NIS Pension Warning

Chairman of NIS Board Leslie Haynes

One of many concerns Barbados Underground has been championing through the years is the rate of depletion of NIS funds. Quoting former Minister David Estwick who addressed the matter last week, “the operating balance at the NIS becomes negative by 2028, six years from now…and the NIS funds would be depleted in 12 years. Compounding the problem is a matter of poor compliance”.  Do we have the capacity to run with the message for the purpose of engaging in constructive debate?

There are not many other ways one can continue to express concern about the management of the NIS by the Barbados and Democratic Labour parties through the years. Although Prime Minister Mottley has given the assurance the NIS is nowhere near to a crisis situation, the reality of the numbers tells a different story for the independent minded.

The country awaits the outcome from a recent national consultation on the NIS when it is anticipated significant changes will have to be implemented. As it stands our NIS contribution is one of the highest in the region with age eligible for full pension benefit being 67. The fact we are labelled an ageing population with restricted opportunity to expand the pool of contributions has opened the door for managed immigration.

While this blog highlights the NIS fund, the burgeoning pension liability of government for the public service, both central government and SOEs adds to the problems a future generation will have to wrestle.

Barbadians have jumped on the bandwagon and have become addicted to the latest flavour of gossip news. In the meantime…

The following article posted in the Nation newspaper on May 25, 2023 with the title Retirement crisis looming, says former Minister is recommended reading.

Retirement crisis looming, says former Minister 

Article by Jonteau Coppin 

David Estwick, former miniser

Barbados faces an impending retirement crisis.

This is the belief of Dr David Estwick, the former Minister of Economic Affairs, who was speaking during the Democratic Labour Party’s St Peter branch meeting at Mile-And-A-Quarter on Sunday.

The topic of discussion was A Crisis Within A Crisis – The Risk of Pensions in Barbados.

Estwick raised the alarm over the country’s future retirement prospects, highlighting the worsening dependency ratio and the unpreparedness of both the Government and the over-65 age group for the challenges that lie ahead.

Speaking about the solvency of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) which he deems a national emergency, he said “The Government of Barbados is unprepared for these future pension liabilities, and the over-65 age group in Barbados is woefully unprepared for retirement.”

He continued:  “It is now an emergency because there was significant damage done to the NIS balance sheet because of the domestic debt restructuring exercise of 2018, that resulted in the NIS losing over $1.6 billion in debt-based assets, in addition to the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on contributions and benefit pay out. In fact, the operating balance at the NIS becomes negative by 2028, six years from now…and the NIS funds would be depleted in 12 years. Compounding the problem is a matter of poor compliance. In fact, about one in every eight self-employed persons pay NIS,”

Estwick, who headed the Infrastructure Committee of Cabinet under Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, recommends the elimination of double taxation on pensions and the scrapping of any direct tax on people who take up jobs post retirement, as strategies to help save the NIS from potential collapse. He also suggested that Barbados introduce a tax write-off of 150 per cent of business investment for people over the age of 60.

However, given the severity of the situation, Estwick believes things will become more expensive for those in the 16-60 age group who are responsible for paying NIS.

“It is my contention that Barbadians should brace themselves for increases to the present NIS contribution rates that apply to employees and employers of 11.1 per cent and 12.75 percent respectively; working for longer periods (70-75) and a reduced pension benefit”. (JC)

Nation newspaper

87 thoughts on “NIS Pension Warning


  2. Yolande Grant - African Online Publishing Copyright (c) 2023. All Rights Reserved. on said:


    Cant seek to blame Empire for that one…but….it is noticed in all the bellyaching and griping, not a fella int calling for independent AUDITORS for the last 20- 40 years of no accountability or financial transparency, for the treasury vat or NIS pension..preferably in no way connected to government their agents or associates……

    But dont worry, i already made a suggestion.

  3. Yolande Grant-African Online Publishing Copyright (c) 2023. All Rights Reserved. on said:

    Btw…shared yesterday was information stating that people in the diaspora are crying shame and embarrassment on parliament misleadership and distancing themselves from any direct connection.

    Cant blame them, it’s sooooo embarrassing…ALL OF IT….i wont want anyone to know i know them…people are indeed crying shame all around..

    …we also cannot allow Slave minds to drive any type of narrative. I certainly will not allow them to insert themselves as they are so famous in doing….not this time or in this situation..way ahead of that trick…so petty and trifling they cant see the disaster developing..

  4. This conversation, like many others, seem never to go any deeper than the surface.

    Neither David Estwick nor his namesake here has the courage to conclude that what’s been happening at the NIS is the direct and causal consequence of neoliberal capitalism, beginning circa 1980.

    It is a Washington Consensus thinking which both are, in Jim Jones fashion, ardent koolaide drinkers.

    Like in any other belief system, the economic is no different. So to ask believers to question their raison dete is to become Sisyphus.

    Until these who are such proponents can find this base truism any regurgitatiion of old memes mean nothing.

    To these devout capitalists there must never be a fundamental interrogation of such bedrock morrings. Even as the belief system was only entered into canon four decades ago.

    As a result, the same circular trite must now be repeated. We should expect that Walter Blackman, who has some expertise in matters thus, to be summons to argue what he has expertly done several times previously.

    And the collapse of social security systems is a global phenomenon. All the betrayals of actuaríal logic found in the case of Barbados repeat themselves almost everywhere else.

    Therefore the point of departure and the logical direction of travel must be neoliberal capitalism, itself. Anything else is either a fool’s errand or the diliberate dumbing down of the public by both the loud–mouthed barggart from Saint Philip and his more obsequious twin right here.

    • Yolande Grant - African Online Publishing Copyright (c) 2023. All Rights Reserved. on said:

      Neoliberalism and capitalism notwithstanding….dem TIEF…BILLIONS from the fund.

      I was fortunate enuff to see their theft handiwork up Apes Hill some years ago, still have really nice photos, but their dream clubhouse and pool for racists have since been dug up, however, the disappeared billions can still be seen.

      They are playing the same old dumbed down game and fully expect different results…someone ought to send them a memo…that strategy is overused, misused abused and too old to have any life left. …they have had too much freedom to be destructive with taxpayer’s and pensioner’s money…

      The loan money theft, that’s between them and their Empire employers….dont in anyway concern me..

