UNEMPLOYMENT Fund is Broke, Time for Straight Talk Chairman Leslie Haynes

The following was posted as a comment by Walter Blackman to the Walter Blackman’s Political Insights blog – David, Blogmaster

Based on the link to the NIS investments, provided by NorthernObserver, all BU readers can now sing from the same Hymn sheet – see link https://www.nis.gov.bb/investments-2/

Here are the facts, and the questions to be asked:

The unemployment Fund is broke. Not a cent is left. No bonds, no cash. Nada. Zilch. Rien.
Where will the money come from to pay current and future unemployment benefits? Remedial action has to come down the pipeline very soon.

Government owes (i.e the politicians misused our money) $2.8 billion to the National Insurance Fund, and $0.1 billion to the Severance Fund. There is no cash in the Severance Fund. Where is the money currently coming from to pay the workers’ severance that employers are refusing to pay?

Is the law being broken with respect to the payment of unemployment and severance benefits?

The only way Government can repay the money owed to the NIS is through taxation. Who will the Government tax to get the $2.9 billion for the NIS?
The Baby Boomers have started to retire and will do so by the thousands every year until 2033. How will their retirement benefits be paid? Something has to be done very soon

At the beginning of 2015, the NIS was paying roughly $40 million per month (just think about the multiplier effect this has on our economy) in NIS retirement pensions. That amounts to $480 million per year, and $960 million over two years.
We can therefore understand what the Chairman of the NIS meant when he said: “there are sufficient funds there that we can see this through at least for the next two years.”

However, the Chairman went on to say: “So there is no cause for concern.”

Every BU reader can now look the Chairman of the NIS fully in the face and say: “We do not agree with your assessment of the NIS, Mr. Chairman. There is great, great cause for concern, and in fact, we are very, very concerned. Next time you speak, please tell us what is the Board’s solutions to the massive NIS problems we face.”

…what are the Board’s solutions?

483 thoughts on “UNEMPLOYMENT Fund is Broke, Time for Straight Talk Chairman Leslie Haynes

  1. @ Baje
    Just want to set the record straight. When I say escape from that place, I am referring to my failed attempt to win a seat (Parliament) when I contested the elections of 1991 as a NDP candidate. I really mean escaped from being in parliament.
    However, I actually remember being told by a friend that he was happy to “ escape” Barbados. So, you have expressed the feeling of many , who left the island.
    Quite frankly, I personally don’t think I would ever reach that stage but at least you are not being a hypocrite because there are some who pretend this great love for country in public but in private , they really don’t care much about it.
    Some indulge in sweet nothings to avoid the great injustices that are being meted out to the poor every single day.
    I have not seen so many people look at an empty glass and try to convince me that it is half full until I came to BU.
    They try to display optimism but in fact they hand pick a few successes and then expect intelligent persons to see that as the norm.
    Believe me, I was involved in more than one Black/small business group and for every one of us that succeeded about fifty or sixty failed. It’s the same thing they do to people in the USA , when blacks complain, they say to them: Look at Michael Jordan, he made it why can’t you!
    The simple and unvarnished truth is that if we don’t start to address widespread poverty, I can guarantee you that 80% of our young black entrepreneurs will not make it to any substantial level within ten years. There is already a new brain drain because many can’t even find work with a degree.
    We have a very high failure rate of Black business because there is no inherited wealth to start with in the first place. I have attended trade shows in countries, that only white Barbadian business people knew about or were invited to. I got to go because of affiliation with some professional bodies outside of Bim.
    I ask those who come here with no facts but daily pontificating , to tell me where all the black manufacturers from the 80s are today. Tell me the percentage of their businesses that lasted twenty years. Tell me how many can find ten thousand dollars today after struggling for a quarter century .
    I know where the bodies are buried and I know who destroyed them and why they were destroyed .
    Keep up the good work. The struggle continues.

    • All on the blog have noticed you sidestepped the issue of hoe profits are distributed in the tourism sector. Cherrypicking the issues again. Barbados like any other country has its issues, the end.

  2. Steupse! William Skinner arguing against himself and dropping stupid remarks, as is his wont these days.

    Here’s what I say to those who escaped – good riddance!

