Barbados Labour Party One Year Later

For the next days and perhaps weeks there will be palaver about how effective the policies of the Barbados Labour Paty (BLP) have been since taking up the office. The conversation is reminiscent to what follows the annual 11+ exam. It is a must do exercise for ‘stakeholders’- including the media- to purge themselves of any accusation of not delivering on the mandate.

Given the perilous state Barbados finds itself both on the economic and social fronts, it is a challenge to speak with certainty whether measures implemented so far by the one year old government are gaining traction.

If you separate the political noise- loud as it is- there is justifiable concern that although the Mottley government has been active by attempting to tackle the gargantuan debt situation by restructuring, moving with urgency to apply a temporary fix to the sewage issue on the south coast, rationalizing SOEs, drawing-down development loans to fix crumbling infrastructure, dusting off out dated Town Planing legislation, addressing thorny issues like local and regional Transportation (LIAT, Transport Board), breathing life back into brand Barbados by increasing visibility on the regional and international spaces. This is not meant to be exhaustive. A review of the BGIS portal archives can assist with listing government’s effort to date.

A concern of the blogmaster however is a lack of similar energy as it relates to communicating the state of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS),  operationalizing a transparency framework to include Integrity (anti-corruption) in public life, FOIA, political campaign financing, a relevant Public Accounts Committee, Auditor General’s office and related projects.

This concern about the NIS was heightened with a recent public  assurance delivered by Chairman Ian Gooding-Edghill that the NIS is financially healthy. What does his statement mean if we compare to a 2017 IMF report – NIS Reserves Projected by IMF to be Exhausted in 2037 – UPP Candidate Craig Harewood Muted by VoB?

Government needs to do more to encourage people to become investors and create ä Barbados that works for Barbadians – President, Barbados Economic Society

In a related matter is is encouraging to listen to Opposition spokeswoman on economic affairs Senator Cristal Drakes not intimidated to discuss the pros and cons of devaluing the Barbados dollar. Her position was supported – not directly – by President of the Barbados Economic Society (BEC) Simon Naitram. He is on public record promising to dispassionately debate the issue on the BEC website in the coming weeks.

Sorry to disappoint a few members of the BU family who will want to look at the numbers from all angles. Not to forget about the social fabric of the society also busting at the seam. Has the time come for us to focus more on the Vision/Strategy positions of our governments? If we hold our leaders accountable for the Vision the supporting tactics may be better understood. What is the REAL Vision/Strategy of the government for Barbados?

The blogmaster is unable to grade the government A, B, C or D at this stage. To use a race horse analogy – the horse has ‘lathered’ nicely in the paddock before the race, outcome unknown.

 

 

269 comments

  • One year later and David BU has regretted encouraging , through this site , so many Bajans to become trapped in BERT !

    Bajans

    Experiencing

    Ravishing

    Times

    Like

  • @Fractured BLP

    The upside, there is hope for the DLP next time, maybe.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    BLP out of possible 10 : 4.5
    Major shortcomings Failure to reduce prices after removing NSRL
    Increased taxation
    Major scores: PM’s energy and good communications

    DLP: Out of possible 10: 2
    Major shortcomings : Failure to rapidly reorganize party after defeat
    Major score: Appointment/ Election
    of new leader

    Opposition: No grading : Not a genuine opposition at this time

    Like

  • We need to rebuild the DLP with a new vision in order to take our country back …

    Like

  • David why you had to bring up the NIS fund for that is one of my major peves.

    The questions I have are these.

    How can any minister say that the fund is in good shape just looking at the fund balance and saying ” things good the cheque book got in money.” We are behind on audited financials by years not months so how can anyone claim the fund is in good shape?

    Secondly what adjustments on book has the fund made for the debt restructuring exercise?

    Thirdly how will the drop from 7 percent interest to 1 percent interest in the restructuring, effect the liquidity in the fund going forward, seeing that they are roughly 200 million dollars a year short on return, based on the 2 billion Sinkler forced them to buy in
    government paper at 7 percent?

    Fourthly based on the loss of the above, an aging population and an economy in the doldrums, what is the plan for us the citizens? Will retirement age be pushed to 70? Will NIS contributions end up having to be pushed to 30% of wages, shared between employer and employee for the fund to sustain itself?

    You see all the printed paper they holding equates to nothing more than glorified IOU’S from government. They are not cash amounts and in the end the NIS needs cash to pay its pensioners not pieces of paper. So where is the cash going to come from when government has none hence can’t repay an IOU IF called upon by the NIS to do so?

    So in closing this is a summary. We have a NIS that on book looks real good based on the value of its IOU’S. These “certificates” however can not be called in or sold on any secondary market for cash, but the fund needs cash to run. After all old Miss Smith in St Joseph can’t take an IOU to the supermarket. So with a cashless government it will fall on us to refuel the fund, which means a protracted retirement age and a higher percentage of salary as we work towards retirement.

    I just hope in my case it aint 75 and I get my first pension cheque on a Monday and then my funeral grant on the Wednesday!

    These are The things the NIS needs to come to the table and discuss with us. Don’t sit there and tell us ” wunna don’t worry the fund good.” I don’t know if you remember a Prime Minister told us once Clico was sound put wunna money there and looked how that ended.

    Like

  • David
    The problem here on BU, the call in programmes and local newspapers’ Facebook pages is that the loudest are clueless/misinformed/uninformed!! Analogs in a digital age. Some are grading the government but regularly display their ignorance if what is being done. Case in point:

    “BLP out of possible 10: 4.5
    Major shortcomings Failure to reduce prices after removing NSRL
    Increased taxation
    Major scores: PM’s energy and good communications”

    Liked by 1 person

  • Enuff

    Please help us by explaining what is so wrong, or ignorant, or misinformed, or clueless, or uninformed with that assessment by somebody who has more than an ordinary citizen’s experience with the political culture.

    Like

  • Pachamama
    It’s self-explanatory.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Enuff

    We fail to see, as self-explanatory, your response to this single, but important, point of view of a long-time observer of Barbadian politics.

    Someone who has a long track record of criticality of both major parties.

    Are you then saying that his judgement about the BLP is wrong, or not as positive as you perceive?

    Will you generally agree with his rating of the DLP?