  5. Waru
    Some may cite other causal factors, like birth rates decline, non payment, etc. While birth rates will be a factor more decisive going forward and delinquency something which has always been a challenge, the elephant in the room which nobody wants to address is neoliberal capitalism itself.

    Under neoliberal capitalism the intention was, from the masters in Washington, that all public wealth must be privatised. We see the consolidation into fewer and fewer hands. And this is largely what has happened to the NIS, and will continue to.

    Look! For example. We cannot recall anybody who has virtually thrown away tens of millions of NIS money, like as the fake professor Persaud, and continues to be at the centre of government’s financial architecture as a respected adviser.

    Part of the plan to achieve Washington’s diktats.

    • They have shown for decades just how vulnerable that system is to abuse, by overly subjecting it to massive and horrifying exploitation….that alone should give everyone, especially those whose financial interests are tied up in it by the billions of dollars……serious pause..

  6. “Under neoliberal capitalism the intention was, from the masters in Washington, that all public wealth must be privatised.”

    But then they got overly greedy and tief all the money, mismanaged the island and had to go loans abegging AGAIN……….i dont think they meant for them to tief until everything became nonfunctioning….lol

    Looks like they privatized the loans too…

    That’s why i stay ouf of politics because of differing agendas….and am not a great admirer of that system either, personally, my belief is, better can be done…but that’s from a feminine perspective…high profile Alpha males think differently.

  7. “Look! For example. We cannot recall anybody who has virtually thrown away tens of millions of NIS money, like as the fake professor Persaud, and continues to be at the centre of government’s financial architecture as a respected adviser.”

    That fakery has gone on for quite some time and no one is doing anything..

  8. Estwick should be the last to say anything about mismanagement of the NIS, as it was his government under the divine hand of sinkyuh that used that entity as their personal xerox machine.

    The large amount of debt created by the DLP government to the NIS, then was passed on to this government to service. Then the BLP decided “listen right some off” and with the stroke of a pen 1 billion dollars of the contributions of others disappeared!

    So which party created the problem one could argue? Well personally in my view both need to hold some licks for their decisions. The point is we are where we are now and unless this government plans to inject roughly $80 million a year, for the next 10 to 12 years the fund will fail.

    Those sadly are the facts.

    • I share your sentiments. One of my biggest regrets is the Ds didn’t get re-elected after those ‘glorious years’.
      I would love to have seen their choices given the financial situation in May ’18.
      I mean, even after the NIS Bond buying fiasco, they WITHELD govt employee NIS contributions to bolster the Consolidated Fund, sending the NIS an I.O.U.
      The series J Bonds held today by the NIS is repayment for those I.O.U’s. (that was compliments of the IMF)
      People like Eastwick need very thick skin, (I hear rum helps thicken the skin) to even raise the topic.

  9. No one is safe, they would rob anyone, sell anyone…they have had many decades of practice, no loyalty to anyone except for what they do and whom they do it with.

    It’s a horrible and very destructive situation…and must be brought to heel…they have acted for decades like they were answerable to no one, only recently most of us came to tealize that was another one of their lies and pretense…

    • Uh wonder why the blogmaster does allow the jackass Yolande Grant to ABUSE EVERY damn blog. It sickening. 7/12 posts of REPEATING the SAME SHYTE, over and over and over, and nothing bout the subject.

  10. Waru

    These problems are getting to be like 128 dimensional chess.

    Very few are’s hard to keep up.

    Don’t expect the elites to admit that they are out of depth.

    On the contrary, they will blindly ride out backs in a blissful ignorance, while pretending that they are on top uh things.

  11. We all knew the NIS goose was cooked long ago.
    Part of why I have trouble reading Dr.JR these days, for under his chairmanship they NEVER submitted a single annual report, as at least, he didn’t have the kahunas to say so.
    Play quiet and get a full professorship and dept head.
    The game goes on.
    The lot of them need a bullet.
    Average Bajans pensions gone, because they played loose and fancy free with their money. Nary a soul had the gumption to speak out, in the public space.

  12. I’m not sure why the mathematics of pension funds fail

    I don’t blame socialism
    I blame the greed of capitalism

    But speaking of greed..
    Statistics show..
    Fatties double the burden of healthcare costs

    Where in the Bible is four score and ten?
    Psalms 90:10 In-Context

    9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

  13. Listen Carefully to your Data.
    Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

    What pollutes Government function?

    Corporate sabotage
    Data sheds light and helps to highlight understand and solve problems.
    The world of online data can be either for good (user privacy) or bad (corporate snooping, Government and political overreach).

    Religious Baggage
    Spiritual belief to 21st century surveillance, with a slice of legal conspiracy.
    While that blend of bold topics was initially commendable, it soon became clear that the Hand of God was a divine mess.

    To bring some clarity to the psychological haze.
    The visions were a mental illness,
    But the Hand of God still doesn’t know when to stop.
    It’s family is far bigger than blood.

    There’s something underneath it all, perhaps, about the difference between what people want to believe is real and what actually is, whether that’s the strive to be a better politician, the urge to escape the cloying nature of a rundown reality or the need for deeper motivation sent from on high.
    A story of redemption and shifting perceptions, Hand of God’s biggest sin is perhaps that it doesn’t seem to know how to change.

  14. @ Northern

    The day an audit is done the government that happens to be in power then, will be in hell to explain why the fund has reached this stage of insolvency. When the bad debts from government are booked and the performance of the real estate assets to market value highlighted, every Bajan with a basic understanding of numbers will hang their head in shame. Add to that when the overpriced real estate like the Grotto is written down to true market value and not booked at what it cost to build, the true asset base of the fund will be revealed.

    This fund is a bear no one wants to poke and awaken neither B nor D.

  15. I Am I AM
    I AM
    Rich in Melanin

    It is produced through some chemical processes, which gives rise to different kinds of melanin. This little pigment does not only define the color of our bodies but depending on its amount, melanin also protects the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun, and skin with more melanin has a better ability to absorb heat.

    Be it white, light, or shades of brown and black, all humans are beautiful the way they are. Over the years, racial discrimination has affected humans, especially women, in feeling low about their skin type. However, women today are raising their voices through racial activism, to promote self-care and love of skin.

    “The black skin is not a badge of shame but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.”

