body, that cost is transferred.
    The estimated cost of the transfer is then calculated actuarially. It helps to forget the terms Consolidated Fund and statutory organisations. Think that the cost is being transferred from one pension provider to another.
    The calculation is then based on the actuarial metrics.


  45. They got to start tying good performance and stellar accomplishments to ministers accessing these bloated pensions, they have all become too accustomed to doing very little work and gaining access to millions for being lazy during their tenures…while selling out the people to the highest bidders for the duration….this has happened for decades.

    One really disgraceful example….Mara Thompson, lazy, incompetent, lacking vision, did absolutely nothing for St. John as MP for St. John, yet she got the audacity to still be drawing not only a widow’s pension, but also a salary…at taxpayer’s expense,…..

    ……add her to the other useless, avaricious ministers from Fruendel on down and the taxpayers have been robbed blind for 10 long years..and will be robbed until these parasitic ministers leave the earth.

    No one would mind if they all had stellar performances and their accomplishments were obvious, but no, they lie, they steal, they cheat, they are arrogant, deceitful and pompous, they live to grow yardfowls only and ignore and refuse to discourse with the people who elect them about the people’s business.

    The electorate must demand better representation. …and accountability regarding distribution of pensions and salaries to ministers, senators and all parliamentarians and civil servants who do no work and only live to serve themselves.

    After all, it’s still the taxpayers who pay them all and always will be.


  46. As it is, and may continue for sometime, the parasite politicians, will come and go. karma even allowed the people to see the live show of a pitiful looking former PM in the parliament yard


  47. @Adrian

    Taking into account the thousands OF HIGH PAID LOW WORK civil servants, ministers, board retirees etc. and the future 30 year liabilities are in the BILLIONS.

    My proposal to let the unfunded pension plans collapse make more sense now.


  48. Fractured
    Trinidad in trouble because like the DLP, Kamla’s government was reckless and all about PR stunts. But Trinidad has a stabilisation fund with USD 5700 million though and gas prices on the up. In our case, Sandals will continue to operate tax free, keep most of their money off-shore and we’ll get departure tax and little spend from the all-inclusive traveller. The RH PR is over!!😜


  49. Since the parasite MPs made the pension situation unfair , what has change, and how much concerned must john public be ? it seems the 17 years advantage is a curse to them.


  50. Wily, agreed.

    We need a total financial default to get rid of all local liabilities. We need a second independence day.

    Otherwise the plantocrats will go on enslaving the Barbadian taxpayer. The local elite, consisting of ministers, judges, high bureaucrats and their families and courtesans are free to move to Panama, Venezuela or Liberia to find new hosts to suck out. The same for all false businessmen wining for the taxpayer´s money.


  51. Enuff

    Barbados in the current economic straits because of Liz Thompson & Mia Mottley bad development strategies ,

    Here is the clearest example :

    • Greenland. – $ 150 million wasted on a project that cannot be used after 20 years

    Yet tax payers still have to repay the debt up to this day .

    • Dodds prison – $ 700 million used to build this prison when MAM refused to heed advice to improve conditions at Glendairy

    Every January for the next 20 years tax payers have to look for $ 30 million to repay this debt

    Now can you imagine these 2 powderpuff GIRLS…….asking rational thinking Barbadians to return them to office ???

    Listen carefully……..Bajans had ENUFF … of these thieves !!!!


  52. Fractured,

    You should also mention Lord Nelson, the Romans, aliens and dinosaurs. Surely, they are also responsible for the present malaise under the blue narrative.

    And do not worry that XY could steal any money from the taxpayer. The country is already drained and impoverised. There is nothing left for theft but shattered dreams and ruins.


  53. @ David at 8 :41 AM

    Are you suggesting that the pension arrangements for ministers and politicians be reviewed going forward from 2018? I thought I was the quintessential optimist on this blog. But maybe Solutions will get a couple of seats if they add it to their manifesto.


  54. Politicians should be rewarded for their GOOD performance in service to Barbados.

    How many members of parliament have served the country well ?

    Overpaid. Under performing parliamentarians do not deserve the pensions they are going to collect.

    Barbados is not Brunei.