    Given who this person is, has been, should there not be a higher level of seriousness attached to his judgements?

    Would it not be in your party’s interests to listen to critical voices, early on, less we continue down a similar road as the last regime?

    Are are you insistent that you will help those of us who argue that the BLP and the DLP are one party, a duopoly, are and were always right?

    Like

  • One year later nothing has changed
    The streets still have pot holes
    Garbage is uncollected in timely manner
    The south coast sewer system belching toxic waste in the ocean
    The transportation system is out of whacked
    Food prices escalate
    Unemployment at a higher level
    Gas prices well above and beyond the working man
    pocket
    Water bills has reached astronomical prices
    Murder rate has reached unprecedented levels
    The govt has yet to create a growth plan
    Makes me wonder how much pain and suffering is in store as govt makes good on the austerity policies of the IMF

    Like

  • @John A

    The NIS is a worry. By the PM’s admission the NIS is a problem which explains why it has been left on the back burner simmering until the government negotiates the stabilization phase. It will not be a surprise if pension eligibility is shifted to 70+ in the next 24 months. Why Ian Gooding-Edghill wants to send a false message i.e. the NIS has cash to service day to benefits in the short term compared to the long term health of the fund. Barbados has an ageing population do not forget. On another note, Justin Robinson should be held to account. He was not able to deliver the financials he promised.

    Like

  • May 25, 2019 10:14 AM

    @Fractured BLP

    The upside, there is hope for the DLP next time, maybe.@

    What a fool, still playing the crook games with crooks, All has to go 30 down 30 to Go! Setting up the People for foolishness

    Like

  • William Skinner

    “David
    The problem here on BU, the call in programmes and local newspapers’ Facebook pages is that the loudest are clueless/misinformed/uninformed!! Analogs in a digital age. Some are grading the government but regularly display their ignorance if what is being done…….”

    Agreed !!!

    Like

  • David yes you are bang on. Reading between the lines it seems Mr Robinson was unable to get his hands on all the supporting documents to support a true picture. My concern is even if the financials are brought up to date In the asset ledger what provisions if any, will be made for these 2 billion dollars in non performing bonds. I say none performing in that if let’s say inflation in the short term runs around 3 percent, with 2 billion dollars paying 1 percent the NIS in real terms is in fact getting poorer by the month. Plus what is to stop government rolling over these bonds again close to maturity. So my question is base on market value and cash surrender how will the NIS Board value these bonds? If we had a secondary bond market no one will buy bonds yielding less than inflation with an uncertain cash surrender date, from a government with no investment grade status and a record of default, unless they were being discounted heavily. I want the NIS to come out and tell us how they are going to grade their assets with these bonds and the issues I mentioned above.

    You know Warren Buffet’s point is a share is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I don’t think people understand the effect those bonds could have on the NIS boards viability in the medium to long term. That my friend is why no politician wants to come and talk about it from either side of the fence.

    Like

  • The NIS is a worry. By the PM’s admission the NIS is a problem which explains why it has been left on the back burner simmering until the government negotiates the stabilization phase. It will not be a surprise if pension eligibility is shifted to 70+ in the next 24 months(Quote)

    The NIS is not a problem, it is the victim of managerial incompetence, interference by ignorant politicians and state robbery. Ring-fence it, and start a new long-term savings system.
    A state pension age of 70 and a school-leaving age of 16 means working 54 years before getting a state pension. imagine a building labourer working for that long? The idea is silly. We need reform. Our leaders cannot think, they prefer the easy way out, borrowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  • William Skinner

    Throughout the campaign we heard about the raid on NIS funds. Then we heard that the NIS is in a “ very strong” financial position.
    We need clarity.

    Like

  • @ Mariposa

    One year later nothing has changed
    The streets still have pot holes
    Garbage is uncollected in timely manner
    The south coast sewer system belching toxic waste in the ocean
    The transportation system is out of whacked
    Food prices escalate
    Unemployment at a higher level
    Gas prices well above and beyond the working man
    pocket
    Water bills has reached astronomical prices
    Murder rate has reached unprecedented levels
    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    You have accurately listed the reasons why both BLP and DLP should be wiped off the BARBADOS Landscape.

    The only sure things in Barbados Party Politics are corruption and kickbacks.

    I wish the dumb locals well who can’t see the apples from the oranges WHILST living in sufferation, false hope and empty promises.

    Like

  • Yes on paper one could argue their balance sheet seems good. The problem is a large percent of your assets can not be valued in real terms at purchase price, as that would be madness and I would bet that is exactly how they are booked. Its like me buying a house for $500000 and when I get it valued its worth $200000. If I try to value my assets with a bank they will take the $250000 valuation and tell me I was a clown to pay twice what it’s worth.

    I would love to see an independent firm come in and place a true value on the asset base of the NIS. Then what about the buildings they built in the last 10 years, what net percentage on asset are they receiving in rent, or is that below inflation as well? What value do you have for these buildings and how does that compare to market value? After all we did hear about the odd over run here and there. Not by much though only around 40 percent or so!

    Like

  • WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE PROMISED INTEGRITY LEGISLATION ETC. AS BEING A PRIORITY BY THE BLP IN ITS MANIFESTO?

    A PROMISE IS A COMFORT FOR A FOOL.

    HOWEVER HEAVY BORROWING HAS TAKEN PLACE, NO BID CONTRACTS LEADING TO KICKBACKS/BRIBETAKING..

    POLITICIANS BECOMING OVERWEIGHT WHILST THEIR AND CLOSE ASSOCIATES BANK ACCOUNTS HAVE SWOLLEN.

    ANOTHER SIGN OF THE BLP 1ST YEAR.

    A CONTINUATION OF THE DLP’S 10 YEARS OF DISENFRANCHISEMENT TO THE TAXPAYERS OF BARBADOS.

    Like

  • The NIS is technically insolvent. Period. The majority of the funds assets is govt debt. With much of the assets held in the fund now all but worthless and income under pressure because of govt bond restructuring and high unemployment, the future is extremely grim for anyone depending on the NIS say, in 20+ years.