    -Marcus Garvey.

  16. The Economic Freedom Party of our main man in Azania, Julius Makema, is the very best of the best.

    He’s the antithesis of the breed we’ve known well after independence. A giant compared to a bullshiiite talker like a Mia Mottley. A real man!

    In response to a racist BBC questioning about South Afrika’s policy of nuetrality viz a viz thr NATO-Russian war.

    Malema boldly stated that if his party was in government he would send weapons to Russia. To the consternation of the racist.

    All over Afrika there is an uprising. A determination to say fuck off to stinking White people, and their slaves. And it’s high time tooooooo.

    Of course, during the war againstthe fascists, Apartheid, regime it was the USSR, now Russia, as inheritor, which sent every penny the Freedom Fighters received.

    It was Russia which paid for every plañe ticket, every gun, every meal, every uniform, every doctor, everything, everything, everything.

    While the racist countries like Britian and the United States supported the Apartheid regime until the end.

    And now a BBC journalist has the unmitigated gall, the temerity, to suppose that the enemies of Afrikan people are to be supported by us.

    But Malema needs to go further and call for that action which will remove this demonic germ from Pachamama.


  17. Government made bad investments with our NIS Pension Fund money hence the ONLY solution is for government to subsidize the pension fund each time it drops below a certain minimum threshold limit.

  18. “I’m not sure why the mathematics of pension funds fail”,

    Honestly, I doubt the mathematics failed. This may be more a failure of a dishonest system and crooked actuaries.

    Yesterday, I was engaged in a hot exchange at a next Bajan site.

    I am not asking for anyone to drag down the island, but what I hate that even with known issues, even with our inability to follow known guidances/rules/laws/conventions/instructions someone will rush out with a list of rules to show how the process should work and that the victim is in the wrong.

    Why do some believe that they must protect and preserve the status quo?

    Those who benefit from the current failed system find it sweet and not needing any changes. It is this same unfairness and dispensing injustice that will crash the system.

  19. We see system after system failing and returning the incorrect answer. Yet some act as if nothing is wrong and the next system will give the correct answer…. The definition of insanity

  20. Telling the truth is not dragging down the island. Dragging down the island is pretending that we are alone in our ignorance.

    We are not especially stupid, ignorant or corrupt. The more I look, the more I see that this shit is happening almost everywhere.

    This system of things is not sustainable.

  21. “Telling the truth is not dragging down the island. Dragging down the island is pretending that we are alone in our ignorance.
    We are not especially stupid, ignorant or corrupt. The more I look, the more I see that this shit is happening almost everywhere.
    This system of things is not sustainable.”
    This is the single most profound summary to have been posted on BU since PODRYH departed this realm.

    • Challenges in Barbados’ labour force
      By Anthony Wood

      I read with keen interest the articles captioned Back To Work published in another section of the media and
      Labour Worry published on the back page of the Saturday Sun, May 20. The articles are based on a recent labour market study on Barbados undertaken by economists Laron Alleyne, Anton Belgrave, and Alexis Lescott of the Central Bank of Barbados.
      The employment statistics presented by the authors are indicative of a noticeable increase in employed people in 2022 (coupled with a declining labour force) which resulted in the average unemployment rate declining from 14.1 per cent in 2021 to 8.2 per cent in 2022. The outturn employment figures for 2022 indicate a return to pre-pandemic levels of employment and economic activity.
      A few important points emerge from the study. First is the revelation by the authors that significant structural challenges remain, including “a falling labour force participation rate due to an increase in female retirements, as well as the dominance of public sector employment growth in the overall labour market recovery since 2019”. It was noted that employment levels within public administration and defence increased by 82 per cent during the pandemic period, equivalent to an increase of 6 100 jobs.
      The labour force participation rate measures the percentage of persons within the eligible workforce actively seeking employment. With regard to the female labour force, the authors note there was a decline of 5 500 individuals between the first and last quarter of 2022, yielding a female labour force participation rate of 58 per cent which was comparable to levels existing in the 1980s and early 1990s. The corresponding labour force participation rate for males in 2022 was 67.8 per cent, which was 0.5 per cent higher than the average rate for 2019.
      Concern with participation
      The continued decline in the participation rate among females should be a cause for concern among the policymakers. Excluding those females engaged in full-time study, it is important to ascertain why the remainder from the 42 per cent of eligible working females are choosing to be voluntarily idle. Also, an analysis should be undertaken to determine the proportion of females retiring at the mandatory age and those seeking early retirement.
      For the latter category, factors such as inadequate remuneration packages driving some females to seek better paying jobs overseas, unsuitable work environments, and difficulty in finding the appropriate balance between work and family commitments should be considered.
      Some of the gains made in employment in 2022 will be reversed in 2023. A major contributory factor is the retrenchment of approximately 3 000 workers from the two extended short-term Government programmes on March 31, 2023. The situation will be exacerbated when the delayed restructuring programme for the stateowned enterprises is implemented.
      A further challenge will arise with the availability of thousands of employable young individuals exiting secondary and tertiary educational institutions in a few months. The private sector will be challenged to absorb some of these workers, given the financial constraints imposed on the Government with the second Barbados Economic Transformation and Recovery (BERT) programme.
      Another significant observation was the sharp decline in the participation rate between the second and last quarter of 2022 due to the sizeable increase of 6 300 retired persons over the six-month period. As noted earlier, a disaggregation is required to ascertain the breakdown of those persons opting for early retirement and those retiring at the mandatory age. The breakdown of both categories for the private and public sectors will also be useful for further analysis.
      It is noteworthy that statistics on the age cohort 16-25 years were not presented and discussed in the articles. Absorption of such young persons in the labour market has been challenging in other jurisdictions, with some countries reporting youth unemployment rates of 25 per cent.
      Having comparative data for Barbados will help to better position policy makers with their planning geared towards these young persons making meaningful contributions to economic activity.
      Also, information of persons in the 16-25 age cohort choosing not to actively seek employment (that is, choosing to be voluntary idle) for reasons other than full-time study will be useful in explaining the overall fairly low participation rates, particularly among females.
      Anthony Wood is a former minister of agriculture in a previous Barbados Labour Party administration, as well as former chairman of the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation.