    Again, nobody is disputing that the odds are stacked against us. All I am saying is that we have what it takes to overcome. There’s just too many of us to be powerless – if we move together.

    And what I will say again is – it ain’t no better where you have escaped to! But you are welcome to stay there and I will stay here – ON THE GROUND.

    Now I can’t help it if you cannot see the butterflies and the daffodils. I don’t see daffodils either but I have hibiscus. And a beautiful humming bird to go with it, I hear though I have not seen it in months.

    But I go out in the morning and live in hope.

    By the way, the grand-daughter of this successful businessman studied Hotel Management at the UWI. During her job attachment, she became aware of the poor treatment meted out to hotel workers, usually by black overseer types. When asked what she hoped to accomplish in her chosen field she replied that she wanted to own her own hotel. You should have heard the laughter from the black overseer!

    Well, COVID put paid to all that hotel stuff and she has started a different business. Do you wish to know how it’s going so far?

    Young people!

    P.S. Had a serious boyfriend thirty years ago who rose from poverty to run a very successful business. He used to tell me about all the obstacles placed in his way by the white men. Then he would let out one big steupse and say, “Anyhow!”

    Do you know why we aren’t married? The man lived and breathed the business and had no time to play. He worked hard, spent wisely and was determined to succeed. Always calm, big clown in downtime (that was his charm) and confidant he would succeed.

    Took him to age thirty-four to declare his business successful enough to ease off.

  3. @ William

    A big question: why is government intervening in the industrial relations negotiations of G4S and the hotel sector? And, not t ministerial level, but at the very top of the tree? Plse explain.

    • For those who have followed IR in Barbados the Labour Department does not have a good track record of arbitrating serious disputes. The matter is then escalated to government when the Minister who has responsibility for labour deems it can add value in the national interest. You would prefer the BWU call out the GAIA workers at this times wouldn’t you, then you start to cry the president, the president.

  4. @ Donna
    I hate to do this but I did explain my statement to @Baje regarding “ escape “ I did do because I did not want to be misunderstood. At December 10, 2020 2:44 AM this is what William Skinner wrote:
    “@ Baje
    Just want to set the record straight. When I say escape from that place, I am referring to my failed attempt to win a seat (Parliament) when I contested the elections of 1991 as a NDP candidate. I really mean escaped from being in parliament.
    However, I actually remember being told by a friend that he was happy to “ escape” Barbados. So, you have expressed the feeling of many , who left the island.
    Quite frankly, I personally don’t think I would ever reach that stage….“(QUOTE)

    In other words, I was looking back , at my failure to enter Parliament and philosophically , seeing the failure as a blessing in disguise. It had nothing to do with arguing against myself. I then made it clear to @Baje that whereas I understand why some people express that they “ escaped” Barbados , I declared , that I don’t think I will reach that stage. Quite frankly , those who know me well, will confirm that I see the entire Caribbean as one nation.
    I am often called a dreamer because I have remained a die hard unrepentant regionalist. I maintain that with all its problems, the quality of life in the Caribbean , is better for our people but that’s a position that may not be shared by many.

    The struggle continues

  5. @ Hal
    Thls is a question with which I have engaged myself over the last few years. A lot of bad leadership practices have now become the norm.
    It seems that the BLPDLP, has embarked on a Supreme leader philosophy. All roads must now lead to whomever is Prime Minister. I have noted that , for the past two years , Mottley has hogged the show , whenever there is good news. She has been elevated , in very short time , to a type of Messiah. This seems to be consistent with how we want our PMs to be.
    It will grow and then lead to “ elected” or parliamentary dictatorships. It was a similar thing with Barrow and then Arthur took it to greater heights.
    Look at what happened to Comrade Prescod. She fired him, he wailed and then took a fancy title to rub shame from his face. All the progressives have now lined up behind her . It’s absolute legitimate power. Let’s see how it works out. Although I suspect you and I already know the possible result.
    The struggle continues.

  6. That particular part of the comment was directed at those who feel they have escaped.

    P.S. This morning the runt of my okra plants, the very one WHOM I told I would take care of even though she looked poor rakey, produced the biggest okra I ever saw – six inches long not counting the bend. I swear it grew inches overnight because I did not see any okra yesterday ready to be reaped.