    Like

  • @ John,

    Pensions accounting is not just about balance sheet, it is also about future liabilities. The NIS is insolvent, fractured and badly managed. Just look at its investments alone: what does Oppenheimer do to justify their fees? What are the fees?
    Look at the asset allocation and stock picking and ask why is it under-performing? Then look at the hybrid nature of the scheme, which is dysfunctional. The global equities markets have been growing spectacularly since 2008.
    We want a separate, means-tested scheme functioning as a social safety net and a contributory defined contribution state pension, managed as a pension and not a government petty cash piggy bank. Most of all, we MUST keep politicians out of the running of the schemes. We need reform, reform, reform. There is no other way.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hal yes I agree on What you are saying but before we can go anywhere we must first arrive at a realistic valuation of the fund and it’s asset base agreed?

    We have to start somewhere and that is the first thing we have to do. Once we then correct the value of the fund, we can go from there both in terms of what it will take to sustain going forward and what will be expected of us the bajans.

    Maybe it’s time the fund and government make it legal where we can establish our own 401K plans where the same amount we pay NIS in terms of the employer/employee can be paid into private pension companies. The state would just need to change the law to make the employer legally obligated to write the cheque to the private company for their portion of the contribution.

    Of course that will not happen because every good PONZI scheme needs new money coming In to pay old claims, especially where it’s assets are questionable.

    Like

  • @John A

    How do you respond to the views of former Senator Darcy Boyce that a NIS fund is as strong as the economy which has to fund it. Therefore talk about ring fencing/ segregating is nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John

    The fund is insolvent. There is no value. The loans we have out we cannot even call in because we have made bad deals. How can NIS lend money to property developers without doing a debt for equity arrangement? That is amateur, unless it is deliberate.
    We do not need a 401k, with all its flaws. We need to design a long-term savings plan fit for Barbados. in doing so we must look at Chile, 401Ks, the Kiwisavers, stakeholders, the Australian superannuation, Singapore and others, and take the best of them.
    We can start by ring-fencing the present scheme, sell off the current obligations as bulk annuities and start afresh for younger workers, with compulsory savings with access at key points. There are numerous models we can learn from. It calls for fresh thinking, not rocket science.

    Like

  • How do you respond to the views of former Senator Darcy Boyce that a NIS fund is as strong as the economy which has to fund it. Therefore talk about ring fencing/ segregating is nonsense.(Quote)

    When people are trying to have a serious conversation about a serious subject, this brain-dead buffoon interrupts with semi-literate nonsense. Then his fan base comes out and says people are unnecessarily rude to the chairman.
    BU is either a platform for his buffoonery, or one for Barbadians to have a regular and proper discourse. Who the hell is Darcy Boyce? Grow up.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David I don’t think you would print what I feel about Darcy Boyce’s financial thinking so I will say I put him second only to Sinkler in financial acumen.

    To be honest I don’t think Boyce or any of them really were too worried about the solvency of the fund. Once it was there to acquire their useless paper that was all that mattered. The proverbial can would then be kicked down the road for someone else to deal with. The lunacy of their statement fails to take into account so many things. First a percentage of the NIS assets are invested overseas. As Hal said the markets there have been strong since let’s be generous and say 2010. So based on that Boyces statement is nonesence. Also the NIS cash flow from working people has been predictable and relatively stable month to month, so again nonesence statement. So what’s left are these questions to Darcy.

    Were your rents up to date with all properties tenanted from the NIS when you all were vote out? NO

    Were the building you constructed built at competitive rates at the time, or were properties built at signifact overruns as was the Grotto? YES

    DARCY what rents were you paying for building like the Baibo towers, were they anywhere near commercial rates? NO

    finally Darcy did you when paying these rents every issue IOUS to the NIS or were they always paid In money that could then be used to pay pensioners?

    David judge for yourself Boyce’s comment and tell me who screwed the NIS.

    Like

  • @John A

    You are aware Senator Boyce is a Barbados scholar with several accreditations littered after his name?

    The bigger point is that we can be as technical as we want about how the fund should be managed it is the politician that has the ultimate say in policy shaping. Regarding the NIS fund, while we have to fix it some how there is the problem of the fund is with with us, today.

    Like

  • Hal for that to work In terms of selling of the debt again we back to valuations and MAJOR discounting of the value of these assets, especially the bonds! My question to you is which government got the backbone to do that?

    Also when I speak of 401s I don’t necessary mean the one in the USA, but maybe a hybrid one made up of a structure that would suit us here.

    Like

  • David book smart ain t street smart!

    Like

  • David forget about initials behind anybody name how do you respond to the points I listed in my post of 3.21pm? They are undisputed facts that can not be changed regardless of if a man got the whole alphabet behind his name.

    What are your views on the points I outlined?

    Like

  • David besides how could you assume my comment was negative and I don’t consider Sinkler a great financial mind whose logic and magnitude of thought was just not somewhat ahead of its time?

    Shame on you thinking I meant it negatively! lol

    Like

  • @ Hants
    Promises v results.

    https://www.blp.org.bb/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/BLP2018-Maxi-Manifesto.pdf
    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Thanks for posting.

    Within the 1st SIX (6) MONTHS the BLP promised in its Manifesto THE FOLLOWING:

    Under item 1. Allow Barbadians to hold foreign currency they have earned in foreign currency accounts in Barbados. Score 0/10

    Under item 5. Raise minimum Wage from $6.25 to $8 per hr and extend to all Categories of workers across the economy. Score 0/10

    Under item 15. STAMPING OUT CORRUPTION
    Introduce Comprehensive Integrity Legislation IMMEDIATELY upon forming the Government to fight and punish corruption and hold Ministers and Board Chairpersons accountable for their actions. Score 0/10

    Require politicians and key public officials to disclose assets. Score 0/10

    THIS TELLS ALL WHAT THESE BLP AND DLP POLITICAL PARTIES ARE ALL ABOUT.

    THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE MASSES JUST KEEP PULLING THE WOOL OVER THEIR EYES.

    INSTEAD OF GIVEN THE PUBLIC A RAISE IN MINIMUM WAGE TO BENEFIT THE VOTERS AND TAX PAYERS NOW A YEAR IN POWER THE 1ST THING THEY DID UPON BEING ELECTED WAS TO GIVE THEMSELVES A 5% WAGE INCREASE. EACH POLITICIAN EARNING IN EXCESS OF $10 THOUSAND MONTHLY PLUS ALLOWANCES.