      Source: Nation

    • Artax..
      No square brackets..?? …ok… Bushie could see um…

      Boss, you REALLY think that PUDRYR could be ‘vertica’l bout here – and not be pelting some licks in the lotta shiite going on bout here under our Mugabe – styled dicktashun?

      No way JOSE!!!
      Um is probably he ‘up there’ haunting the so-called leaders we got bout here, and got them making the MOST stupid decisions imaginable…. the eddykashun shiite initiative… LOLOL
      Bushie still think that um is a play play skit, that has been designed for NIFCA…

  22. Why is the NIS failing?
    Neoliberal capitalism as an economic throry is clearly causal.
    Why do we have economic theories?
    To further the aims of imperialism. Plain and simple.
    What are the reasons for imperialism?
    To mobilize the resources of other peoples’ for the capital needed to further the hegemon’s industrialization or development.
    What is the main difference between industrial capitalism and the financial capitalism as in neoliberalism?
    Financial capitalism’s central aims are to redistribute the surplus to the corporate elites, is characterised by a rentier class, produces no real goods, GDP is largely based on services.
    Industrial capitalism represents a real economy in classical economic thought.
    Why are there a collision of these two models.
    Financial capitalism has allowed the hegemon, USA, merely by having control of a world reserve currency in which most commodities were priced to live on the backs of countries which actually produces things.
    Will it be the end of throse services economies steeped in financializaion, like Barbados?
    Yes! However, the backers of neoliberalism are fighting hard to make adjustments, in the hope of staving off doom. Their number one priority is a tinkering which leaves the corporate elites in a privaledged position as rent seekers sucking the blood of the rest of the world.

    In the future we’ll address how a country mobilizes capital for development without resting on an economic theory which supports imperialism.

  23. This warning from the sardine-tin-retriever (formerly thought to be a Pit Bull) is much like the Devil giving us a somber warning that we are about to see Hell on Earth….
    ..or like Fauci expressing concerns about another epidemic that could ‘force him’ to make another couple hundred billion $$$ profit by selling some new shiite injection to every brass bowl he can terrorize with his shit talk..

    Or like a former NIS chairman now being publicly concerned at the lack if financial reporting from that PUBLIC body.

    If the DLP people don’t have the BASIC common sense to get the RID of those &^$#$^s from the ‘Era of Downgrades’ – including Froon, Spit-Bull, Stink-Liar, Kelly-the-Dotish-NIS-Investment-specialist (and a few others for good measure), then their only hope is that the BLP will outdo them in abject idiocy…

    Fortunately for the DLP (but NOT for Bajan brass), The Bees are making a gallant effort to make the DLP downgraders look like amateurs at idiocy…

    What a place…!!!!

    One would have thought that COMMON SENSE would become more evident when all else have clearly failed us.
    …but how can it, …when.. due to WICKEDNESS in high and LOW places…
    “Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat”

  24. I am looking forward to being at Ground Zero of BU later this year
    It is unfortunate that I will not be able to meet a few Ground Zero inhabitants:
    Enuff, Lorenzo, The A guy, John A, Rabbit, 222, Cuhdear, Bushie Donna and the blogmaster just to name a few

    Anyhow, I will try to provide a daily comment from my cave at Ground 0 whilst wearing my tin-foil hat. I dread being captured and having to listen to the torturous music of 111 …. geez, heaven help me.

    I will put emphasis on the positive, but will also comment on anything that is negative.

      By Emmanuel Joseph

      Prime Minister Mia Mottley and members of her Cabinet will in a few weeks have in their hands proposed provisions to transition the island’s social security scheme into a “commercial state enterprise” to make it more profitable and ensure its long-term viability.
      Chairman of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Leslie Haynes, KC made the disclosure to Barbados TODAY, indicating that the NIS is targeting the end of June to send the draft of the new National Insurance Bill to Cabinet for approval.
      He said the NIS and the Minister of Labour and Social Security Colin Jordan have already held discussions with the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) and the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) to get feedback on the provisions. A similar meeting was slated for Wednesday evening with the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW).
      “The new Act is establishing the National Insurance as a commercial state enterprise.
      That would establish the board of directors, it would establish the relationship between the Government and the statutory body, and it will deal with certain provisions of the National Insurance Fund and how it is to be administered,” the NIS official told Barbados TODAY in an interview ahead of that meeting with the NUPW.
      “We in Barbados are leading the way in the Caribbean to ensure our Fund is not depleted.
      Every three years, the actuary, according to the present National Insurance Act, has to review and put in a report. The last report received from the actuary was last year when he said action has to be taken in order to avoid the depletion of the fund sometime in the 2030s,” Haynes recalled.
      In that 17th Actuarial Review of the National Insurance Fund (NIF), Unemployment Fund and Severance Payments Fund, dated July 2022, actuary Derek Osborne projected that the NIF would move from expenditure being 36 per cent more than contributions in 2020, to 77 per cent more than contributions when all reserves are exhausted in 2036.
      As of December 31, 2022, the NIF stood at $3.679 billion.
      Haynes pointed out that as a matter of urgency, there is now a general reform of the pension fund and the system for self-employed Barbadians to contribute to the social security scheme.
      “In addition to those major reforms, we are also dealing with the pension fund because of the actuarial report and trying to make it easier for self-employed persons to contribute to the scheme. I cannot speak of these reforms as yet because they still have to go to Cabinet,” he said.
      “This is in addition to the number of other matters that we are working with at the National Insurance . . . such as payments of pensions into bank accounts to becoming more digitised, and curing problems…about employers not paying in contributions. So, a number of major reforms are taking place at the National Insurance,” Haynes said, adding that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was supporting the reforms.
      Recalling that there was a run on the NIF during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Haynes disclosed that more than half of the $100 million-plus which the Government had pledged to invest in that fund to recapitalise it had already been paid.
      “And they have agreed to pay off the balance at certain intervals to recapitalise it, but they have already paid one tranche.
      So I really wouldn’t worry about the National Insurance Fund,” the chairman asserted.
      Last week, former Minister of Economic Affairs in the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration Dr David Estwick recommended the elimination of double taxation on pensions and the scrapping of any direct tax on people who take up jobs post-retirement as strategies to help save the NIS from potential collapse.
      He also suggested that Barbados introduce a tax write-off of 150 per cent of business investment for people over the age of 60.