  55. Fractured
    Barbados debt didn’t start in 1994-2008. If after 10 years y’all still blaming the BLP for borrowing, notwithstanding wunna borrowed twice as much but with little to show, it is obvious wunna incompetent and need to go. Simple things that don’t require money wunna failed to do–like the promised regular press conferences, transparency etc. Wunna can’t even find candidates, as weeks before an election Todd has to be used to help complete the slate.😂😂 The PR stunting is over.


  56. “David January 20, 2018 at 7:13 AM #
    Dr. Robinson reported that there was not breakdown in the T&S figure. Another guarded bit of information?”

    What does ‘not breakdown in the T&S figure’ mean?


    • @NO

      You should give the Accountant General office a call on Tuesday to seek information on breaking out the T&S number.


  57. @ David at 7 :13 AM

    Wearing my accounting hat( I am not a certified accountant) this Transferred and Subsidies line item seems to be akin to the Miscellaneous line item in corporate accounts in which items are hidden that should be disclosed.
    In economics the outliers are hidden in the last element in the linear equation represented by the Greek letter epsilon. If it is too large the reviewer asks for a dis-aggregation.

    To highlight that pensions as a significant contributor to GOB growing expenditure does require verification.


  58. @Blogmaster
    you should know one doesn’t accomplish much ‘on the phone’ in Bim. You have to go and see the people. Likely several times.

    The state of reporting in the public sector is at an all time low. Body after body with 1 annual report in the last 5 years. A few with zero. A few with 2. Almost none with all, the exceptions I have found are Deposit Insurance and Enterprise Growth Fund. The one common factor, is whenever an Annual Report is found, the term “despite the challenging economic conditions” will be found within the first 3 paragraphs.

    This is like throwing darts in the dark.


    • @Northern Observer

      Based on utterances from the minister of Finance Chris Sinckler that he is satisfied with the management accounts of the NIS we should not worry about the unavailability of audited financials.


  59. @ David January 20, 2018 at 12:48 PM

    So the external users of financial info ought to rely on the word of a man who is in charge of the country’s finances but who is incapable of telling us the difference between 0.07 and 0.7, either expressed as a percentage or fraction?

    If the management reports are so reliable for decision-making purposes what is so technically ‘constraining’ to be holding up the audited financials other than the too often recurring presence of too many ‘unexplainable’ expenditure / payment transactions in the audit trail.

    When the idiot is able to account for that missing $300 million in foreign reserves since 2013 then people might start taking his utterances with a grain of ‘sweetened’ salt instead of utter contempt.


  60. Enuff agreed Fractured Dunceand the Dems do not realise they are the Government as they still behaving like they are in opposition blaming everyone for their incompetence.The Dunce still harping about the prison and Greenland after 10 years in office,my god.I heard a Dem blaming heavy rain in 2016 for the problems on the South Coast.Last Sunday they had a PR show on Brass Tacks with Ms Haigh who is very good at PR and another lady talking about what should not be placed in the sewer but we need to hear from the engineers which I hope Starcom brings probably hosted by Mr Ellis instead of Mr Laynewho enabled those Guests to get away with murder last week.The other Talk show with the three Dems seems to be off the air which is good ,no longer listeners have to put up with loud mouth Mr Lovell or the pompous Dem Ms Holder.The Dems have borrowed twice as much as the Bees yet have not bought ,a Bus or Garbage Truck,so where has this borrowed money gone?


  61. @ Bernard Codrington January 20, 2018 at 12:06 PM #
    “Wearing my accounting hat( I am not a certified accountant) this Transferred and Subsidies line item seems to be akin to the Miscellaneous line item in corporate accounts in which items are hidden that should be disclosed.”

    You might not be wearing a well-known brand of ‘accounting’ hat but you sure do come over as a ‘seasoned’ connoisseur of the intricacies of public finances.

    And it is for that expert ‘inside’ knowledge we would wish you to unravel the below cited circulatory puzzle of a convoluted mystery of public sector pensions funding fabricated by our resident pension expert, the guru @ Hal Austin January 20, 2018 at 5:50 AM:

    “I have re-read it. The principle is the same. If the original pensions came from the Consolidated Fund, there was a cost; if responsibility then is transferred to a statutory body, that cost is transferred.