    HOWEVER MIA AND HER BUNCH OF LEECHES CARES ABOUT THE PUBLIC OF BARBADOS.

    Like

  • @ John,

    You realise what we are up against. An exam set for 18and 19 yr olds and this idiot is talking about pensions policy based on someone passing an irrelevant exam. . But Quaker John and Georgie Porgie were also Barbados Scholars.
    It is learning by rote and the deification of paper qualifications. Very Bajan. Ideas go to the back of the class. The poverty of ideas is worse than material poverty. The chairman must say something, even if he does not understand what he is saying.

    @ John, if we are selling our pensions as bulk annuities, the simple valuation will be based on future liabilities and future contributions of those within the ring-fence. By definition this obligation will diminish every year. Otherwise growth will come from investment. In any case, that will not be the government’s responsibility.
    By the way, there is only one 401K. What you mean is a long-term savings plan, which I agree with. Call it what you like.
    I am afraid, I am out of the discussion. The chairman’s contribution is juvenile and irritating…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hal always good chatting with you friend take care we will chat soon again. But you are right we going have to Make some frightening decisions with this fund and I hope Mia does it as the more it’s postponed the worst the value of the fund will be affected.

    Like

  • @ JOHN A

    Many thanks. I enjoy our many conversations, in BU and outside. I appreciate your knowledge and enthusiasm. Hope you are in good health.

    Like

  • Investment mix:

    Debentures – 50.99%

    Equity Investment – 6.6%

    Treasury Notes – 15.68%

    Loans – 4.19%

    Treasury Bills – 2.15%

    Fixed Deposits 1.52%

    Bonds 4.36%

    Foreign Investments – 7.92

    Real Estate – 6.58%

    http://www.nis.gov.bb/investments/2017-2/

    Like

  • @ John A May 25, 2019 10:56 AM
    A very insightful set of questions you have posed. I am sorry to hear that you may come of age when all of the NIS funds are exhausted. There may be a revolution then ( I am hoping so but I won’t be around), resulting a revamping of the economic landscape and the jailing of miscreant politicians, police and members of the judiciary.

    Like

  • Continuing the focus on the policymakers, how they think!

    Minister Sinckler shouted on the floor of parliament a few years ago that the NIS fund is in good health because he received management reporting on a monthly basis and was satisfied that although unaudited the public should not worry.

    Like

  • Piece the Legend

    De ole man always telling wunna “to go school and learn well”

    Look what lack thereof has done to de ole man?

    Mek I stupid.

    But not so stupid to realise that the Honourable Blogmaster, who is not bright like dem daddy, write a shite article, leaving out critical points about the Judiciary, The police Force which is doing nothing, overspending by the GoB notwithstanding the austerity cries, changes to the constitution which, ine year later, have yielded nothing, glaring examples of theft, cases of drug importation and transformation into other drug types…and things like that.

    Wunna does get pigeonholed real quick by this partially literate Honourable Blogmaster who is not like his father.

    If wunna doubts me chech how they reason and effect rebuttals

    Really poorly.

    Watch the responses yourselves and see if de ole man is telling a lie.

    Like

  • Pachamama
    “somebody who has more than an ordinary citizen’s experience with the political culture.”

    This is exactly what I meant. His experience with the “political culture” was as a deposit loser over 25 years ago–a fossil! When last has he lived in Barbados or even visited? From the gentleman’s comment, it appears that he’s not even familiar with the NSRL. Whoever wants to grade the government is entitled to do so, just like I am entitled to show them up.

    Like

  • I have just perused the postings of Hal Austin and John A. Their contributions make a lot of sense. I feel very sorry for young Barbadians. Persons of my generation have failed this country miserably no two ways about it. The endemic corruption, nepotism and sycophancy that pervades this society doesn’t bode well for the economic and social well being of Barbados. As regard the rating of the BLP all I can say is that, all the debt restructuring in the world without an active drive to enhance foreign exchange earnings (apart from tourism) is an exercise in futility. As Hal Austin states “Barbados is a failed state”.

    Like

  • With respect Barbados is not a failed state. A good cliche maybe. Pick any basket of KPIs to measure across countries, Barbados will be there or there abouts. Yes we have challenges as do other countries. These problems will manifest in different forms.

    Like

  • @ David

    I agree %100 Barbados is not a failed State as it is way too small and surronded by water.

    Barbados is a failed Island from top down riled with corruption and deception.

    Like

  • @ David
    Noted about the failed state .

    Like

  • It is misguided to blame either the last regime or this current one for the slipping financial integrity of the NIS.

    For the Barbados NIS is not alone. Many such schemes are facing similar difficulties in the region and beyond. We had estimated many years ago that this would happen. In fact, we argued then that the NIS will fail within the medium to long term.

    So causation lies somewhere else, other than the politicians or the officials running the scheme.

    We suggest that the ill-health of the NIS can be centrally attributed to a wider determination to transfer public assets into private hands, the financialization of economy.

    So fundamental changes to the international financial system continue to pressurize governments into taking actions today which could have been avoided in the past.

    In the case of the Barbados NIS, we’ve seen increasing lending to government and engagement in certain types of development funding with risk characteristics that such a fund was not designed to absorb.

    Of course, there could be other factors relating to demographics etc, but we suggest those do not constitute root causation.

    Like

  • David

    Uh lost a comment!

    Like

  • @Pacha

    Try back arrow on the browser, nothing at this end unless you mean the comment just posted at 6:20PM EST.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    There are citizens on this blog who stay away from cool aid regardless of their place of domicile.
    We remain committed to intelligent
    discussion and a true love for Barbados and Barbadians.
    The economic problems in our country are in most part the actions and non-action of the collective Democratic and Barbados Labour parties.
    Today I followed an interesting discourse between Hal Austin and John A.
    Pacha and I have a very mutual respect for each other. We often clash on philosophical issues mainly in reference to the Caribbean. He is erudite whether he criticizes me or not.
    It is a known fact that during the entire campaign , the retention of the NSRL, was blamed for the rising prices. It was told that the removal of the NSRL would automatically result in a decrease in prices. The NSRL was removed and prices continue to rise.
    Dr. Clyde Mascoll was on the platform saying that the country is over taxed and growth was being handicapped. There has been increased taxation and no growth.
    These are the facts regardless of where we live.