      Source: Barbados Today

    • What is Chairman Haynes quoted as saying?…”as a matter of urgency…

      The report should make for interesting reading, will the audited financials be available as well?

    • How do you make something which has lost billions “more profitable”?
      Smoke and mirrors. An excuse to hire a few faithful.
      And NO, there will not be a single report, financial or otherwise, for all the missing years 😕😕
      Possibly the Actuarial Report didn’t mention this, so they are not aware they are missing 😁😁
      And yet, they want the self employed to sign up and send them funds. Are the self employed that stupid?

    • @NO

      Your comment attached perfectly to the thesis position of the Sagicor topic the usual suspects ignored. Where is the outrage about a matter that should be of concerned to all Barbadians as it relates to governance? How can we have a social security system that is mismanaged to the extent we have been unable to produce audited financials? Instead we prefer to become ensconced in esoteric and or frivolous exchanges.

  25. David what shocked me, is the Chair could make his statements, the journalist goes on to mention recently DLP related commentary, and does NOT question the financials?
    Are all the journalists bought and paid for, or merely not very good?

    • By what or whom?
      Like “you Kan do dat”?
      It cannot be ‘out of place’ to ask about financials related to the same journalists money. They pay into NIS too.
      The answer is simple…either financials will be made public as required by law (the Act), or they will not.
      If Barbadians do not INSIST on financials PRIOR to the status change, after they will be told the new Board has no knowledge of the prior entity.
      All employers need do is band together and place NIS remittances into an Escrow acct. The release of audited financials will release the Escrowed funds.
      It cannot be forcing anything, for it is THE LAW that annual reports be made public.

    • @NO

      What about the prudential responsibility of the accounting house? Forget the government appointed political players.

    • What accounting house?
      The Act requires the Board to make a 3 part Report annually to the Minister. The latter is then responsible for it’s publication via presentation to the House.
      It is only your back’n’forth with a prior Chair, which revealed “issues” with part 1 of the 3 part Report, the Financials. Parts 2 & 3 were not financial?
      Do you even know WHO the accounting house (auditors) are. I am unaware of any ‘prudential’ responsibility they have.
      It is up to Barbadians, via the funders, employers and employees to demand. It is now clear, given under 4 PM’s from both parties, this not a partisan issue.

    • @NO

      A former partner of a leading accounting house was appointed to the Board to assist with navigating the hurdles that have bedeviled the laying of audited statements in the House.

    • Lol…confirmation it isn’t beyond accounting capabilities?
      What could be the issue(s)?

    • Another WTF moment from the bosses at the NIS. Don’t worry but!


      Article by Emmanuel Joseph
      Published on
      June 2, 2023


      By Emmanuel Joseph

      The chairman of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Leslie Haynes, KC has admitted that records at the social security agency are “a total mess” and efforts were being made to correct errors that go back as far as 15 years.
      “I wouldn’t really worry about the National Insurance Fund, you know. What I would really worry about, really, is the operational aspect of the National Insurance,” he declared during an interview with Barbados TODAY.
      Haynes noted that up to about two years ago, the NIS had not submitted audited accounts since 2008. Accounts for 2008 to 2014 have since been submitted to the Auditor-General.
      “And we are working now on 2015 to 2017, and then we will work on 2018 to bring it up to date. But you have to ask yourself why the National Insurance was not in a position to submit audited accounts?”
      “And the answer to that would be…the truth about it is that the whole computer system and the records in the National Insurance are in a mess…. It is a total, absolute mess,” the senior attorney revealed.
      However, he pointed out that since the responsibility for social security was moved to the Ministry of Labour, greater attention was being paid to addressing the operational challenges facing the NIS.
      “The Minister of Labour is paying attention to the National Insurance…his entire ministry, from PS [permanent secretary] down, everybody now pays attention to National Insurance,” Haynes noted.
      “We have all of these operational matters [to deal with]….I can’t remember the figure, but we have thousands of claims in backlog that we need to bring up to date. We were bringing those claims down…. We had brought down those claims – I think from 8 000 or 12 000 or something like that – to about 6 000 before COVID hit. When COVID hit, as you know, everything came to a standstill and we had to pay attention to everybody who was out of work. So the backlog of claims has again increased and we have to work on those.”
      Haynes stressed that significant effort was being given to “trying to fix all of these things”.
      “We need a system that works; that’s what we have been working on, but you cannot fix everything one time. It is a question of identifying priorities and saying we will do A, B and C before we do G, H and K,” the NIS chairman explained.
      “It’s a fight that we have. It’s not a battle that can be won in a day, especially because we are looking to correct . . . all the errors that have been committed since 2008 to 2018/2019. It takes time. It is like peeling an onion – every time you pull a layer at the National Insurance, there is another layer to pull.”
      Haynes also expressed concern about issues being swept under the proverbial carpet at NIS and not being taken to the NIS Board.
      Giving an example, he said: “Take the Accra [Beach Hotel] workers during COVID…. They didn’t get severance payments for a long time. You wake up in the morning and nobody brings that to you because there was a culture at the National Insurance – I don’t want to say the whole civil service – where you put things under the table and problems are not brought to the board,” Haynes asserted.

    • First BERT 2.0 targets met but pension reform progress “disappointing”

      The committee established to monitor the Government’s performance under the second Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme says all the quantitative performance and indicative targets have been met at the end of the first formal review period.
      However, delays in moving forward with pension reforms have been described as “disappointing”.
      The update was provided by the BERT Monitoring Committee (BERT MC) in its first report under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 36-month arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and an arrangement under the Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF).
      As of the end of the first formal review period on March 31, 2023, it said, “overall on the fiscal and monetary front the [Government] has comfortably met the targets under the arrangements”.
      The arrangements include several structural benchmarks, the majority of which the BERT MC said have been met.
      “The long delay in progressing the benchmark related to public pension reform is disappointing given the importance of this issue as highlighted in the Committee’s previous report. This was originally a benchmark under the prior programme that was due on March 31, 2022,” it said.
      One of the March 31, 2023 targets was for the Government to table a revised public pension law to enhance the sustainability of the public sector pension scheme.
      Noting that it welcomed the opportunity to continue in the role of monitoring the progress under these new arrangements, following the successful completion of the 2018-2022 EFF programme, the BERT MC said while significant progress had been made in many areas, there are still several areas requiring additional focus and reform if the long-term goals of the programme related to sustainability of debt are ultimately to be achieved.