  7. @ William

    It is the cult of personality. It leads to the Supreme Leader believing s/he is always right, then to anyone who says s/he is not right being imprisoned, then executed.
    Look at Africa, China, Hungary, Brazil. All you get are people shouting, barking, heckling, or putting forward irrelevant details about policy, while leaving the flawed policy untouched.
    The question remains why, in this case, is our Supreme Leader getting involved in an industrial dispute over wages between workers, their union and employers?
    Not only are the ministers superfluous, but the arbitrational body put in place by the law is ignored. The woman is an obsessive, power mad, a compulsive interventionist.
    I hope pressure groups, think-tanks, opposition parties, the media and academics, even BU, are keeping a careful audit of this government’s announced, and implemented policies.
    By the way, do you remember the row between doctors at the hospital? Was there ministerial intervention?

    • The woman lives in your head. The bargaining and dispute process failed and the BWU is reported to be about to callout units to support a strike. Why should the prime minister not get involved which has been the custom in Barbados from time back.

  8. “@ David @William

    How do you the whole thing was not orchestrated with Prescod to save face?”

    Evidence please!“(QUOTE)

    What “ evidence” you want or expect from me ? Do you have comic juice for breakfast? Has Trevor Eastmond retired? Are you his replacement?
    In my view Comrade Prescod took the “envoy “ thing and then had the nerve to say that is why he went to Parliament I the first place. Last thing I heard , he was responsible , for moving a piece of old iron from somewhere in Bridgetown to the Garrison. I always thought he would have preferred to throw it in the Careenage.
    I stand by what I write because I know how he defended the public embarrassment that was meted out to him. You want evidence: call the CID.
    The struggle continues.

    • In other words you do not know if there was a back room deal by your comrade Trevor Prescod to ensure is 15k month a salary is continued. You guys fare the biggest Rh hypocrites.

  9. @ Hal
    When the DLP could not get an economic policy to succeed , the private sector told employees to march against the NSRL because they had no intention of paying taxes up front. They claimed the cost of living would rise.
    Now the workers want severance pay, NIS benefits , the same private sector saying they should not strike.
    In the meantime, the BWU is waiting on the PM. That’s the state of the game. I honestly don’t recall the Doctors issue.
    Things get curiouser and curiouser.
    The struggle continues.

    • People marched because Stuart and the DLP were a butch of incompetents and civil society used every means necessary to show dissent. It is that simple.

  10. @David
    December 10, 2020 8:05 AM

    “In other words you do not know if there was a back room deal by your comrade Trevor Prescod to ensure is 15k month a salary is continued. You guys fare the biggest Rh hypocrites.“(Quote)
    I did not even know that Comrade Prescod’s “ Special Envoy” salary was 15 thousand per month. You seem to be a better detective than given credit.
    Man, you carry on . I’ve been called worst for having an opinion even victimized by the BLPDLP.
    Carry on smartly my Dear David. If you have the salaries of others , please let the much loved BU family know.
    Peace and love, Bro’

  11. Yes folks….the chickens have come to roost!…and the results are in. You basically have a system that is broke. One would ask…but how is this possible? So let’s look at the underlying factors. Firstly encouraging a population to work for cash with no contributions is plain stupid! …How do these people plan to retire? The answer is…they won’t…they will end up on the street begging. Secondly many employers have not contributed to the NIS…and continue to do so under the watchful eye of the government. Labour laws need a major overhaul ….sad enough it may already be too late . The third nail in the coffin is BERT. An ill timed recovery program…that has done nothing but indebted hard working Bajans…..with no end in site. Fourth point is the inability of the working class to stand up for them selves..and holding people accountable! A general strike to shed light on the situation may not be a bad thing. The only positive out of all of this is that COVID19 has actually uncovered many things….if not for COVID19…..they would still be telling you lies that everything is ok. Well folks …everything is not ok…its time to call your MPs…and hold these people accountable…. The future is yours! Speak up and fight for your future!

  12. @ Homeboy

    Brilliant. The other feature is that Barbadians do not realise their power as consumers. Why can’t they organise?

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