    Like

  • @William

    We can have the best discussions the arrow will always point at the politicians who will have to be the change agent. We have to find a way to make them act in the interest of the people they were elected to serve.

    Like

  • @William

    One hopes you detect the irony in the last comment.

    Like

  • BLP Govt has made history.
    Most ministers evah!!
    Most consultants evah!
    Highest price ever paid to White Hoax..
    Shameless charlatans & miscreants permeate the Govt.
    We like it so?
    If Barbados is a country governed by consultants (local/overseas) why do we need all these Ministers ? Leeches sucking the taxpayers money for doing nothing.
    Paid for posing is the new norm or what?

    Like

  • Robert thanks for your comments. I don’t know if I would go as far as saying we are a failed state, at least not yet. Hals suggestion of trying to sell the debt is one road, but I don’t know if this government or any other one would have the backbone to tackle the NIS issue in full. In the absence of audited financials God only knows the true status. Even if we had up to date financials we still need to have the asset base valued and brought to market value. Plus remember if the last government did not have their rents paid up,
    that would be showing as a receivable, when in reality you could also call it a bad debt as government may not be able to bring the outstanding balances up to date. Hopefully they will at least keep the rents current going forward.

    If you remember I think the PM found some rents to the NIS from government had not been paid for over 12 months when the government changed.

    As I said why you think no politician wants to come and publically discuss this?

    Like

  • Mia indicated her insistence on resolving NIS problems reading between the tea leaves a population growth plan initiated by a policy of welcoming more Caricom immigrants attached to caricom barbadian nationals which would work well enough for replenshing the shortages along a govt plan to used these outsiders to rebuild barbados farming industry
    In turn these people wages would add to increasing the levels of shortages in the NIS system

    Like

  • $650 million owed to National Insurance

    The National Insurance scheme is currently owed about $650 million – an amount that is shared almost evenly by the private and public sectors.

    This was disclosed on Friday by Director of National Insurance, Ian Carrington, at a press conference to discuss the findings of the just-released 15th Actuarial Review of the National Insurance.

    Asked about the amount of the arrears currently owed to the fund, he said, “It’s about $650 million, split almost equitably half and half. Government is about $300 (million), private sector is about another $300 (million) or so.”

    The 15 Actuarial Review, which covered the 2012 – 2014 period, noted that at December 2014, outstanding contributions totalled $223.7 million.

    (L-R) Deputy Chairman of the National Insurance Board, Wismar Greaves; Social Security Minister Senator Esther Byer Suckoo and Director of National Insurance, Ian Carrington at Friday’s press conference.

    Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Esther Byer Suckoo, indicated at the same press conference that Government was actively seeking to reduce its arrears to National Insurance.

    According to her, the revenue-earning measures of the May 30 Budget, such as the 2 per cent Foreign Exchange Fee and the increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy to 10 per cent, were key to improving Government’s cash flow which would put it in a better position to pay off its arrears.

    Another option, as outlined in the May 30 Budget, is for Government to engage NIS for a swap programme where existing securities in their portfolios would be re-issued at lower interest rates agreed by the parties. Byer-Suckoo indicated that no consideration is being given to Government not redeeming its debt at face value, which according to the Actuarial Review, would pose a challenge to the Fund.

    Carrington noted that such a swap would move a portion of the outstanding NIS contributions to an investment, which would yield returns for the Fund. However, Deputy Chairman of the National Insurance Board, Wismar Greaves, noted while this was a viable option it would impact the cash flow of the National Insurance Fund and consequently its investment activities. Nonetheless, he summarised, “Once the arrears are paid off, the Fund is happy.”

    Byer-Suckoo also urged private sector entities to clear their NIS arrears, highlighting the resumption of a three-month programme in October 2017, which would waive the interest accrued on outstanding contributions.

    A similar waiver programme was conducted from October 1, 2016 to March 1, 2017 and Carrington disclosed that some 147 employers, most of whom were “very small employers”, took advantage of the opportunity to pay only the principal contributions owed.

    “We would have received approximately $11.9 million in outstanding contributions and we would have waived $7.8 million in interest,” he said, adding they expect the upcoming programme to yield similar results.

    Meanwhile, Byer Suckoo also indicated that National Insurance is seeking to find ways to stimulate the level of National Insurance contributions from self-employed persons, noting that only an estimated 20 – 25 per cent of self-employed persons in Barbados are contributing to the Fund.

    The proposed measures include allowing more flexibility for self-employed persons to pay contributions online, on varying payment dates or in a lump sum at various intervals. Consideration is also being given to allowing self-employed persons to contribute only for a customised package of benefits.

    The 16th Actuarial Review of the period January 2015 – December 2017 is due in 2018.

    (Source: 15th Actuarial Review of the National Insurance Fund, Unemployment Fund & Severance Fund of Barbados.)

    http://www.loopnewsbarbados.com/nl/node/246974

    Like

  • William Skinner

    Hal and I will continue to disagree that we are a failed state. Bad management does not mean a failed state. Corruption does not mean a failed state. Those entrusted have failed not the the state and its institutions.
    For example a school with inferior instruction is not a failed institution. Change the instruction!

    Like

  • Come on David, not only is the country bankrupt, it has no viable transportation system, no reliable water, no functioning sewerage treatment, no viable roads, no medicines at the hospital, no nothing. What it has is an abundance of over taxed citizens. Barbados is indeed a failed state.

    Like

  • Mariposa unfortunately the problem is much worst than that. Let me give you an example of the problem.

    Let’s say you own 3 houses all of which you owe on and rent out. You been telling the bank these houses each worth $300000 so decide to buy a 4th house now for another $300,000. The bank says “for years you been telling us these house worth this $300000 so let’s value them.” The valuations come back and each house in only worth $200000 and on top of that you renting them too cheap to even get enough to service the mortgage, far less give you a return on the amount you overpaid for the houses.