    • Nation Editorial 05 June 2023.

      NIS needs to explain

      BARBADIANS CONTRIBUTING TO and benefiting from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) must be on edge following the recent snippet in the news media from its chairman Leslie Haynes KC regarding planned reforms.
      The transition of the NIS into a commercial state enterprise, as indicated by Haynes, will hardly bring comfort to the public given the unsettled history of these agencies. There is certainly a big question mark surrounding the issue of profitability at parastatal agencies in Barbados.
      The public has been told of the dire consequences the NIS faces and why a review is both critical and urgent. The warnings from independent actuaries support the need for a major fix of the social security scheme.
      Many Barbadians are anxious as they await the outcome of the measures to overhaul the system. Those people still in the workforce and without a defined benefit or defined contribution pension plan want a clear picture of what awaits them.
      Citizens are eager to know if the NIS retirement age is moving from 67 and possibly going to 70 for full benefits. Such a move may be considered a benefit cut and less painful than tampering with a reduction in existing allowances.
      However, early retirement may be a disincentive for those dependent on the NIS for their financial support post-retirement since many beneficiaries may not be able to take a big hit. The situation becomes even more challenging where individual company policy is retirement at 65 and the NIS at a much later date. The reform process
      is not a matter that the NIS should give priority to the Barbados Workers’ Union, the National Union of Public Workers and the Barbados Employers’ Confederation. None of these organisations represents the interests of the thousands of retirees, they do not speak for the large number of selfemployed and they certainly do not represent a vast number of young people in the labour force but not contributing to the NIS and with little or no interest in it. The NIS’ board and its executive management need to go to the public with a series of meetings to explain the proposals. Its board should also remember that any change from a Government department to a state enterprise must be carefully considered given the trepidation many employees have about such a switch. There is always the fear of political interference in state enterprises that does not happen on such a scale in central Government.
      The NIS, as it outlines the proposed changes, should also have up-to-date audited annual financial reports to be laid in Parliament. This is an urgent and important matter. The Financial Services Commission should be on the NIS’ case to look at its governance, risk and financial management.
      NIS benefits, whether maternity or disability, unemployment or pensions, are a lifeline for many Barbadians. This issue will attract their attention.
      Many Barbadians are anxious as they await the outcome of the measures to overhaul the system. The people still in the workforce . . . want a clear picture of what awaits them.

  26. They are intimidated.
    By whom?
    That is the real joke.

    Our journalist are mostly a set of immature upstarts who are so easily purchased with a lunch or personal gift, or rebuffed with a wave by shiite politicians, that they serve mostly as secret PR agents to the crooked demons that run things in Brassbados.

    • @Bush Tea

      Our journalists do not have the weight of respected and influential media houses to give support.

    • Boss
      Media houses gain weight, respect and influence IN DIRECT PROPORTION to the quality of their journalists and editorial staff.
      The journalists are the dogs doing the wagging – the media houses are just fat tails…
      How do you explain David Ellis becoming such a big dog since shedding the big fat tail that previously sought to wag him…?

    • The influence of media houses come from lack of concentration of ownership with diverse ideological perspectives and creative sources of earning revenue.

  27. Get real Boss
    Is is not MUCH easier to earn your revenue from bribes of ‘advertising contracts’, overt PR services, and direct kowtowing to crooked big business, than by exposing their dirt, and losing the easy income – just for public acclaim and for righteousness?

    Some miscreants may even blackmail the businesses with veiled threats of ‘exposure’ – and be paid in adverts… 🙂

    Which path will our media houses take, do you think?

    Far more likely to find an honest INDIVIDUAL journalist with Enuff balls to take the bull by the horns … as a matter of principle.

  28. Murdah!!!
    Interesting comment about Ministry of Labour. Wasn’t NIS always under that (Sen Dr Byer etc) with “dotted line” to MoF.
    Why were the Reports sent to the Auditor General and not simultaneously laid before the House?
    Chairman Haynes is pointing back to this writer’s #1 suspect, the buck stops at the desk of the top Operations exec, who was since promoted to Director of Finance and lauded with National honours.
    At least the Chair has ‘said something’.

  29. After years of plugging away our NIS concerns Barbadians have been reacting today to Minister of Labour Colin Jordan ministerial statement addressing maddening NIS reform coming.

  30. Simple solution…
    Let us bring in the Chinese to manage the NIS fund and send the current managers on retirement.
    We took this approach with BNB, Bartel, BS&T, Banks, ICB, SAGICOR, SOL …. and every other shiite that found itself saddled with visionless management and political lackies for Boards of Directors.

    Next, after the NIS, will be the damn illegal Parliament..

    Perhaps we can get Singapore to lease that for 30 years, and then we can all lime on the block and be fed, employed and managed by effective leaders… like in the good old Plantation days….

    What a cursed place…
    zero self respect,
    zero vision
    and zero self worth….
    The stuff that slaves are made of….

    • @Bush Tea

      Now airy fairy stuff, address the arithmetic. An aging population equals increasing drawdown/expense and reducing contributions which equals less inflows.

  31. They have pushed back whatever expense categories they could.
    Without affecting premiums. A noseeum until time comes to benefit.
    It’s a mathematical stop gap. They will likely need more, but one blow at a time.
    Was hoping the announcement maybe combined with the Annual Report from 07-08,with the news, reports from 09-12 were ‘well under way’ 😞😞
    Absolutely no way as a self employed person, am I contributing to a fund, with no formal financials. The Hope and Prayer Dividend Fund is likely to be safer.

  32. It is a disgrace that we are still awaiting NIS financial statements from 2007 – 2012. At this rate, our children will be great-grand parents, by the time 2023 financials are prepared. Former NIS Director Ian Carrington was promoted to Director of Finance, perhaps as a reward for this incompetence.

  33. An aging population equals increasing drawdown/expense and reducing contributions which equals less inflows.
    Clearly you buy the BS that has been spread around by the incompetents that have mismanaged this Fund now for decades.