    The estimated cost of the transfer is then calculated actuarially. It helps to forget the terms Consolidated Fund and statutory organisations. Think that the cost is being transferred from one pension provider to another.
    The calculation is then based on the actuarial metrics.”

    We have been under the ‘mistaken’ impression that the funding of all public sector pensions was a call, either in the first or final analysis, on the Consolidated Fund.
    Where would continuously unprofitable permanently cash-strapped State-operated agencies find the cash flow to provide for pensions other than as transfers from Central Government via the Treasury?


  62. @ Enuff January 20, 2018 at 11:56 AM

    It sounds as if elections are in the air with a similar date to that in 2013.

    Unless the MoF has transmogrified from a pure-bred liar to a financial Houdini of finalizing budgets within a shortened’ time period we cannot see how he can present the mandatory Estimates and have them approved before Parliament comes to its Constitutionally-natural death at the end of the first week of March 2018.

    Clearly, the Estimates for the financial year 2018-2019 must reflect the fiscal adjustments necessary to execute his long overdue recovery plan and to meet IMF expectations.
    These fiscally austere projections certainly cannot be ‘rushed through either at the preparatory or debating level within the short period of the closing window available in the current Parliamentary session.


  63. @Blogmaster
    you know the line seen in shops….”in God we trust, all others kindly pay in cash”. HIS satisfaction is HIS business, and it should not be ‘in lieu of’.
    How does one explain a body like the National Petroleum Corp of B’dos (a misnomer) which files annual reports from 03-08, and then STOPS http://www.npc.bb/corporate-profile-2/
    The NPC is D.Boyce not the MoF. The condition is endemic. Rampant.
    Caves of Barbados, interesting because Dr JR’s chart shows them getting money in the last 2 years of his spreadsheet….the last report? 2009. and filed in 2015, and they LOST money in both 08 & 09 https://www.barbadosparliament.com/uploads/sittings/attachments/e077abd31a31b901327863b23e6cf6dd.pdf


  64. NorthernObserver January 20, 2018 at 2:51 PM #

    Caves of Barbados, interesting because Dr JR’s chart shows them getting money in the last 2 years of his spreadsheet….the last report? 2009. and filed in 2015…(Quote)

    I say again, the Barbados public sector is riddled with gross incompetence, not political corruption. Why were questions not asked in parliament? Why did our media not raise these questions? Have any of the managers responsible for the delay been promoted during that time? How about the responsible ministers?
    Again I must go back to the NIS, which is late with its triennial actuarial report. Why is the CEO still in a job? Why is the chairman still in a job? Why is the minister still in a job? Why is this not major news story?


  65. Just to let you know. Greece is now hanging the 8th year in the talons of IMF. Greece will never ever recover UNTIL the country leaves the Euro zone and devalues. All talk that Greece will return to the capital market this year is nonsense. They are not able to issue billions of long-term bonds, but only foolish T-bills.

    The same lesson applies to Barbados. The 2:1 peg is de facto a membership in a USD zone. Barbados must leave it and devalue the local dollar to a grade where the very bad work ethic and the rotten attitude of the many lazy laggards in the ministries, courts and admins equal the value of the currency.

    Just ask yourself how many hours a US worker needs to finish a task and how many months or even ages it takes in Barbados. Or just look at the backlog at the Supreme Court which seems to be a national distinction or something like that.


  66. @ Tron January 20, 2018 at 8:48 PM
    “The same lesson applies to Barbados. The 2:1 peg is de facto a membership in a USD zone. Barbados must leave it and devalue the local dollar to a grade where the very bad work ethic and the rotten attitude of the many lazy laggards in the ministries, courts and admins equal the value of the currency.”

    In just a few more months Bajans will have to face the music and sit that inevitable test to show how they will be able to swim the long distance back to the shores of economic survival or sink to the bottom of the pile of failed statehood.

    At least they can rely on their once derided Caricom brothers and sisters in Jamaica and Guyana to help them to practise on past test papers.

  67. Pingback: Middleclass the Forgotten Group After ‘Staying the Course’ | Barbados Underground

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