    So the bank calls you in and says ” the houses worth half what you pay and we can’t lend you no money for no fourth house cause the rents way too cheap considering how much you overpaid for the houses, so sorry and have a nice day.”

    That basically is where we are with the real estate holdings of the NIS. The government took money from them built projects like Grotto, had massive overruns and can’t ever rent them for a return based on the cost. In the meantime NIS out for the cost complete with overruns and them don’t have no recourse either. Some of the buildings at elections, it was confirmed government had not paid rents on some of these buildings for 12 months either. So they renting them too cheap and on top of that not even paying the rent.

    Remember the example of your three houses? Well apply these numbers to that scenario!

    So a few thousand extra workers may help a little in the cash flow but we got way deeper problems with the core finances of the NIS than that can cure.

    Like

  • @Dame Bajans

    What you have described is not the definition of a failed state.

    Like

  • Also rhe Hilton can be included amongst those who owes the NIS

    Like

  • David remember that 650 million was at September 2017. Now add to that what Ms Mottley confirmed and that was no rents were paid to the NIS FOR 12 MONTHS prior to elections. So we could by May 2018 be close to the $700 million dollar mark if you include interest lost on the 650 million along with rents due to what was confirmed at September 2017.

    Thanks for finding that old article that brings alot of the earlier discussions today into focus and gives us a actual value of receivable as of September 2017. Add to that now the cost overruns in excess of market value on their projects and the $200 million in Interest lost yearly in the debt restructuring and you well over 1 billion in losses in real life there alone! If Mr Boyce or Dr Suku want to challenge that tell them come right here on the blog and do it I ready for them!!

    Like

  • All the BLP bas accomplished in its first year is to bleed the dumb tax payers of BIM.

    I agree with all the comments of @Barbados 2019 and @William Skinner.

    Like

  • @JohnA, you are missing the point Charles Herbert made a few years ago. The govt was being reckless with NIS funds because it knew there is an easy fix. All that needs to be done is hire actuaries to investigate and advise that the NIS will run out of funds at a projected date if the current age to commence receiving benefits is continued, and implement the recommended higher age at which benefits will be received to made the NIS funds sustainable. Problem solved.
    Kindly note those who now see the impending danger to the NIS funds after years of having nothing to say when Walter Blackman and others were warning of storm clouds ahead.

    Like

  • Bajan in New York earlier in this blog you would see i asked if we would end up with payments as high as 30 percent of one’s insurable earnings or a pension age of 75. I did so for the same point you are raising now regards to a fix.

    What has now made this more of a worry over the last 3 years or so is the high amount of government paper the NIS was forced to pick up in the 24 months prior to elections and the 200 million it will lose yearly since the debt restructuring. That perfect storm has now brought what was a concern to a crisis quickly.

    Like

  • @ John A

    You Bajans deserved the Governments you voted for.

    No use whimpering on Barbados Underground.

    The Politicians that you guys worshipped don’t give a rats ass about locals.

    Their big pensions are assured they don’t have to worry about making it to 65, 70 or 75.

    So who is the donkey or the jackass?

    Like

  • Bajan in NY let me share these numbers with you just to show how much each of say 40,000 workers would have to pay in additional NIS monthly, just to replace the 200 million lost yearly in the debt restructuring, here goes.

    $200,000,000 ÷ 40,000 (workers) ÷ 12 months to a year = $416 a month per worker increase monthly in their payments. Even if the employer paid half and the worker half of that, you still talking of massive increases.

    So even if the above could be done all that would do is replace the revenue lost yearly in the debt restructuring of the goverment paper held by the NIS.

    You understand why what was a concern as raised by Mr Herbert has now quickly become a crisis!

    Like

  • Criminals and thieves still pretending to be saviors and patting themselves on the back….THEY HAVE BEEN CAUGHT REDHANDED and even with all the evidence that paints them all as common class thieves who set up everyone….to rob the island and people…these shitehounds are STILL PRETENDING.

    You do not set up bigger countries, involve them in your crimes against ya own people and walk into the sunset with all ya stolen loot…it just DOES NOT HAPPEN.

    Just saw a list of Caribbean countries that has billion dollar bank accounts in Switzerland, think we saw it before, my first time seeing it in Dutch, and of course 14 people in Barbados got a billion US dollars stashed away. Money that can help the island.

    The upside to this, the average Black bajan, most of them now fully understand that they HAVE BEEN ROBBED year after year by both greedy, corrupt and totally repulsive governments, for the last 80 years….and these crooks NEVER CARED who they have to USE or SET UP to rob the people and enrich themselves and those who BRIBE THEM.

    Gotta see the contortions the snakes work to try to slither out of the deep, deep shit they put themselves in, setting up people and creating distractions are not very likely to work this time though, holy shit..lol

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    Dame Bajans at 7:06 p.m.

    Barbados has a population density of 1709 per square mile. Canada has a population density of 10 per square mile, the U.K has a population density of 701 per square mile, the United States has a population density of 85 per square mile

    Remember that Barbados was deliberately overpopulated in order to provide free or cheap labour to the sugar industry and to the British colonial masters. Barbados is not over populated because we have more sex than North Americans or Europeans or because we are less likely to use contraceptives.

    Barbadians have suffered through the most devastating Atlantic storm ever, the one of 1780, Barbadians have suffered through multiple famines, Barbadians have been separated from their families in mass migrations to Panama, 40% of the young men left, Barbadians have had to eat rats to survive during the periodic droughts and famines. Yet we have the time and the love to look after our children and yours. We have the time to look after our elders and yours.

    My question to you and to others: If Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom was as densely populated as Barbados would those places also be failed states? Could those states survive without famines, without waging wars on others, could they survive without committing genocides on their marginalised peoples, and i hope that you understand that in those countries YOU are the marginalised.

    What would you wish for your relatives in Barbados:

    A category 5 hurricane which kills about 25,000 people?. Barbados has suffered that already when a category 5 hurricane killed 10% of the population

    Famine? Barbados has suffered multiple famines, when the population was reduced to eating rats

    War? Whom do you want us to kill?

    Genocide? Whom shall we kill?

    Are any of those excellent options?