    Bushie recalls that you were also disposed to give the benefit of any doubt to the JA Denis Kellman when HE lent his ‘brilliant financial skills’ to the mis-management of this fund…while his shiite bar went bankrupt.

    What aging population what??!!

    Only Bajan brass bowls would accept that stupid story that citizens aged 60 to 80 should be a burden on an insurance scheme ..when these SAME citizens from 1960 until today have been the beneficiaries of nearly 100% FREE education all the way to tertiary level.

    Why the hell should a brass bowl with multiple O’ Levels, A’ levels, a bachelors degree and, unless very unlucky or lazy, a Masters degree, be a DRAIN on a NIS at age 70?

    Why is such a lifelong BENEFICIARY of national largesse not a NET CONTRIBUTOR to society by productively paying for his own damn children … and probably a few others who are less fortunate?

    When did the NIS become the font of mendicancy for a nation of slave-minded beggars – whose idea of being ‘educated’ is that it empowers them to demand larger monthly handouts…while producing nothing..?

    Face it Boss…
    Your model of ‘society’ is fatally flawed. NOTHING makes sense.

    -The long time idiot who MISMANAGED the NIS was promoted to a HIGHER financial management role…
    -The JA dentist who f*&%$d up the Chinese Steal houses …promoted to oversee ALL national infrastructure..
    -A mediocre radio talk host is promoted to solve a national crime crisis
    -We change our constitution to get an even WORSE minister of Eddykashun than the last DLP moron.

    …then we are handed stupid excuses for failure, … and you fall hook, line and sinker…

    Get real Boss!

  34. Noted Boss…
    But SURELY you know that it is the Actuaries and Auditors who are TRULY behind the national PLAGUE of mismanagement and malfeasance that is driving us to serfdom..??!!
    These are the scoundrels who have FACTS on the mismanagement, bribery and thieving that characterizes business in Barbados, BUT who choose to play along with the lawyers and politicians…for FAT fees.

    Did CLICLO not have auditors?
    Who are the auditors and Actuary of the NIS ?

    Let us say that they did NOT have all the data which they needed back in 2003, 2004, 2005 …

    Share ANY other scenario besides COMPLICITY that could explain how we are in the SAME position in 2023…!!

    These people are either ALL a bunch of interconnected CROOKS, or they are the most incompetent set of brass bowls imaginable…of the Kellman ilk.

    Perhaps your resident ‘Audit consultant’ can explain how these BB ‘professionals’ are so clueless….or crooked…

  35. David, people cannot, in all fairness, be a burden on a scheme to which they have contributed, in many cases, over 40 years…… and from which many of whom would benefit at most, 20 years. The reality is that successive BLP & DLP mismanaged the fund and made crucial financial decisions, in the absence of current financial statements, (e.g debt restructuring). Unfortunately, we will have to wait until the financials for the period during which the restructuring was undertaken, before knowing how that decision adversely affected the fund. Notice Jordan talked about ‘everything else, barring’ the financial losses as a result of that exercise.

    • @Artax

      Billion dollar asset slash – by Barbados Today August 11, 2022

      Government’s debt restructuring in 2018 wiped out more than $1 billion in the National Insurance Scheme’s (NIS) assets, it was revealed Wednesday by the fund’s consultant actuary.

      Derek Osborne, who recently completed the 17th Actuarial Review of the NIS, which was laid in Parliament on Tuesday night, said the NIS needs urgent reform given the number of challenges being confronted by the social security scheme.

      “Government saw it necessary to reduce its debt obligations, and like other bond holders, the NIS lost some of its assets. In this case, just over $1 billion,” he disclosed.

      “When Government decided to have a haircut on its bonds, the NIS lost $1billion. NIS assets were reduced by $1 billion but government’s obligations to NIS were also reduced by $1 billion,” he however noted.

      “In so doing, future taxpayers were saved $1 billion and so debt restructuring looked as though it made NIS a lot weaker but that is not the case because the same group who would have been called upon to make higher contributions, would have been called upon to pay higher taxes. So, it is a net wash, for the most part, for Barbados.

      “The debt restructuring only had a three-year effect on the year that the NIS Fund would have been threatened to be depleted, had debt restructuring not occurred.”

  36. National pension fund management has gone pear shaped.

    Government is ‘managing expectations’ of the people.

  37. I’m fully aware of that information in 2022, David. My point is, the financial statements would provide an accurate assessment of the losses incurred as a result of the debt restructuring. Did Colin Jordan mentioned any about the losses in his ministerial statement?

    • @Artax

      There is no person who has argued more than for audited financials to be made available, it is a governance issue first and foremost. It is obvious the government along with others in the region are struggling to manage social security funds. We can view the losses but the reality of the fund will be the same not so?

  38. I presume a chunk of this money would have come from NIS funds. But never mind, those responsible for it should be treated like ex-American presidents and afforded “respect and privileges” after they have left office according to Senator John King and Senator Elizabeth Thompson.

    In a country that relies on tourism. Perhaps the above mentioned senators should create a tourism outlet and call it – La la land. You simply cannot make this stuff up.


    The Barbados government has granted millions of dollars in concessions to Jamaican hotel magnate Gordon “Butch” Stewart who recently signed an agreement to operate a Beaches Resort and Sandals hotel there.

    According to an article written by Roy Morris, Editor-in-Chief of the Barbados Nation newspaper, for the next 25 years, Beaches and Sandals will be exempted from paying all import duties, taxes including VAT, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever on the importation or local purchase on all capital goods needed for the equipping, operation and promotion of the hotel, as well as on all food and beverages.

    When that tax holiday period is over, Sandals will only be required to pay half of the “applicable rates and taxes prevailing” for the next 15 years.

    The details of the concessions were contained in a letter dated Tuesday, November 5th, 2013, and signed by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler.

    The Nation newspaper said the tax holiday period began on Tuesday, the day before Sandals officially began operation in Barbados and encompasses the period before the start date of the commercial operation of the hotel, and while it is being acquired, expanded and developed. Sandals in Barbados will be managed by Josef Zellner, who once managed Beaches Turks and Caicos Islands.

    The Barbados Minister of Finance further advised that the letter was only interim approval which shall remain valid until replaced by a permanent letter together with the appropriate statutory instrument to be issued by him.

    What the newspaper describes as a “sweetheart deal”, includes the waiver of:-

    (a) all import duties, taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever, including Value Added Tax, on the importation or local purchase of:

    (i) all capital goods such as building materials, articles of hotel equipment, furniture. furnishings, fixtures, fittings, construction machinery, boats, watercraft, vehicles for the Hotel’s use, televisions, computer equipment, telephones, software, hardware, shrubs and plants, garden and agriculture equipment, promotional and marketing materials for operating the Hotel and for the cyclical re-furbishing undertaken from time to time in order to maintain the Hotel to the standards of the Sandals brand;

    (ii) consumables for the operation of the Hotel, including but not limited to operating supplies, soft furnishings, printed materials, guest supplies, spa supplies, paper, stationery, books and spare parts for equipment;

    (iii) food, alcohol and beverages;

    (b) all import duties taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever on all vehicles required for the operation of the Hotel including vehicle assigned to senior managers;

    (c) all import duties taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever on personal and household effects and vehicles for senior staff (as outlined in (b) above) who are contracted to work in Barbados and are not citizens or permanent residents of Barbados;

    (d) Value Added Tax on the provision of services that directly relate to construction works or cyclical refurbishment of the Hotel undertaken from time to time in order to maintain the Hotel to the standards of the Sandals brand;

    (e) all import duties taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever on all vehicles required for the operation of the Hotel including vehicle assigned to senior managers;

    (f) all import duties taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever on personal and household effects and vehicles for staff who are contracted to work in Barbados and are not citizens or permanent residents of Barbados.

    Jordan Samuda, group manager, procurement division of Sandals International, said the conglomerate was delighted with the terms of the concessions, which he described as competitive.

    “The product that we will put out in Barbados will be one of the best that we put out anywhere in the Caribbean,” Samuda told the Nation via telephone from Jamaica.

    Samuda said he did not think Sandals would have been able achieve the excellence their brand represented without the concessions, and noted that the tax breaks would allow them to able to keep their product in tune with the times.

    “They allow you to put a product out for your guests that can compete with anybody worldwide. . . . Duty free concessions allow us to up the ante on the food and beverage product. You have the physical aspect which you can continue improving and continue investing in, you also have the daily food and beverage product that you are able to provide.

    The Sandals executive praised the efficiency of Sinckler and the various civil servants, Customs and Port Authority for facilitating the group to swiftly get the relevant documentation and materials processed between the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Government on October 18 and the hotel’s opening on Wednesday.

    He was particularly impressed with Sinckler, the Barbados Minister of Finance, saying: “Obviously the minister understands and can see what this level of investment in Barbados can do and will do.”

    In his recent ministerial statement on the MOU between Government and Sandals International, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy said the arrival of Sandals marked a “seismic shift for the tourism industry in Barbados” in its effort to capture a bigger share in the very competitive global tourism market.

    “It is expected that these two properties will contribute annually in net terms, that is, the money to be retained by the taxi drivers providing transfers, the farmers; the 1 500 workers; the utility companies and others an amount in excess of BDS$100 million to the Barbadian economy.”


    • @Artax

      Expense (payouts) based on what is known will outstrip contributions. Isn’t this what is recorded in the actuarial reviews?

    • Bushie told you that the actuarial reports are BS!
      The actuaries seem to ACCEPT that money WILL be stolen / misused in BULK, and tat management will be poor.
      The do NOT report malfeasance (even though they HAVE to be aware) but seem to conclude that the contributors MUST close the gap…

      Auditors and Actuaries… accessories after the fact.

    • Perhaps you see now why Walter would not have been given a pick at NIS.
      He is obsessed with scenario 2 where proper management and transparency is key.

      Conversely, you should pick sense from the persons appointed….

  39. “….the reality of the fund will be the same”
    You seem to have gulped down the kool aid Boss…

    When such funds are conceptualized, the projections are that losses would be within industry limits.

    How on EARTH can the reality of the fund be the same in the two circumstances where, in scenario 1, Billions of dollars are stolen, mis-managed, given away (with kick backs built in), or lost – due to lack of due diligence? Also in scenario 1, where productive investments such as in the electric utility are sold, and the proceeds invested in Four Seasons?

    In scenario 2, not only would timely audits and actuarial reviews have been done, but immediate CORRECTIVE ACTIONS taken when things went wrong, including jail time as required.
    Then, the NIS fund would now have EXCESS liquidity and could even offer venture capital loans to long-term contributors at 1% interest rates to stimulate local industry.

    The reality of the fund will be like chalk and cheese…

    • @Bush Tea

      Can you advise what we’re the conclusions relative to expense and contributions prior to the debt restructure?


  40. Boss
    Bushie DO NOT accept ‘conclusions’ from brass bowls in the ABSENCE of facts and figures that are independently checked.
    …surprised that a person of your extensive local knowledge would…

  41. David, I don’t believe ‘payouts’ from the NIS (pensions, benefits etc) are classified as expenses.

  42. Last word Boss!
    The BIG UNDERLYING ISSUE is the lotta stealing, incompetence, kickbacks, nepotism and downright maladministration that has characterized the NIS.
    That ANYONE would now allow THOSE RESPONSIBLE for this, to cast the blame on the VICTIMS, and to bring RED HERRINGS like ‘population and birthrates’ into the equation is pitiful….

    Bushie done did dat!
    Brass bowls that know not that they know not … best avoided.

    • @Bush Tea

      How can there be a last word on this point?

      The people will always be the ‘bailee’ of last resort. The government is the people, don’t forget it.

  43. David, consideration must also be given to the fact that employers may have submitted schedules without payments of contributions. The income statement may show total contributions for any given month, but separated on the balance sheet as ‘contributions receivable,’ for example. And, bear in mind, benefits are paid to the employees of delinquent employers.

  44. Don’t you like to hear them talk accounting and government?

    Don’t you love the long articles from talking heads and the simple and obvious predictions. Recycling the same shit under a different title.

    When are you going to admit it.
    Neither you or them get it
    Poor you, convinced they know what they talking bout
    Sounding like professionals and not having a doubt
    But none of them have a clue
    Prepare yourself for a big screw
    So far all you have seen
    Enjoythe ice cream and nuff Vaseline
    When the big ‘deckie’ hit ya, smile and don’t scream

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