SOS Ministerial Statement on the NIS

Ministerial Statement On Revitalisation Of National Insurance Scheme

Minister of Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector, Colin Jordan. (FP)

Ministerial Statement on the revitalisation of the National Insurance Scheme by Minister of Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector, Colin Jordan, in the House of Assembly on Friday, July 28, 2023.

Mr. Speaker, the 17th Actuarial Review of the National Insurance Fund, the Unemployment Fund and Severance Fund as of December 31, 2020 was laid in this Honourable House on August 9, 2022. I should remind Members that the National Insurance Scheme manages these three funds along with the Catastrophe Fund and the Sugar Workers’ Provident Fund.

During the three years under review, the number of contributors decreased each year while the number of pensioners and the total pension payouts increased each year.

The Review’s assessment suggests that current contribution and benefit provisions generally provide a very good level of benefit adequacy and income protection to most workers and pensioners.  The legislated annual adjustments of the earnings limit and pensions have been effective in replacing most of the price inflation felt by pensioners and maintaining adequate coverage for higher paid workers. In other words, pensioners have generally been able to use the cost of living allowance increases to adjust to temporary price rises.

For the Review, four sets of 60-year projections of Barbados’ population and National Insurance Fund finances were performed so that a range of reasonable prospects for the Fund could be assessed.  These projections were based on there being no changes to the current contribution rate and legislated benefit rules.

Except for under the most optimistic scenario, projections indicated that between 2022 to 2025, total expenditure will exceed total income each year.  As a result, the Fund will need to rely more heavily on investment income to help meet expenditure each year. Of critical importance, eventually investments will have to be liquidated to meet the deficit and, as a result, depletion of the Fund was projected for between the years 2034 and 2041.

Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that a number of factors have contributed to where we are today.

There are the demographic factors: Our population is aging and has begun to decline. Allow me to share some statistics:
In 2015 there were 2,874 live births, 2,538 deaths, and 3,481 taking the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination;
In 2020 there were 2,349 live births, 2.713 deaths, and 3,381 taking the Barbados
Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination;
In 2021 there were 2,207 live births, 2,895 deaths, and 3,336 taking the Barbados
Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination; and
In 2022 there were 2,274 live births, 3,349 deaths, and 3,091 taking the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination.
Our total deaths per year now exceed total births. In ten years the number of children taking the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination will be 33% less that the current amount. These statistics make very clear the serious challenge we face. There will be fewer and fewer workers to contribute and support persons who are living longer and longer. We used to say that our population was over 280,000 and that we were heading to 300,000. The numbers now say that our population has started to decline.

Another contributing factor is the reality that when the NIS was originally designed in 1967 the average life expectancy was 68 years. In 2004 when the last adjustments were made to the NIS, life expectancy was 75 years. Today it is 78 years and expected to continue increasing.

These two trends mean that we are simultaneously suffering a reduction in the contributor base – the number of people who are paying National Insurance  – whilst paying out more in benefits to the increasing number of pensioners.

There are factors around employment status: The informal sector is growing. A higher percentage of persons are not tied to an employer and many do not participate in the social security system. Statistics suggest that less than 15% of self-employed persons contribute to NIS.

Governance factors: The structure of the NIS splits responsibilities between the Public Service and the National Insurance Board. This, as you can imagine, causes challenges in management, allocation of resources, and accountability.

This Government acted as a responsible Government should and, like it has since being elected to office in 2018, we took the people into our confidence and starting in July 2022, undertook an extensive series of consultations.

The National Insurance Fund is strong with assets of approximately $4bn with average yields on investments of 4.3%. Even though the Fund is not in crisis now, we know that we have a date with destiny between 2034 and 2041. We refused to kick the can down the road and instead took the decision to ensure that the people of Barbados will have a social security system that is sustainable and will be able to provide benefits for all, particularly the most vulnerable.

This administration has made it clear that for every major decision we will consult with the public. In order to make the eventual reforms to revitalize the NIS a reality, we met and consulted with a wide range of stakeholders including: the Social Partnership; leaders of faith-based organisations; the Democratic Labour Party; the Alliance Party for Progress; independent Senators; the Executive Committee of the National Union of Public Workers; the Executive Council of the Barbados Workers’ Union; Unity Workers Union; Barbados Association of Retired Persons; the staff of the National Insurance Department; former Ministers, chairpersons and members of the National Insurance Board; members of the private sector; and managers of media houses.

Three well-attended town hall meetings were held at Combermere School, Alexandra School and Princess Margaret Secondary School. Another town hall meeting was organized by the Democratic Labour Party at its headquarters. Additionally, suggestion boxes were placed at locations across the island, and the option to make submissions via email was facilitated. Two public surveys were also conducted which together received over 2,500 responses.

The stakeholder and town hall meetings, and the other avenues provided, allowed for scores of suggestions on how the National Insurance Scheme could and should be revitalized and placed on a sustainable footing. There was consensus that we all had a responsibility to ensure those who contributed were able to benefit when the time came for them to receive benefits.

Suggestions and proposals received addressed retirement age, contribution rates, the basis of pension calculations, participation by the self-employed, population trends in the country, investment policies, enforcing compliance, timely action to address any challenges, the need for audited financial statements, the composition and governance of the National Insurance Board, and the ability of the organisation to be nimble and responsive, among others.

A core group was established comprising Rawdon Adams, Wismar Greaves, Sir Roy Trotman, Marsha Caddle, M.P., Prof. Justin Robinson, Senator Crystal Drakes, and Actuary Derek Osbourne. This group reviewed all of the submissions and survey results and crafted a suite of suggestions based on achieving the best possible balance between benefit adequacy, contribution affordability and fund sustainability for revitalizing the NIS.

The suggestions were shared with a Working Group that included persons from the private sector, a regional development finance institution, and senior management of the National Insurance Department, and further with a larger Advisory Group of stakeholders from trade unions, academia, civil society and the public service for further discussion and comment.

The National Insurance Board was then tasked with proposing a final suite of measures for submission to The Cabinet.

Mr. Speaker, the National Insurance Board has made its submission to The Cabinet and the Cabinet has agreed proposals that I will share today with this Honourable Chamber in the Annex to this Statement, and which will be a Document of the House and therefore a public document.

These measures are designed to ensure the stability of the scheme and to make good on the assertion that “National Insurance is more than a contribution; it’s our lifeline.” The recommendations will first stabilize the National Insurance Fund and then maintain the size of its projected reserves at a level equal to or greater than two to three times the value of annual benefit expenditures.

Allow me now, Mr. Speaker, to share some of the main proposals that Cabinet has agreed.

There will be no increase in the contribution rates for employers or employees. The percentages deducted and paid to the NIS will remain as they are now.
Mr. Speaker, I mentioned earlier that when the NIS was created in 1967, life expectancy was 68 and the pensionable age then was 60, based on the idea that 8 years is an appropriate differential between life expectancy and retirement age. As of 2020, life expectancy had improved to 78 and is expected to continue improving. The pensionable age is now 67, making the current difference between average years lived and retirement age 11 years. The measure therefore recommended here is a one-year rise of the pensionable age in two steps:-In 2028 the pensionable age will become sixty-seven and a half (67.5) years
In 2034 the pensionable age becomes sixty-eight (68) years
Mr. Speaker, the public was clear that, while changes would have to be made, there was no desire to have 70 years as the pensionable age, and we have done our utmost to honour that desire.

3. Today, the first age to qualify for a reduced pension  is 60 years. There will be a change to this age in three steps:-

61 in 2025
62 in 2028
63 in 2031
4. There will be an increase in the number of contributions required to become eligible for pension from five hundred (500) weeks (approximately 10 years) to seven hundred and fifty (750) weeks (approximately 15 years) with no effect on those sixty (60) years or older on January 1, 2024.  For comparison, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia also saw it necessary to fix their number of contributions required at 750, and others in the region who are currently at 500 are moving in a similar direction. For persons less than sixty (60) years old on January 1, 2024, the number of contributions required increases by thirty (30) weeks per year until 2030 and becomes seven hundred and fifty (750) weeks in 2031.

It is understood that, with most persons starting to work by their early to midtwenties, the requirement for contributing to the National Insurance Scheme for at least fifteen (15) years is entirely reasonable and brings us into line with international benchmarks.

In this transition, however, we are making sure that persons who are already sixty years old, or will be sixty years or older by January 1, 2024 will not be affected.

5. The National Insurance and Social Security Act will be amended to indicate that the National Insurance Board will develop a Funding Policy, and any adjustment being proposed to the policy by the Board must be laid in Parliament.  The Minister responsible for Social Security must respond to the Board’s proposal within six (6) weeks of the document being laid in Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, the fact that we are where we are today reforming and revitalising the NIS so significantly is due in large measure to past inaction. As far back as 2014 was when benefit expenditure first outstripped contribution income. Yet no corrective action was taken, despite the flashing warning. To stop this damaging delay happening ever again a Funding Policy and a Compulsory Adjustment Mechanism will be incorporated into the National Insurance and Social Security Act. These amendments will ensure timely intervention to keep the Fund on track to meet its revitalisation goals.

6. There will be a change where the wages used to calculate the pension benefit will be the “Best 10 years” rather than the ‘Best 5 years”.

Many persons were opposed to what is considered an abuse of the system, where some persons contribute at the maximum for five years then stop, and are still able to enjoy the maximum pension. Going forward the basis for calculating pension will be the best ten years.

There will be an aggressive approach to encouraging and enforcing compliance with the legislation governing the National Insurance Scheme. Officers from the Compliance Unit will be in the field, and the Office will use all measures at its disposal to ensure the law is adhered to, including using garnishments or the Law Courts.

A critical aspect of the revitalization of the National Insurance Scheme will be the implementation of a new regime that is more flexible, and simplifies the process for self-employed persons to participate in the NIS by way of making contributions and receiving benefits. We expect that this will result in higher enrolment by selfemployed persons in the National Insurance Scheme.

Before I go on, Mr. Speaker, please allow me to reiterate that the classification of a person as self-employed is not determined by any construction or other company’s management making a unilateral decision that a carpenter or labourer or steel bender is to be treated as self-employed just so that the responsibility and cost of social security is evaded. There are set criteria based on case law that are used by both the Labour Department and the National Insurance Department to make the determination. Good employers know what those criteria are and abide by them.

The new regime for persons registered as self-employed will provide an innovative approach and formula for converting contributions to weeks and wages and a corresponding mechanism to determine short-term benefit eligibility.

I will use an example from an industry that I am familiar with to make the point. A taxi driver will ordinarily generate decent cash flow during the November to April period. They may make some money again in July/August. Currently if the taxi driver does not pay contributions in May and June, or September to November, the system will say that she or he is delinquent and owes contributions – and levies penalties, not taking into account the seasonal nature of the business. The same goes for entertainers who may earn most of their money during Carnival or Crop Over, or artisans who may work on a house for three months and then may be out of work for a month before the next job begins. And in a third-decade-of-the-twenty-firstcentury world, Gig entrepreneurs have a similar challenge.

In the first phase, we expect that:

Self-employed persons will be able to pay their contributions without having to complete schedules or specify a period;
They will be able to make their payments via Bank Bill Pay, credit card, cheque or cash;
Confirmation of receipt of payment will be sent via email;
There will be an online interface which allows the self-employed to view submitted contribution payments; and
There will be the ability to pay at any time during the year.
Thereafter, we expect that:

Self-employed persons will be able to make payments using the NIS portal or using EZPay.
The contribution payments of all self-employed persons will be converted to earnings.
Self-employed persons will be notified of their short-term benefit status for each year.
Short-term and long-term benefits will be computed using the new payment regime; and
Self-employed persons will be able to apply for and receive Clearance Certificates.
Mr. Speaker, allow me to share with the Chamber and with the people of Barbados that a Cabinet Paper on the introduction of paternity leave benefit to allow the granting of paid paternity leave has been prepared and will soon be sent to The Cabinet.

Additionally, the NIS Regulations will be amended to allow persons who have not made the requisite contributions to qualify for a pension to be able to catch up or become current with the understanding that a premium will have to be paid for the privilege.

Mr. Speaker, when we came to office we found out that NIS contributions for public officers had not been paid since 2015. This Government has paid up the $250m that was owing. At the same time we have been staying current with payments. Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic this Government has recapitalized the Unemployment Benefit Fund to the tune of $143m. Prior to this this administration coming to office in 2018 Government owed the NIS $83.5m for non-contributory pensions. This outstanding debt has been cleared. $66m has also been paid toward the Training Levy.

Some of the matters raised by persons related to the governance of the Scheme. During our consultations, we shared the hybrid nature of the current structure where some functions related to the Ministry of the Public Service and others related to the Board. It is not fully a Government Department and it is not fully a state-owned enterprise. We are in the final stages of transitioning the current structure into a commercial state-owned enterprise.

Mr. Speaker, a country’s social security system is intended to be a safety net for persons in their time of need – whether for maternity, or in cases of illness or employment injury, or, importantly, for old-age pension. The sustainability of the system is critical to the well-being of citizens.

The Government of Barbados will continue to do right by the people of Barbados. We today share measures that were designed through extensive consultation, careful modelling and deliberate assessment, are human-centred, and take into account our realities.

We are confident that they will serve to revitalize the National Insurance Scheme and protect our people for many years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I am obliged to you.

110 thoughts on “SOS Ministerial Statement on the NIS

  1. This fund is dying as a consequence of a number of factors including the demands of neoliberal capitalism over decades.

    This was a deliberate act by Mottley’s curators in Washington. As they are doing with their own social security scheme. Kill it, if it cant be privatized.

    Whether the “borrowings” by several political administrations secured by useless paper or the eugenicists work of Clyde Gollop, all metrics point to eventual collapse.

    And the Mottley regime should face this fact. The reality that regime after regime has been playing games with the people, with the funds.

    They should come out and say what a blind man could see. That this thing is unviable and should stop this constant imposition of useless management on an already lost cause.

  2. This is known as “putting lipstick on a pig”.
    When lesser occured in
    France the people rioted for weeks.
    Permit a quote from 17th Actuarial Audit…”at current contribution rates and pension provisions the NIS is unsustainable”
    The contribution rates remain the same, which means they changed provisions. You will be older and need to contribute for longer, before receiving benefit.
    That’s ok, as other neighbouring nations have done the same 😆😆
    Be forewarned. This is Phase 1, others will follow.
    Any self employed person would do well to deduct monies for their retirement but invest it elsewhere.

    • A quote from the press (Nation).

      Jordan noted that Barbados had an ageing population and pointed to a trend of deaths per year exceeding births and life expectancy increasing.
      “These statistics make very clear the serious challenge we face. There will be fewer and fewer workers to contribute and support persons who are living longer and longer. We used to say that our population was over 280 000 and that we were heading to 300 000. The numbers now say that our population has started to decline.
      “Another contributing factor is the reality that when the NIS was originally designed in 1967, the average life expectancy was 68 years . . . . Today it is 78 years and expected to continue increasing.”
      He added: “These two trends mean that we are simultaneously suffering a reduction in the contributor base – the number of people who are paying National Insurance – whilst paying out more in benefits to the increasing number of pensioners.”

    • Franklyn decries pension age hike

      Government’s latest tinkering with the retirement age is putting more stress on the most vulnerable, charges former senator and head of the Unity Workers Union, Caswell Franklyn.
      He said there were people hanging on waiting for their pensions but some would now have a further wait.
      “This Government is . . . hurting the poorest of the poor but this is what they voted for.
      They saw the road the Government was headed down and they gave them 30 seats again,” he said.
      Yesterday, in a Ministerial Statement in the House of Assembly, Minister of Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector Colin Jordan announced that over a six-year period, the pension age for Barbadians would move to 68 years, up by one year.
      Debate followed on the National Insurance And Social Security (Amendment) Bill, 2023 which is to change the pensionable age in 2028 to 67.5 years and in 2034 to 68 years.
      Contributions required to become eligible for pensions will move from 500 weeks (ten years) to 750 weeks (15 years), with no effect on those who are 60 years or older on January 1, 2024.
      Franklyn questioned why in all the shifting of the pension age for ordinary Barbadians to 68, the move did not touch the Members of Parliament (MPs) who qualified for their pension at age 50.
      “Imagine you are telling me that most people in Barbados only have one source for pension and that is the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and you cutting back on the NIS, but what about the MPs? I haven’t heard anything about raising the age for the MPs to
      collect their pensions.
      . . . The MPs get their pensions 18 years before everybody else and I ain’t heard anybody crying out about that.
      They qualify for pension at 50.
      “These same people would look at you and tell you, you have to wait until 67 or 68. They must share the burden.
      They can’t every time put the burden on the poorest of poor. I don’t understand why the people in this country tolerate this nonsense!” he declared.
      Franklyn accused the Government of bringing the matter before the House of Assembly at a time when the public was distracted by the weekend and two upcoming bank holidays. “There’s no reason why the House had to meet today (yesterday).
      This is nothing urgent.
      This is to give the people a long weekend to forget about it,” he claimed.
      When contacted, president of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons, Marilyn Rice-Bowen, told the Saturday Sun they would study the ministerial statement and make a comment next week.

      Source: Nation

    • Govt submits bill to up retirement age

      ST GEORGE’S – The government has successfully tabled legislation amending the National Insurance Act allowing for an increase in the retirement age, as well as a redefined meaning of the word, child.
      In addition, the amendment also allows for the increased penalties for violation of the measures contained in the Grenada legislation that was first passed in 1983.
      According to the amendment, as of January 2024, the age of retirement will increase incrementally by one year until 2028, when the retirement age will be 65.
      Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Adrian Thomas said the amendments are intended “to preempt and bolster pending amendments to the national insurance benefit regulations and national employment injury benefits regulations to improve the benefits available to children of insured persons.”
      One of the significant changes is that of the definition of the word “child” in the act.
      The act, prior to the proposed amendment said “child”, in relation to an insured person, includes “a step-child, an adopted child and any other child whether born in or out of wedlock under the age of sixteen living at the home of an insured person and wholly or partly maintained by him or her.”
      Rescue mission
      The approved amendments to the definition will allow for the age of the child to be increased to 18 years and that child, whether or not maintained by the insured prior to the insured’s death, will be eligible for benefits under the scheme.
      “Our intention is to put this bill into effect from the first of August 2023 and also the related regulations will come into effect on that particular date,” Thomas said.
      Social Development and Gender Affairs Minister, Gloria Thomas said the bill was “timely and relevant” adding that “if we are to save the NIS, the decision to extend the retirement age is one where crucial measures must be taken to assist in this rescue mission.
      “Great leaders take hard decisions in the interest of people and this decision to move the retirement age to 61 in January 2024 is indeed a hard one.
      “The record shows that since 2002 recommendations were made to start increasing the pensionable age to keep the scheme viable, but the recommendations were ignored . . . 21 years later, it took this administration to come forward to amend the legislation to make this possible,” the Social Development Minister said.

    • When all is said and done the tired economic model is starting to do the job again.


      Economy records growth for ninth straight quarter Barbados’ economy has grown for the ninth consecutive quarter, expanding by 3.9 per cent in the first six months of the year.
      However, Central Bank Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge stressed that in order for the country’s economic fortunes to continue improving, there is need for a major injection of investment, especially from the private sector.
      He also said the economy is expected to grow by between four and five per cent overall this year, with a boost expected in the coming months from the return of a full Crop Over Festival itinerary and the anticipated opening of the Wyndham Sam Lord’s Hotel.
      The Governor was speaking at the Courtney Blackman Grande Salle yesterday while delivering the bank’s latest economic review.
      “Higher output of goods and services in the first six months of 2023 permeated the economy, bolstering other related economic fundamentals. Economic activity expanded by 3.9 per cent, representing the ninth consecutive quarter of economic expansion.
      “This growth resulted in fiscal surpluses, improved employment, reduced debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio, narrowing gap between the value of exports and imports and record foreign reserve levels. The increased economic activity also fed into the financial services sector, improving credit quality, as well as boosting assets and profits,” Greenidge reported.
      Strong tourist season
      He said a strong winter tourist season and broad-based increases in the non-traded economic sectors fuelled the economic growth between January and June.
      “The spillovers from tourism and robust construction activity enabled the non-traded sectors to contribute two-thirds of overall real GDP growth,” he said.
      Explaining the strong tourism performance, the
      economist added: “Long-stay tourist arrivals outpaced 2022’s performance. A number of factors drove tourism growth, including persistent demand for travel especially from the island’s main source markets, improvements in airlift and increased cruise activity. The United Kingdom market has recovered beyond pre-pandemic levels, while the other markets are close to pre-pandemic levels and continue to exhibit strong growth.”
      At $3.1 billion at the end of the review period, Barbados’ gross international reserves “remained high mainly due to the tourism rebound”, Greenidge added.
      He said in the economic outlook that “real GDP is on track to grow by about four to five per cent in 2023 contingent on a continued recovery in tourism activity and increased private sector investments”.
      “With respect to tourism, forward bookings for the remainder of the year are encouraging. The return of a full Crop Over Festival itinerary and the anticipated opening of the Wyndham Sam Lord’s Hotel are expected to boost demand for the destination in the coming months,” he stated.
      “The other sectors of the economy should continue to benefit from the strong tourism performance and construction activity. A projected expansion in construction in the second half of 2023 is also expected to aid output growth in the non-traded sectors and assist with employment growth.”
      He also flagged the importance of increasing investment to drive economic growth.
      “We are expecting strong growth into the medium term. Now, to achieve that growth, we need to invest, the only way that we are going to get the growth we are targeting under the BERT programme of five per cent,” he said.
      “Why do you need five per cent? In order to get that five per cent growth at that level will mean further economic development . . . meaning that all citizens benefit from it. It’s trickling down to all sectors; you need that sustainability,” Greenidge added. (SC)

      Source: Nation

    • The flaw in Caswell’s argument about Barbadians voting 30-0 for the BLP is that the state of NIS straddles both BLP and DLP.

  3. Steal the people’s money by the billions for decades, run bs talk on them..write off the thefts and destroy all the records……leave them pauperized unable to rise…tell them go wukkup as a distraction and adore all the criminal thieves whike they at it..

    .now telling them there is a population decline and to be as hypocrital as they can, take it upon their stinking selves to “redefine the word child” like someone other than ignorant slaves listen to these thieving, lying criminals..

  4. The flaw in Caswell’s argument about Barbadians voting 30-0 for the BLP is that the state of NIS straddles both BLP and DLP.
    The flaw in your critique of Caswell is that he was not talking about any DLP, but about the idiotic decision to remove the ONLY two sensible voices in the house and senate last elections.

    You seem to be overly willing to forgive BLP idiocy by comparing it with known (and punished) DLP stupidity.

    The DLP should do Barbados a favor and dissolve itself….
    All those idiots did was to create a bar SO LOW, that even a snake appears to be on higher moral ground…

    • Is that what you read into the statement?
      Did you think that the blogmaster was the ONLY ‘gallows bait’ on the blog?

  5. This Ministerial Statement is a long roll of bull shit.
    Such nonsense could ONLY fly in a cuntry of brass bowls so dumb, that they actually believe that bringing foreigners from completely different cultures and languages to run their ONLY airport, is some kind of ‘master stroke’.
    Such thinking REQUIRES a special kind of idiot.

    No wonder then that Jordan can, with a straight face, slap sanctions on vulnerable Bajan brass bowls ..while blaming them for the failure of a national insurance Fund that

    – has not been audited for decades…

    – has GIVEN away millions of dollars to KNOWN political funders on questionable projects such as Apes Hill, Sandals, Four Seasons…. etc etc

    – has unilaterally written off BILLIONS in debts owed to the NIS fund

    – has maintained the most incompetent and unproductive management possible – with failed information systems, lost cheques, poor customer service and generally piss poor performance.

    – Has had a set of clowns installed as Board members over the years whose main qualifications seem to be the ability to parrot the administrations story line…

    Bushie concludes that ONLY a people who has been specially CURSED spiritually can be subjected to such stark humiliation…

    ….and WHY would there be such a curse?

    Whenever God’s people turn their face AWAY from their creator, and turn their minds to REVELRY …or Kadooment, or partying they have suffered such…

    • Then where was that god-forsaken god when the minds of his socalled people were being imposed with systems of thinking foreign to them. Implicit is the thinking that such ways of being known before were of no consequence. Are we not seeing that imposed thinking reaching its nadir? And that socalled god as well?

    • “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise, learned, and the widely read (such as Pacha) …and revealed them to little children, willing brass bowls and stinking bushmen..”

      Unfortunately Pacha,
      You will continue to remain clueless about this, the ONLY REALLY important concept – as a result of your intellectual pride.

      You are however smart enough to understand that the great battle being waged spiritually is a BATTLE of MINDS.
      The whole POINT of the fight, is for God’s people to CHOOSE to reorientate their MINDS from the brassbowlery of albino-centric hate, greed and materialism…. and TOWARDS the path of LOVE, LIFE, God and community-centric focus.

      It must be obvious to even the most dense on the blog, that in the circumstances, God CANNOT IMPOSE such minds into brass bowls, and FORCE them to make wise choices. But can only provide a level playing field and HOPE that a few brass bowls will see the light…

      You are right about us approaching the nadir of albino-centric influence – characterized by the lotta BULLING and effeminate characterizations of modern life.

      You probably ALSO know that there are ample historical examples of how such societal tendencies end….

    • These politicians!

      Wasn’t Sealy a member of the administration that refused to pay the NIS public sector contributions to the fund?

      Sealy: Consider other models for NIS

      By Colville Mounsey
      Government’s announcement on Friday that the age of retirement will be increasing is being slammed as “unconscionable” by one stalwart of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
      Richard Sealy, who is currently vying for leadership of the DLP, is accusing Government of pushing through the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) Bill, 2023, at a time when the country’s gaze is focused on Crop Over festivities.
      The Sunday Sun also reached out for comment from president of the DLP, Dr Ronnie Yearwood, but he declined. Calls were also placed to DLP candidates running for the post of president, Ryan Walters and Dr David Estwick. Walters declined to comment at this time while Estwick could not be reached.
      The amendment, which was piloted in Parliament by Minister of Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector Colin Jordan, states that in 2028 the pensionable age will become 67.5 years and 68 in 2034. Contributions required to become eligible for pensions will move from 500 weeks (ten years) to 750 weeks (15 years), with no effect on those who are 60 years or older on January 1, 2024.
      “At this stage, with all that is happening, it does come over as a little unconscionable and slipping it in at this particular time, when everybody is distracted with Crop Over, is far from acceptable. This issue of the viability of the scheme has been discussed for some time but this move is going to result in hardship. It is going to be a burden on not only pensioners of the future but employers as well,” Sealy said.
      He said the development also had implications for employers and could have an impact on the country’s attractiveness to investors.
      “It is going to affect our ability to attract and sustain investors. The impacts are far-ranging and I am not sure that this Government has fully contemplated them all. So I can say that this is unfortunate and it is not doing anything at all to improve the quality of life for the average Barbadian. It is also not doing anything at
      all to improve our attractiveness to either domestic or foreign investment in terms of the cost of employing people,” he said.
      Sealy warned that the increase in retirement age was not likely to provide a long-lasting solution to this country’s NIS woes, sparked by a declining and aging population. He called for a more innovative approach to addressing the challenges with the scheme, one that calls for a consideration of other models.
      “At some point in time we are going to have to bite the bullet and come up with more creative ways of financing our social security system. It can’t just come down to increasing the age and increasing the rate of contribution, we are going to have to become a little more creative than that.
      “This is something that this panel of brilliant economists that we keep hearing about should wrap their minds around because we can’t just continue like this. One suggestion is to take examples from the private sector, who have interesting pension plans,” he said.
      He added: “I could see this as a challenge for sure because you are going to have to work longer and it’s going to be harder for young people to get an opportunity to get a job. Young people are already saying that Barbados is extremely difficult when it comes to finding jobs and are migrating at a tremendous rate and nobody is talking about it.”
      “This is not good news for them at all. Quite a few of them are saying that there is nothing for them in terms of opportunity and now when they do get an opportunity you are now telling them that they have to wait forever to get to retirement age,” Sealy lamented.


      Of a total of $4b, $1.1b in commercial banks
      Foreign currency deposits at commercial banks have surged to more than $1 billion nearly four years after individuals and institutions were granted permission to open such accounts.
      Central Bank Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge and his Deputy Alwyn Jordan see it as a sign that the country’s foreign reserves are in a much better position than people might think.
      At this second-quarter press conference on Friday, Greenidge said the foreign reserves were $3.1 billion at the end of June.
      He attributed the $338.5 million increase in foreign reserves mainly to strong tourism inflows, substantial disbursements from multilateral institutions to the public sector and a decrease in the value of imports.
      However, the Governor explained that when the $1.1 billion in foreign currency accounts were factored in, Barbados’ foreign reserves were essentially in excess of $4 billion.
      “I think our foreign exchange earnings capacity performance is perhaps even better than it was [during] part of COVID and coming out [of the pandemic],” Greenidge said in response to a question at the Courtney Blackman Grande Salle.
      “Foreign currency holdings at commercial banks are going through the roof, escalating. Remember, we would have allowed Barbadians to hold a foreign currency account, which means if you are producing goods and you get paid in foreign currency, you can put it in your bank account and you don’t have to bring it to the Central Bank.
      Bigger picture
      “What we have seen is a ballooning of those [foreign currency accounts]. Usually, they would have come to the Central Bank. So yes, we have to now look at the bigger picture. We have got to get away from thinking just the [foreign] reserves held at the Central Bank, but there’s also a tremendous
      amount of reserves now being held at the commercial banks that belong to individuals, corporations, etc that they don’t have to surrender.”
      His views were shared by Jordan, who told the press conference: “The total amount in foreign currency deposits was about $1.1 billion and the major component of that was for the real estate professional services of about $223 million, tourism was about $172 million and distribution about $95 million.
      “So not only are we looking at our reserves, but also we are looking at the foreign currency that’s in those accounts held by the commercial banks, and the extent to which those entities have those accounts that should almost be like their first call when it comes to their requirements, as it relates to their demands for foreign currency to meet their operational needs.”
      When access to foreign currency accounts were announced in the 2019 Budgetary Proposals, Government said it was the strategy to boost the country’s international competitiveness, support economic growth by channeling savings to productive enterprises, bolster investor confidence in Barbados and remove some of the bureaucracy and impediments that stymie business.
      Outside of foreign currency, the Central Bank data showed that domestic currency deposits reached $13.6 billion at the end of the review period.
      Greenidge reported overall that “deposits continued to grow, but at a slower pace than in the first half of 2022”. (SC)

      Source: Nation

    • @David
      You could do the DLP a favour and not repeat anything Sealy says.
      And given this comment in loop
      “The DLP will assess the two Bills tabled in Parliament line by line and will address the nation in the fullness of time.”
      They are probably best to say nothing at this time. The Bill on pensions (contributory) for public officers was laid weeks ago.
      Sounds like they got Crop Over fever.

    • @NO

      Sealy is hoping to ride on public sentiment on the NIS issue given his run for president of the DLP next month.

  6. …. Barbados was once, long ago, known as the “Cradle of Truth” because it was from here that Quakers spread the “Truth” to the New World.

    True True fact!!

    What is “Truth”?

    John 14:6
    King James Version
    6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    It is sad that in a secular world, academia will not tell you what is “Truth”!!

  7. “From our older ladies, permission (or not, the state will decide in our unconstitutional parliament) for the NIS (state) to use of their wombs into which the fertilized eggs may be implanted.”

    Bushman…stop trying to get yaself killed.

  8. Bushman…check 789 whatsapp group…the ugly is even UGLIER than we thought…the last few posts of a dude modeling his new vajayjay.

  9. On second thoughts, neoliberal capitalism could become an integral part of the whole scheme as the state can make money from the production of babies.

    The society which will raise the child could be charged a fee for each child so delivered through some additional NIS contribution.

    This scheme would also apply the transgender craze now sweeping the world as not only women but also men can be employed to make these babies … once technology advances to this stage.

    • The great contradiction given the decision to push back NIS requirements and the segment of the population it will impact.

      Give older people a chance, says Minister Humphrey

      Article by Barbados Today
      Published on
      July 29, 2023×475.png

      Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Kirk Humphrey says ageism is holding back older people in Barbados from making contributions and earning money, as he made a case for greater opportunities to be provided to seniors.

      “The problem with Barbados in many cases is our mindset. People judge people for all kinds of reasons,” Humphrey said while giving his support to the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the House of Assembly on Friday evening.

      “We bring our limitations to people’s existence. So, you see a person now who is 60 and you say, ‘I want a job for so and so’ and they tell you that [person] is 60, they can’t do the work. But I have just said to you that the vast majority of Barbadians, at the rate that we are going, will soon be 60. Barbados is an aged society, so it means we have to find things for older people to be able to do and stop blocking them from having access to the resources that we make available to everybody else.”

      Minister Humphrey used Japan as an example as he spoke about that nation’s efforts to take advantage of its “silver economy” – an economy which includes all those economic activities, products and services designed to meet the needs of people over the age of 50.

      “As our society ages, we have to find ways to involve older people doing different things. It is not enough for us to accept that our society is ageing, and our systems have not advanced in a way that is commensurate with the rate at which our society is ageing . . . . In Japan, they have found a way to make the silver economy really mean something,” he said.

      “They tell me that in Japan, they have hundreds of universities for older people . . . so people could learn new things. The Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) is doing everything in their power to help retool older people. We have to open new spaces for them [and] as our population ages, I know these are conversations that we are going to have to have.”
      Courtesy Garage_Nissan Leaf 2023_300x300 July 7- 20

      Humphrey said re-tooling the elderly would be beneficial not only because it keeps them active but it can assist them to earn a supplementary income.

      He noted that some 500 people over the age of 65 currently depend on grants from the Welfare Department and he expressed concern that as Barbados’ population continues to age, those numbers will increase, putting greater pressure on the system.

      “If we get to a point where people are over 65, 67, or 68, where do you think they are going to end up? At some point, either we manage this social problem by applying smart, commonsense deeply rooted in economics and planning actuarial sciences solutions or we find ourselves dealing with a mass of people going before the Welfare Department at 67, 68 years old asking for financial support,” Humphrey advised. (KC)

      Source: BT

  10. Population is a smoke screen. At 267k, 283k or 275k, that’s a 5% max differential. Yes it is relevant. And easily addressed. The contribution years are increasing 50%, not 5%. Along with other cost saving changes, age increases etc it’s a whammy (but expected)
    As a side issue, between myself and siblings, we have 19 years of NIS contributions with zero benefit. One dead, and the other 3 have lived elsewhere for 40+ years.


    “Mr. Speaker, when we came to office we found out that NIS contributions for public officers had not been paid since 2015. This Government has paid up the $250m that was owing. At the same time we have been staying current with payments”

    Somebody(?) decided to take the cash from public employees NIS deductions, and instead of remitting it to the NIS, sent it elsewhere, to fund the GoB operations. No public officer, nor elected person has the authority to do this, without changes to legislation. It was a CRIME, it DESERVES TIME.

    Translation. “paid up” means the GoB sent the NIS $250M worth of Bonds. “staying current” means to date, all the requirements of those Bonds have been met.

    “Suggestions and proposals received addressed….. “investment policies, enforcing compliance, timely action to address any challenges, the need for audited financial statements”,

    So wait you addressed all the others without touching these?

    Changes is structure (TBA) is another smoke screen. What it really does is bury the past, without ever making it public as required by law.
    If you continually break the laws, it doesn’t matter what structure you have.

    OK, I appreciate how the self-employed, especially in the modern context of sub-contracting vs employing, is a challenge. A big one given the amount of content dedicated to it.
    BUT, to go on about laws, when the NIS itself has been allowed to break the laws for years is RICH. Do as I say not as I do?

    Something had to be done. And it has. Yet, little or nothing has addressed the multiple abuses and illegal actions which created the problems. Not a soul will be accountable.

  11. We must work longer!!

    Plan on working till you drop!!

    There isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with that notion.

  12. NO’s contribution though sensible and well said shows that he has bought into the BS hook, line and sinker.

    It’s all a scam.

    • If you explain the scam, I would be happy to admit/deny my buy in

  13. I think I missed the part where government explained how it was planning to inject $80M a year into the fund for the next 12 years, therby replacing the $1billion of “all we money” that was written off in the restructuring.

    Of course the DEMS and Sinkyuh in his Xerox years got to hold some blows too. Sweet nuh one party printed the paper and the other party wrote it off. Now we got to work to 68 and have 700 odd installments, while the same politicians that brek up the fund will get a full pension in 2 terms. Unless I fall sleep when that change was made.

  14. Sweet nuh one party printed the paper and the other party wrote it off….ya talking bout Clearwater Bay or is it deja Vu all over again

  15. David, I don’t have any concerns with the retirement age prgressively increasing to 68 years, because people currently have the option of ‘late retirement’ at 70 years. However, I believe people should be encouraged more to plan for their retirement.

    • @Artax

      We have many issues at play.

      -Planning outside of NIS for retirement.
      -Financial management of the fund by government.
      -The role of the Accounting House
      -An aging population


  16. David, what should be public knowledge is how many businesses are indebted to NIS, total outstanding receivables and how they plan to enforcement payments. Or, will they ‘take the easy way out,’ by writing off the debt. I believe ‘government’ should’ve also emphasised that withholding payments of NIS and PAYE deductions from employees’ earnings is a serious offence. NIS Compliance Officers should be more active in identifying delinquent employees.

    • @Artax

      That would be good to know, part of a holding accountable process. How active are the NIS inspectors?

    • We keep repeating the issues which are smoke screens.
      The issue is accountability.
      This PM has recently made public mention of hard, or h-a-r-d or hard-hard decisions, while contorting herself and wincing. Esp as related to the Debt restructuring.
      She has faced several difficult decisions. But the HARD decisions is when you must call out friends, colleagues, persons with your social circles, to answer for their actions.
      I put it to you…she has not made a HARD decision yet. She has avoided every HARD decision.

    • We know what calling out ‘friends, colleagues, persons with your social circles, to answer for their actions’ will mean in a Barbados landscape. A precipitous decline in popularity the stuff that defines politician.

    • At least you know then why all are spinning top in the mud.
      Bajans got nuff money or they would be pushing back.

  17. @David
    DLP clears its hand of NIS reform suggestions tabled
    I was surprised at the notion of the Government treating the DLP as an ”official” Opposition, We dun know that the BLP is not going to give the DLP any ammunition to kick start its fight against it, so I will surmise that the Minister is economical with the truth, Yuh could tell an acquaintance that you are having a party but that don’t mean that you inform them of the date and time. So, the DLP was probably advised that changes were being proposed for the pension plan but that doesn’t mean they were privy to any discussions.

    BTW “David” why did you associate the DLP statement with Sealy?

    • @Sargeant

      It had to do with an earlier report that members running for the presidency could not be reached for comment. The association with Sealy was a slip of the fingers on the keyboard.

  18. Perhaps scam was too strong a word.

    This problem has been known for quite some time. The difference now is that we can no longer kick the can down the road. It is obvious to every Bajan that we need to do something and to do it quickly.

    There is nothing amazing about the solution. The key part of the solution was also known..
    get people to contribute more (750 vs 500) and
    delay paying out (move the retirement age).
    Some important bits and pieces were added on to form the bulk of the strategy.

    Nothing surprising or amazing here.

  19. What are the odds of an ex Black president losing two (2) Black chefs by drowning.

    Two …… Not one!

    Maybe statisticians from the NIS could calculate these odds.

    On his premises with bruises on the body.

    Wonder if any bulling was involved. For he’s the one who sanctified that business.

  20. @ David

    I believe if the NIS Inspectors or Compliance Officers were as active as they are supposed to be, there wouldn’t be so many delinquent employers.

    Many business owners often use PAYE & NIS deductions for cash flow purposes.
    Then they are unable to pay their NIS expenses and the accrued interest and penalties.
    But, employees can check with NI Office to determine whether or not their employers are paying the contributions, and take the appropriate action to rectify the issue.

    However, didn’t Sealy also made a comment that the new policies are ‘unconscionable?’

  21. The other chef who died left the White House in 2005. I looked it up. He was never Obama’s chef.

    I fear that pet peeves affect more than just Grenville’s brain on this blog.

  22. @ David

    Another thing I disagree with, is the payment of non-contributory pensions to persons who have not contributed to the fund.

    Although the criteria for payment of such pensions has changed, thereby disqualifying those persons who would’ve previously received payments, provisions are still in place for certain individuals to receive the pension, as long as they meet the prescribed requirements.

    I think the minimum amount is $230 per week.

    Both employers and employees contribute 2% each, to finance payments to persons who, for one reason or another, do not contribute thereto.

  23. Indeed, one would think that DLP has more than 0 elected members and is actively participating in parliamentary debates and writing new laws.

    And then they are some here who will blame every new ill of government on the lack of an opposition.

    The people remove refused to tag in the DLP in the last election, but some here tag them in whenever the BLP makes a major misstep.

  24. @Donna
    I provided the following earlier, but it looks as if I have to throw it against the wall a few times to get it to stick.

    Barack Obama’s chef is 2nd White House chef to die by drowning
    short by Ankush Verma / 01:23 pm on 25 Jul 2023,Tuesday
    Former US President Barack Obama’s personal chef Tafari Campbell whose body was found in a lake on Martha’s Vineyard is the second White House chef to have died by drowning. Walter Scheib, a former executive chef during the administrations o
    f Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush,
    drowned accidentally in 2015 after going on a hike in Taos, New Mexico.

  25. TheO,

    Didn’t see it, but I knew there is just no way I would have missed it if two of Obama’s chefs had died by drowning.

    From the looks of the first one, he wasn’t even black.

    No better than a right-wing looney!

  26. Do you think a country that jumps for joy when receiving US $30M from the IMF can truly afford to write off/forgive
    US $ 0.5 – 1 Billion
    (BDS $ 1-2B)

    The maths does not add up.


    It all over the British press. Maybe because they have more gutter jounalism.

    Maybe because the wokeist in America, operating as a banana republic, to shield the useful idiots from any derogatory information about the woke leaders Obama and Biden. Two much beloved criminals.

    George Galloway is a former MP for 30 years. Has been previously invited to Barbados at tax payers’ expense and is the leader of a political party.

    Check the British tabloids!

    Weeeeeeeereeee still haven’t said anything, anything, here which cannot be proven are otherwise justify.

    And those who would so presume should become aquainted with the rigour of academic standards.

  28. Obama is not my son. I don’t care about him that way. What I care about is grown men and women spreading silly lies for no reason.

    Tabloids indeed!

    They make shit up to catch fools.

    Your currency that is going to topple the US dollar isn’t going to happen as you predicted either. I’ve been reading up on BRICS.

    Apparently, if and when it does happen, it will be a “chipping away” rather than a “decapitation”.

    “Chipping away”! Now, who’s always advocating for a “chipping away” and who for a “decapitation”?

    I nearly died when I read those descriptions!


    • Well, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

      For general information. Trading by Brics in national currencies is the real deal. This is galloping!

      The resources backed Brics currency which will displace the USD was never said by anybody
      to happen overnight. Countries are storing gold. Russia and China are the largest holders.

      Just the mere thought of that is staggering. That this would happen overnight. Even as sentiment within financial markets is already effecting how players behave.

      However, the mere use of national currencies for Trading is enough to dethrone the USD. As trade transactions in USD have dropped to about 50 percent from a recent high of 70 or 80 percent.

      This is a highly complex matter and a number of other things are happening.

      The mere agreement by Brics in SA to have their reserve currency was always only the first step. Just like the NDB is a first step against the IMF and World Bank. But the growing boycott of the USD is inflicting massive damage to the wokeist empire. Watch it!

      Read some more!

  29. Artax on July 30, 2023 at 5:30 PM said:
    Rate This

    @ David

    Another thing I disagree with, is the payment of non-contributory pensions to persons who have not contributed to the fund.


    When NIS first started many years ago in the 60’s, no one had made any contributions whatsoever but clearly many were on the verge of retirement if not retired.

    Employers who had employees close to or past retirement age were faced with the added cost of NIS contributions for all.

    For example, many plantations in the sugar industry, the major employer at the time, chose to let the older folk go home rather than incur the cost of contributing to the NIS fund.

    The cost of the non-contributory pensions fell on the NIS as it should have done.

    Paid employment is a problem and has always been a problem in Barbados. Many women for example in that era stayed home and while they may have found a way of generating income it was small even though it provided a measure of self- respect even if for many women it meant being subservient to men.

    In addition, people looked out for each other …. breadfruit was free. Now even that has to be bought from Massy.

    If the socialist model is to provide for all and Government has sold the idea to everybody, that it is socialist and socialism is a good thing, it would seem that non-contributory old age pensions are a must, a cost of doing business and necessary to maintain a peaceful society.

    … but as always, nothing in this life is free, somebody has to pay for socialism, and it is always the socialists!!

    I’ve always made the point that in slavery the plantation fed, clothed, housed and provided medical care from cradle to grave and was effectively a socialist utopia.

    Non-contributory old age pensions were borne by the plantation.

    The plantation has been replaced today by the socialist Government.

    Everybody has to give some of their labour every month in the form of NIS contributions to the Government for free, a cost of working for wages.

    Likewise, every business which employs persons must give the Government a berry when the month comes.

    Noone has a choice.

    It’s called socialism and all socialists are by definition miserable!!

  30. “Are those payments to non contributory paid from NIS or from MoF?”

    @ David

    To qualify for non-contributory old-age pension, one must be:
    Sixty-seven (67) years of age or in the case of a blind person or a deaf mute, the age of 18 years; and

    A). a citizen of Barbados; or

    B). a permanent resident of Barbados within the meaning of the Immigration Act, with residence in Barbados for a period of:

    in the case of a citizen of Barbados, 12 years since attaining the age of 40 years or an aggregate of 20 years since attaining the age of 18 years; or
    in the case of a permanent resident or Barbados, 15 years since attaining the age of 40 years or an aggregate of 20 years since attaining the age of 18 years. [Source: NIS website]

  31. I’ve always made the point that in slavery the plantation fed, clothed, housed and provided medical care from cradle to grave and was effectively a socialist utopia.”

    And, I’ve always made the point that slavery was a degradation of Africans who were not treated as HUMAN BEINGS, but CLASSIFIED as CHATTEL……

    …… LEGAL PROPERTY of their owners, to be BOUGHT, OWNED or SOLD similarly to LIVESTOCK.

    So, plantation owners did not care for slaves “from cradle to the grave” because they LOVED them.

    They were essentially PROTECTING their ‘investment.’

    Similarly, for example, to how they ‘fed, housed and provided medical attention’ for their HORSES or COWS.

    Or, nowadays, how a plantation owner would ensure his tractor is always full of fuel, parked in a garage to ‘protect it from the elements,’ and have an in house mechanic in the event it ‘broke down’ or developed a mechanical fault….

    …… ‘until the end of its useful life.’

  32. Artax on July 31, 2023 at 8:22 PM said:
    Rate This

    I’ve always made the point that in slavery the plantation fed, clothed, housed and provided medical care from cradle to grave and was effectively a socialist utopia.”

    And, I’ve always made the point that slavery was a degradation of Africans who were not treated as HUMAN BEINGS, but CLASSIFIED as CHATTEL……


    So, you are agreeing with me but adding the obvious observation that socialism like slavery degrades all who are slaves to it.

    It took a dose of evangelical Christianity from some of the first evangelical Christians, the Quakers, to end slavery.

    What will it take to end socialism?

    • John are you really that fucked in the head, or do you just figure what you learned at the family gatherings will suffice to piss others off?

    • Let us see if many Barbadians march or sickout over the new NIS changes. We know they have no interest marching or staging a sick out because of delayed audited NIS financials, therein lies the problem.

    • Why march over changes? They back off on one of many and someone declares victory?
      Then next year they increase benefits by 2% but contributions by 10% and annul the back off change.
      You have to march over the criminal acts which led to the changes. Unless there is a consequence, the actions will repeat themselves.
      You already read the problem in the Ministers address, it is structure. The entity needs restructuring.
      Doesn’t change one shite as long as the rules and laws are abused without consequence.
      But @David already told me it cannot be done, due to political fallout lol So keep on tekking it up the bazonga, dey laffin at we?

    • @NO

      You have to understand the thinking of the average Barbadian, no criminal or even a moral act was committed.

    • We have become too immersed in the political quagmire. Every issue must be pars through a political lens.

    • Well then the average Barbadian deserves to be screwed.
      Let’s jump on the gravy train and keep on screwing them!!!

    • The big big irony is that whatever happens to the NIS fund it will have to be funded directly or indirectly by taxpayers.

  33. NorthernObserver
    on July 31, 2023 at 10:14 PM said:
    Rate This

    John are you really that fucked in the head, or do you just figure what you learned at the family gatherings will suffice to piss others off?


    Here’s the really funny thing.

    I learnt about the Great Awakenings in third form with Captain Hut but never understood their significance until 54 years later.

    I’m not making this up, it is all a matter of history, facts that can be checked.

    This is some beautiful stuff I need to share.

    The Moravians and then the Methodists arrived in Barbados about a century after the Quakers, check the History.

    All were Evangelical Christians.

  34. Unions’ pension pitch

    UWU plans sick-out; NUPW to meet; BWU no part of protest
    ONE UNION IS plotting a sick-out while another will huddle in discussion this week over Government’s attempt to move the retirement age from 67 to 68 years and adjust the length of contributions.
    However, while the Unity Workers’ Union (UWU) is calling for others to join in the protest action tomorrow and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) says its top brass has to meet urgently on the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) issue, the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) says it has no connection to the protest.
    General secretary of UWU, Caswell Franklyn said the action came out of an online meeting with more than 500 union members and consumer advocates on Sunday night upset by Government’s move to have Barbadians working longer before they received their pensions.
    He charged that there was no need to have legislation at this time with two holidays and the festive Crop Over season in the air. The matter was debated in the House of Assembly last week and is scheduled to be debated in the Senate and given approval before becoming law.
    “We suggested that the workers should protest then because it is going to hurt each and every one in Barbados. We decided we would let the people be aware that the workers are not pleased,” Franklyn said.
    Minster of Labour and Social Security Colin Jordan, in reaction, said he had a certain faith in Barbadians being reasonable people, stating that in the end everyone wants the National Insurance Scheme to be around for others to use it.
    “I just hope that good sense will prevail and that all of us realise that we have to rally around the scheme and make sure it survives and that it is better to act early than to act late. I would appeal to Barbadians rally with us,” he said.
    Jordan said that once they had the actuarial report there was extensive consultation on how Barbadians felt about the measures to be taken and it decided to act now because the sustainable measures for the NIS would not be as tough.
    “If not the measures would have to be much tougher because then we would have to bring the situation back from a pretty serious situation.”
    Meantime, the NUPW said it was not part of the planned protest as any action to be undertaken must be sanctioned by its national council.
    “There has been a move for the executive committee and the national council to meet to discuss NUPW position on the proposed changes to reform the National Insurance pension. They will meet this week in response to some of the concerns of our members in furtherance to previous discussions we had,” said general secretary Richard Green.
    The matter, he said, had engaged the attention of the national council prior to this latest episode. The BWU said in its statement: “We want to be unequivocal, forceful, and absolutely clear on this matter: The Barbados Workers’ Union has no connection, knowledge, or involvement in any planned sick-out, nor has our executive council endorsed or promoted such action.”
    The union stated that
    it had been drawn to its attention that messages were circulating regarding the islandwide sick-out tomorrow and alongside the messages, a video produced by the BWU, celebrating two significant holidays for its workers.
    Celebratory piece
    “The video that has been circulated, while authentic and produced by the BWU, is strictly a celebratory piece for the holidays and must not be misinterpreted or linked with the rumours regarding industrial action. The two are in no way connected.
    “We strongly condemn any attempt to associate the BWU with actions that we have not sanctioned, and we urge all concerned parties to dismiss these erroneous and misleading associations,” the statement read.

    Source: Nation

    • Dems eyeing two pension bills

      THE DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY (DLP) says it is closely watching the two pieces of “important legislation” relating to National Insurance Scheme (NIS), pensions, and retirement.
      The Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) Bill, were tabled in Parliament on Friday and has caused a stir among members of the public.
      Under the change over a ten-year period the retirement age will move from 67 to 68 years. There will also be adjustments to the length of contributions to qualify for pensions.
      “Contrary to the statement by Minister Colin Jordan in Parliament, the DLP was not part of the consultation for the Advisory Group on the NIS as the government abruptly removed the party from discussions without explanation after the DLP inquired about details, since the DLP holds a firm view that consultation has to be meaningful and not merely window dressing.
      “Therefore, the decisions the government arrived at were its decisions and whomever it engaged,” the DLP said in statement over the weekend.
      Will assess in due time
      The DLP will assess the two bills tabled in Parliament line by line and will address the nation in the fullness of time, the party said.
      “Given that the legislation will touch the lives of all Barbadians and its impact will be far-reaching, the DLP believes it is important to review the legislation in detail,” the statement added.
      Minister of Labour and Social Security Colin Jordan had delivered a ministerial statement on the issue on Friday in the House of Assembly. The bills are set to go before the Senate tomorrow for debate and approval.
      Jordan said those who are 60 years now and nearing retirement have been shielded from the changes.
      He said there were certain things which the town hall meetings and consultations with others revealed and the administration had tailored the measures accordingly.
      “A couple of things people had said they did not want to hear. One was a 70-year pensionable age. That was very clear. The second, they did not want the feeling that people were scamming the system, contributing for a little bit and still drawing the benefit.
      “The other thing that quite a few people did not want at the time – I suspect because people could feel the inflationary pressure – and that was not to touch the contribution rate because that could have been an option. We could have changed the contribution rate but we decided not to do that because persons were concerned about their takehome pay and their ability to survive when they have more [money] being taken out,” the Minister told the DAILY NATION yesterday.
      He stated that the matter of revitalising the NIS was one of the deciding factors in choosing the options available to take Barbados and the fund to safety and sustainability.
      “We thought we would take a gradualist approach,” he said.
      The next six months, he said, would be dedicated to an education programme for communities on the proposed changes and importance of the fund.

      Source: Nation

  35. Mia, recently, implored Barbadians to stop playing the fool.

    The breaking news’s story that the GOB did not pay NIS contributions for those emergency workers during the covid-19 period should not surprise anyone. The oversight, and ‘width and breadth of incompetence from this government is standard practice. This is unacceptable.

    We also know that a sizeable minority of private companies simply do not pay NIS contributions for their workers. What a sad indictment of our country.

    • “He made clear the matter had been resolved.

      “Government recognised an issue in terms of some of the short-term hirings. Government has moved to correct those issues.”

      Bajan journalists? If it had been resolved the Government would say the issues have been corrected, not moved to correct.

      And they go on again

      “Now, initially, some of those persons were not included in the National Insurance Scheme. Government has recognised its error and all of those persons have been included now in the national insurance roll and the contributions are paid jointly by the employees and the employer in this case being Government. So that matter has been rectified,” he said.

      What is rectified? Including them on a roll, or paying to NIS.

  36. “Well then the average Barbadian deserves to be screwed.
    Let’s jump on the gravy train and keep on screwing them!!!”
    Northern O gets the unfortunate reality…

    But it is a bit worse…
    The average Barbadian is a brass bowl …who enjoys being used as a topsy…
    The politicians and lawyers have chosen to oblige them….
    The journalists are trained to convince them that they are being blessed…
    The Blogmaster hates the smell, but fails to see any alternative than changing the politician’s diet to vegan.

  37. The analogy is not correct, the blogmaster prefers to use Vaseline to help.
    Lord come fuh yuh wurl !!!!

    David …..yuh gallows bait boss!!!!

  38. Just remember, we have not had a constitutional Parliament since 2018. Everything Ms. Mockley and her “ministers” have done is null, void and of no effect.

    Just needs some smart Alec to take a Constitutional Motion to Court!!

    Should have been done ever since, doing nothing has only empowered the 20 members of the House of Assembly who are yet to form a constitutional Parliament.

  39. “In 2028, the pensionable age will become 67.5 years and in 2034, the age will rise to 68 years.”

    This is what the internet says.

    Good chance we will get some unrest.

    We really need to hold these pretenders’ feet to the fire, should have done so since 2018.

    • If you truly believe Parliament is unconstitutional, why not use some of the funds you inherited from your ancestors, off the backs of plantation labourers, to test such unconstitutionality in Court, rather than talk shiite?

    • Help muh. Does the PM speak of a loan (repayable), a grant (gift) or a groan(confusion)?

  40. She seems desperate for attention!!

    Tomorrow may be interesting as people don’t sound happy with the NIS which goes to the unconstitutional Senate!

    • Too far east is west some say.

      Former administration was labeled the government of silence.

      What we need is to find a way to hold public officials accountable.

      This is the crux of the matter.

  41. “Help muh. Does the PM speak of a loan (repayable), a grant (gift) or a groan(confusion)?”

    Grain. You heard grain.

  42. The problem is that “the software don’t talk to each other”?????

    What a roll of shiite!!
    They spend MILLIONS of dollars and countless hours on medical software systems – not to mention license fees, upgrades and training, only to now ‘discover’ that these don’t “talk to each other”????

    …so some smart aleck now tells us with a straight face that we must scrap the millions ALREADY SPENT, and borrow millions MORE for a new system that ‘speaks the same language’…. what nonsense!!

    Next five years (and 50 million later), we will hear that this new system speaks a common language ok, but needs to be scrapped because it is not “compatible with brass bowls”, or some joker don’t like it…and that we need a new brassbolic system costing $100million.

    Only brass bowl Bajans can sit and watch their money being frittered away with such nonsense …over and over and over… and just jump at Kadooment.

    Who are being disciplined for the failures of the current useless systems?
    Who were fired?
    What went wrong, and how has it been fixed?
    Who is going to take responsibility for this new system’s success?

    This emotional grandstanding on TV about getting ‘cheap loans’ is becoming TIRESOME….even for Bajan brass bowls.
    lotta shiite!!

    • Dont understand how the mental programming is geared toward dependency only…in 2023…so then how will it be in 2030 – 2040 – 2050….since it is glaring i see others planning for those eventualities, but not the talking machine…they remain on one trajectory only…beg, borrow..

      Looks like there is a mismatch between fantasy and reality…a total disconnect…..and for some inexplicable and despicable reason they refuse to do what comes naturally like those connected to the real world…

  43. “Who are being disciplined for the failures of the current useless systems?”
    I enjoy your comedic efforts.
    The parliamentarian in charge was fired by the voters.
    The two senior public employees associated are no longer employed by the GoB.
    The contractor who “bid” and “installed” the system is no longer in business.

    But…even when we know the body, nothing will happen.

    The 17th Actuarial Audit noted that the NIS’s Investment Policy Statement had not been followed for many years. This is not a Board matter. An operational execution. The grand fromage, of the NIS after multi years in that role,was promoted, as the Dir of Finance. It was HIS job. You ever seen a public inquiry where he was questioned as to the execution of HIS responsibility as Mg Dir? But he got an additional high honour.

    You cannot make this shit up 😁😁

  44. Lol, then he will have to accost someone and get arrested. He could be on remand for years?
    Peculiar how this PM protects the former minister who is assoc with CBL, NIS, debt overload, illegal direction of NIS contributions and yet don’t have the time of day for others?

    • An interesting change. It makes one wonder why it was necessary. The last minute decision has added to concerns about the changes to the two Bills.

      Senate debate on pension age postponed

      WHILE BARBADIANS WAITED with interest for the outcome of yesterday’s Senate debate on proposed changes to the island’s National Insurance Scheme, the scheduled sitting was adjourned less than ten minutes after it started.
      As a result, individuals eager to know whether the National Insurance And Social Security (Amendment) Bill 2023 passed in the House of Assembly last week, will get the green light in the Senate, will have to wait until next Wednesday, when the Senate meets again.
      The amendments to the legislation propose drastic changes to Barbados’ National Insurance Scheme and have been the subject of much contention and discussion over the past few days.
      Government’s intended changes to the National Insurance Scheme were announced by Minister of Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector Colin Jordan during last week’s sitting of the House of Assembly where he introduced the Bill.
      According to the amendment, in 2028 the pensionable age will become 67.5 years and 68 in 2034.
      Laid two papers
      At the beginning of yesterday’s Senate sitting, Leader of Government Business Senator Lisa Cummins first laid two papers – the National Insurance Board’s Principal Recommendations for the Revitalisation of the National Insurance Scheme and The Barbados Arms Trade Treaty Initial Report. Following
      this, she moved the first reading of the National Insurance And Social Security (Amendment) Bill 2023. However, minutes after the President of the Senate Reginald Farley announced Government business was the Order of the Day, clearing the way for Cummins to open debate on the Bill, she rose and announced: “Mr President, due to a number of considerations today, the business of the Senate has now concluded.
      “We will have a separate internal meeting of the Senate to be able to deal with a matter before us that is preparatory for some of the Bills that are on the agenda and so, with these very few words today, I beg to move that this sitting be adjourned until Wednesday August 9, at 11 a.m.” (GC)

      Source: Nation

  45. Off topic, the proposed sit 8n demonstration planned by the in my view attention seeking Mr Franklyn from all accounts turned out to be a dismal failure.Who is surprised? Without the support of the BWU and NUPW it was bound to fail.When contacted Mr Franklyn instead of conceeding it was a failure went on some talk about representing some lady.Really?You organize a sit in and do not attend or know of it, s outcome.Give me a break.There is a group of you would like to see this government fall with your antics.On the call in programme they are about 10 of them all dems that confuse brasstacks everyday.Persons like Ms decided, Mr P, Alvin, Rawle, Mr Bascmbe,Ms P, Straker,s, Blessed day, Mr Bascombe and Velma who wanted Barbados cleaned up for the return of Mr Inniss who she claimed is her relative.These persons are accomadated without challenge by in my view poor rakey moderatos like Dr Hinds , Mr Wilkinson and Ms JemmottIn my view most people can see right through their agendas.Starcom needs to do a lot better as that programme has gone to the dogs and turned off a lot of listeners and it is not helping the DLP.I gone.

    • @Lorenzo

      The blogmaster notes nurses at one polyclinic are on strike. More than one way to skin a cat eh?

  46. Unless I missed it none of the major unions in the country have commented publicly about these changes. Caswell as the spokesperson for his fledging Union has declared his opposition to the amendments but from the others the silence has been deafening. In my book silence means assent thus the Unions representing most of the workers in the island are perfectly happy with the changes.

    In my neck of the woods when a previous provincial Gov’t enacted changes to deal with the recession the Premier of the day sang “we are in the same boat”. Politicians and workers are likely in boats but they are hardly the same “boat”, while politicians are in luxury yachts with all the trappings, workers are in essentially dinghies at the mercy of the most moderate of swells. These most recent changes are an example of how politicians take their constituents for granted ( I could use stronger language) but they didn’t even try to throw a sop to the masses by pretending that “we are in the same boat” and we will amend the qualification to receive a pension by a year or two to show solidarity with the public.

    This Government doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to financially rewarding its members or supporters, from the largest Cabinet in Barbados history, to piggybacking on public workers increases, to “we have a crime problem, time for a new Minister”. How about the parliamentarian who made a fuss about his salary and was the retired to a diplomatic post with pension and salary for his new role intact; or the individual who was relegated to the backbench and complained so loudly that he was made a “poverty czar” with the requisite salary adjustment. This is a government that was elected to repair the ills of the previous one, but it is déjà vu all over again.

    All together now “We are in the same boat”.

    • These most recent changes are an example of how politicians take their constituents for granted ( I could use stronger language)
      You playing that you is some kinda diplomat now?
      Admit it Sarge… you are talking about brass bowls being used as ‘topsies’….
      Only difference between you and Bushie is that you laughing at our Bajan donkeys from your albino-centric domicile…

    • A case of 2 steps forward and 1 back? Similar to encouraging Barbadians to buy electric and hybrids but there is no significant price difference.

      Taxes ‘holding back’ private pension plans
      By Colville Mounsey

      The General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB) is warning that the taxation on private pensions is deterring Barbadians from taking up the option.
      This is against the background of the national spotlight falling on retirement planning following Government’s attempt to increase retirement age from 67 to 68 years.
      President of the GIAB, Randy Graham, told the Weekend Nation that private pensions plans are subject to double taxation and he cautioned that such a situation should be seriously re-examined now that it has become more evident that persons can no longer solely depend on the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) during their golden years.
      He explained that Barbadians are being taxed on their pension payments as well as the income from those pension plans.
      During the debate on the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in Parliament last week, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley called on Barbadians to plan properly for retirement and not simply cast all their eggs in the NIS basket.
      Graham said: “We continue to see increased inquiries about the options of private pension plans, but it is thwarted by the issue of double taxation. You get taxed on the funds that you put into the pension plan, and you are also taxed on the income that come out of the pension plan and that has been a deterrent for many persons.” The GIAB president pointed out that during the days that a taxation shield was in place for private pension plans, “significantly more Barbadians” opted to invest in these instruments than are currently doing so.
      “As a whole, the country has to look at ways to make pension plans more attractive because it would benefit the individual to have a private pension plan and the NIS. The taxation is definitely an issue. In the past we did have tax shields for contributions for pension plans and that is something we could look at again,” Graham said.
      “When we had the situation where the contribution into a pension plan was not taxed, we saw of lot of people taking up private plans and the people who had those plans are benefiting today. So the history shows us that when the environment was more conducive, much more funds were going into private pension plans,” he added.
      Echoing the sentiments of Mottley, Graham said that either a private pension plan or adequate savings must be a staple in any retirement planning, stressing that the staterun social security system is not going to be adequate for persons to maintain
      the standard of living they desire.
      “As a result of the challenges in guaranteeing the amount that a pension plan can pay, more and more of our citizens retiring can’t rely solely on the NIS for postretirement income, it is just a fact. The NIS will never be able to pay people in Barbados sufficient income to continue to live out their years after retirement, it is just not possible. Persons are going to have to find ways to supplement their income, either by savings or private pension plans,” he said.
      Weighing in on the challenges facing the NIS, Graham pointed out that the system of social security used in Barbados is limited in the fixes that can now be employed. However, he pointed out that persons must still count themselves fortunate that this social security net still exists.
      “The NIS offers what we call a Defined Benefit Pension Plan to citizens, which means that persons know how much money they are getting up front each month and that is committed to by the Government, irrespective of whether they have the cash or investment. This is always a difficult plan to manage, so you have very few options when you talk about reform,” he explained.
      He further noted: “It is always going to come back to how many people contributed, what age they worked to, how many contributions there are and how much is paid out. There are not a lot of levers that can be pulled when you are talking about reform. This type of plan is no longer widely used across the globe anymore. We are fortunate in Barbados to still have an NIS plan that guarantees citizens some pay out when they retire.”

      Source: Nation

  47. Since one can’t depend on the NIS and private pensions are subject to a Gov’t tax grab, for those who are not married to an MP may I suggest as an alternate a shoe box under the bed. Just ensure you have good home security, and you can enjoy your “golden” years in relative comfort.

  48. @David
    That may be so but just when the Gov’t is pulling the NIS rug from under Bajans feet and is encouraging people to invest in private pensions isn’t it ludicrous to learn that those pensions ae subject to double taxation?

    The do not “cast your eggs in one basket” came from the PM, the MOF, what are the alternatives?

  49. is the option. A trust pays capital distributions which are not taxable. All the big-ups have them. Offshore means no capital gains tax. And a bunch of investments offer no withholding tax. Tax in any government pocket is not as beneficial as in your own pocket. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

  50. Saw where a leading economist wrote an article saying the $40M US was too little. You can wait next week until he has a next idea or you can get it in on shot here…

    Final strategy is too vague, money is too little and action is now too late.

    Don’t confuse a late reaction with a plan. That is the way to hell.

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