    I had a relative tell me recently that Bajans need about 5 years of cold weather to make us shape up. The relative has bought into the myth than Bajans are lazy. I reminded the relative that perhaps her adopted country needs five straight January to December years of 90 degree heat and 90 degree humidity and that perhaps global warming will deliver for me. I did not get a response. I had to remind the relative that we minded our children, AND HERS, and our elderly parents even while while working full time for more than 40 years.

    I

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    Multiply the United States population of 327 million by 20 and for those of you in Canada tell me if you think that Canada could survive as a successful society in the U.S. population was that size. Tell me as well if the marginalised communities in Canada could survive.

    Tell me if Canada would not be a failed state.

    The United States even while hurrying to build a wall to keep out foreigners, is pushing for war in Venezuela will will create massive refugee problems in Caribbean countries which are already hosting up to 1709 people per square mile, even while the United States with 85 per square mile has “too many” people, and is looking to build a wall and arm guards to shoot to death “intruders”

    All ‘o wunna need to read some more

    And THINK a lot, lot more.

    Like

  • One year later and the same losers still bitching and whining………get over it….Barbados is on the upward…….My government gets a high mark for pulling this country out of the black hole that it was in.

    Get over the REDWASH and start helping your country….it is high time to stop bitching. Peace out!!

    Like

  • And they are still as DELUSIONAL AS EVER..

    #delusionscausesresignations

    Like

  • @ Prodigal Son

    Stull sucking on the BLP nipples just like Enuff and Lorenzo.

    No raising of the minimum wage IN 6 months.

    No Integrity Legislation IN 6 months.

    No Public Declaration of Assets by the Polticians IN 6 months.

    No US foreign currency accounts FOR LOCALS IN 6 months.

    ALL PLEDGED IN BLP FALSE DOCUMENT CALLED A MANIFESTO.

    YET YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT BITCHING WHILST BEING A PART OF THIS CRIMINAL DECEPTIVE ORGANIZATION BLP.

    Like

  • Piece the Legend

    Yes.

    Ask this question of the thousand of bajans Mugabe Mottley sending home every month while she AND 29 MINISTERS WITH 5% INCREASES, AND CUNTSULTANTS GALORE AND WHITE HOAX with its US $27 million licking up the IMF LOAN AND BAJANS SUFFERING.

    Sorry “Staying the course” and saying the Curse as in Ef you Mugabe!!

    Like

  • Not only are barbadians in a deeper financial hole..but what should be asked of Mia and her big a.ss govt what happened to the promise of putting more money in the people pockets
    What happened to the promise of jobs for the boys on the block
    What happened to all them goody two shoes promises for the betterment of the working poor
    Also remembering the days when she encourage bajans to march in the hot broiling midday sun for better
    Now all that bajans are getting is a barage of empty promises joblessness high prices and more empty promises
    Blp a wasted one year
    Still.no growth plan to take the high tax burden off the shoulders of the people
    Blp supporters ought to be ashamed to open mouth to pick teet to support a govt who so far has shown disdain for the working poor and have used the mighty hand of the IMF austerity measures to bushwhacked the bajan household into more poverty.

    Like

  • “Ask this question of the thousand of bajans Mugabe Mottley sending home every month”

    Someone help me here. In 2016 central government had about 16,970 employees before Sinckler cuts. If “Mugabe” sending home thousands every month, how come we even still have a civil service?🤣🤣🤣#talesoftheexpected

    Like

  • Wuh happen to the promise of transparency
    Only a few days ago govt was given a black eye on the way this govt has handled agreements through backdoor methods and handed to the people as “good goverence” talking about white oaks
    Then again we have a govt planning or all but have already sold most of it shares in liat and nothing was brought to the attention by way of open parliamentary discussion in open forum for the people to hear
    A govt who touted transparency as a guiding light for the people to know also is sending hostile messages of attacking a democratic privilege of free speech wrestling with the thought of implementing laws against social media
    A govt who promised better has given the people bitter all in a year

    Like

  • Prodigal,welcome back.You are spot on.There are about 10 of these overseas bajans whose purpose it seems , is to pull down Barbados everyday.Every topic raised you see the same persons bellyaching,never a good word.One Austin claims Bar bados is a failed state yet his PM just had to resign,go figure.Another calls the elected leader Mugabe another Rogue works,.These people do not get it, we were in a deep hole and we are on our way out.There is no magic wand therefore in .my opinion these overseas bajans care little about bajans just their own agenda.Anyway congratulations to Ms Mottley and the government for the work they are doing a nd hopefully now that we are stabalized we can see some growth.Forget the bellyachers, most bajans in Barbados are with you.

    Like

  • Piece the Legend

    @ Hee Hee one of the Rented jackasses we going beat.

    Theophillus Gazerts my war hero compatriot with the Gatling M134D had this argument with your illiterate self just a few weeks ago.

    “Mugabe Amin Mottley is overweight.

    If she loses 5 lbs is she STILL OVERWEIGHT?”

    He went on to ask you about the blacklist status of Barbados and you gave the same jackass response

    Then today you are asked about 35,000 government employees, you only mention 16,000 whose numbers are depleted by 5,000 and automatically you arrive at 16k minus 5k equal zero?

    Why did Mugabe Mottley hire you again? And the answer is

    “…BECAUSE YOU ARE TRULY A RENTED JACKASS…”

    Like

  • Piece the Legend

    And, like if being conjured up from a grave, that be the other one of the Rented jackasses that we going beat.

    Like

  • Enuff. May 26, 2019 5:36 AM

    “Ask this question of the thousand of bajans Mugabe Mottley sending home every month”

    Yes past govt send home workers
    But weren’t the supporters of the blp shouting to the rafters marching in the mudday sun against such actions by past govt
    However u govt the mitigated gall to support this govt action of sending workers home civil servants on a monthly basis
    Have u got no shame or have u erased from memory all which u have said and done in the past five years when past govt implemented similiar measure
    What a bold faced forked tongue hypocrite

    Like

  • Question to any Blp govt supporter

    When is govt going to create a sustainable growth plan
    Even official working within the IMF has cautioned govt that the austerity measures are insufficient to bring barbados econcomy out of the malaise of its social and economic problems
    At some point the people backs would be push over the wall because of burdensome tax burdens

    Like

  • “These people do not get it, we were in a deep hole and we are on our way out.”

    oh we get it alright…yall won’t stop TIEFING..from the same people yall now pretending to save…

    ….yall are also responsible for digging that massive hole and now think people should be dumb Enuff to praise and admire ya…

    now ya really got a goddamn nerve….steupppsss.

    give you praises and you will turn it into NEGATIVE ENERGY…against the people….TO TIEF SOME MORE.

    we get it..trust me.

    Like

  • I am trying to think of two things coming out of the auterity measures that have benefited the people of barbados
    However i can think of many things that have come from the austerity measures that have helped the rich and have all but transfer more wealth to the rich and depleted the finances of the working poor

    Like

  • @ Baje May 25, 2019 8:54 PM

    Well said. Both parties have sold the future of this island for their personal gains. I haven’t any use for either. There ‘s no vision projected for where the country ought to be fifty to one-hundred years down the road. Seems to be tunnel vision based on tourism. The Singapore leader had vision: to achieve what he did for his country meant his people had to apply themselves for a long hard grind. In Barbados, it’s tourism and whacking up, an easy shot-term fix when the world economy is going well. Singapore started off about the same as Barbados post independence. One hears that what was done in Singapore couldn’t work in Barbados because of cultural differences. I beg to disagree. At that time the young people of this island would have followed any course of development its leaders advocated. We were filled with excitement at the challenges ahead. Lack of vision and leadership is what we got instead I have total disdain for both parties. The island is so committed to having all assets in one boat, that to alter course is extremely hard now.

    Like

  • @Dr. Lucas

    Let us accept you are correct. We are here 50 years later. Where will the disruption come?

    Like

  • @David
    The disruption is already here; albeit in a form that doesn’t augur well for the country. Look at the total disdain by the young people for law and order(the latter is enforced by a judiciary-judges, police and lawyers who all seem to be ethically challenged).. The young know that the so-called pillars of society are crooked. Where this disruption goes is opened to question.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    “Political Scientist Peter Wickham gave government an “A” for its overall strategy and communication calling it the administration’s “most significant achievement” but there was a “F” for how the sugar industry was handled……………..
    B+ for handling economic challenges
    B- for water sewage and sanitation
    C- for roads and public transportation
    C- for crime, violence and youth issues …………”

    Sunday Sun, May 26th 2019

    Please note that Peter Wickham is a Barbadian living in Barbados

    Like

  • @Dr. Lucas

    The disruption we want should be led?

    Like

  • @William

    Peter Wickham is a talking head of the political class, this is how he earns a living. His review must be therefore distilled in a context.

    Like

  • mari

    I trying to thisk of two thing that profit the bajan under the 10yrs dlp administration. I cant think of any. anyhow all the minister seem to got fat and rich.

    Like

  • @ David
    Most disruptions start out without a known leader since there are many(French revolution, Danton. Robespierre).Invariably a leader emerges after some substantial shedding of blood. It remains to be seen how things go. Invariably, there is always an opportunist from the elite who eventually takes over the disruption. 1937 riots in Barbados and its aftermath are prime examples of the latter case.

    Like

  • https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/theresa-may-resignation-announcement-0524-gbr-intl/index.html

    Bajans are patiently waiting !

    May resigned…..because she could NOT deliver her BREXIT plan…..even while wearing the brightest RED dress !

    Mia will RESIGN….because of her failure to deliver her BERT plan…..even while wering her brightest RED….mia cares shirt !

    Wha’ after all just like the BRITISH people…..BAJANS will NOT tolerate suffering for too long !!

    As ……..

    Bajans

    Experiencing

    Ravishing

    Times

    a.k.a BERT takes it TOLL !

    Like

  • wearing

    Like

  • @Dr. Lucas

    This point is well taken.

    Like

  • A year of new government means a year of successful governance and rebirth of our Goddess Bim.

    Our beloved Prime Minister must not stray from the right path now. We need more austerity, fewer lazy bureaucrats and more personal initiative.

    Above all, she must not listen to the defenders of the bloated welfare state. They moan all day. They have lived their whole lazy lives at the expense of other people, i.e. the Barbadian taxpayer, instead of working God-fearingly hard. These people drive a big Mercedes, have villas in the north and look down on the people in the south.

    Of course, we have already achieved a lot. The debt level was reduced and arrogant pensioners, who wanted to damage the nation as speculators, were rightly put in their place. The government has repaired many roads and solved the stinking problem with the sewage.

    Above all, our beloved Prime Minister has restored dignity to the island and its people. Let me remind everyone that from 2008 to 2018 the world laughed at Barbadians as insular backwoods and idiots. And thanks be to God and Mia Mottley this is finally over!

    We shall trust in God and in Mia Mottley´s firm leadership. May the rule of reason and justice continue for a long time to come.

    Like

  • Tron @ 9:55 AM

    At least you show you have a CONSCIENCE !

    The lazy bloated defenders you speak of….

    Are the very said $ 21 million CONSULTANTS….that you & Mia Mottley foisted on the taxpayers of this country !

    Driving around in their mercedes & having lavish parties at the taxpayers expense !

    But wunna keep on thinking the people are ……sleeping !!

    BERT gine be you all …..UNDOING !!

    WATCH & SEE !!

    Like

  • Sounds frighten as hell to me…little shitehounds pretending to be big boys and gone setting up bigger, more dangerous boys than yaself…ya should be very damn afraid.

    Like

  • If Barbados is not a failed state, let us look at the key institutions of our democracy: look at the debate on this blog about a man who pleaded guilty to a criminal offence; look at the remand on bail of the former prime minister’s brother on ammunition charges only to remand him in prison after being found guilty; look at our health service; our educational system; the NIS, as per the debate on this stream; the wider criminal justice system; the use of so-called lie-detectors in our defence force and at the port (no doubt on the recommendation of the Americans); look at the regulation of the banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions; read the auditor general’s annual reports; look at the chaos of BERT. I can go on.
    Even more, look at parliament: constitutional changes to admit a man with a so-called MA in political sociology, what has he done for the nation so far, apart from his cryptocurrency? Look at CARICOM.
    The bottom line is that our institutions do not function. The stat e embraces all these institutions. Who is brave enough to say these institutions are working?

    Liked by 1 person

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: