Misunderstanding the assignment or an act of manipulation?

This should be of national interest and focus solely on Barbados’ Independence.
Submitted by Heather Cole

I am not a big fan of Independence but that is my personal point of view. When I was old enough to understand the differences between the have and the have nots in Barbados, the glamour of independence faded.  It had become a gem without lustre.  Despite my opinion, neither I nor any Barbadian must never forget Errol Walton Barrow’s unsurpassed contribution to the development of Barbados.  None of the institutions he created have been rivalled by any subsequent political leader of this island.  Even I am amongst the approximately 60% of Barbadians today that benefitted from ‘free’ secondary and tertiary education.   Undeniably, I benefitted from his creating an independent Barbados.

Tudor Rose

I write because even I, who have never been a fan of independence, is offended by the display on the East Wing of the Parliament.   I have ultimately reached the conclusion that those who were responsible grossly misunderstood the assignment or made an egregious decision to manipulate the people of Barbados. The official response did not cut it for me.  In fact, it is unacceptable.

The topic was simple, celebrating 57 years of Barbados’ Independence.  What was delivered appears to be in celebration of the Parliament buildings as the symbolism used is in no way connected to the Independence of Barbados.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  One would have understood if an anniversary of the Parliament building was being celebrated and the designer opted to put the Tudor rose which is featured in the architecture on the building in the national colours, everyone would have understood, there would have been no fall out or a rush to defend the indefensible.

Common sense dictates that the Tudor Rose engulfed in a masonic emblem has nothing to do with the celebrating of 57 years of Independence of Barbados.  The relic though on the Parliament building pertains to a history that is not our own.  

“These wars of roses were fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of PlantagenetLancaster and York. The wars extinguished the last male line of the House of Lancaster in 1471, leading to the Tudor family inheriting the Lancastrian claim to the throne. Following the war and the extinction of the last male line of the House of York in 1483, a politically arranged marriage united the Houses of Tudor and York, creating a new royal dynasty which inherited the Yorkist claim as well, thereby resolving the conflict.” Henry VII then created the Tudor rose which was white and red as a symbol of uniting the two royal houses.

All this happened about 141 years before the English came to Barbados.  It was never part of Barbadian history.  It was never a part of our pre or post-Independence story.  There is no connection or relevance to Barbados.

One wonders if the designer understood that this is a celebration of Barbados’ independence in 1966 and, that the Parliament buildings are not being celebrated or any stories from England during the Middle Ages?  Could no symbols of unity be found from the past or in present day Barbados?  Truth be told, the Broken Trident was the only symbol that was required as it is a symbol of our breaking away from colonialism.

Alas, one also wonders if this was a deliberate attempt not to use the symbols of Barbados. Will independence be watered down and diluted to lose its meaning to the point where one cannot see its relevance?  Will there be another set of irrelevant nonsense next year and the year after that until the memory of Independence and Errol Walton Barrow has been eroded?  Is this the plan?  Are we also witnessing the eradication of the memory and achievements of Errol Walton Barrow by a slow death of the Barbados he created?  

It appears that this assignment was treated like a personal submission to NIFCA which would reflect the designer’s personal interpretation. This should never have happened.  This should be of national interest and focus solely on Barbados’ Independence. That depiction is simply not within the mirror image of Barbados.

In addition, and more importantly, how could anyone have the audacity to overshadow the occasion of the independence anniversary by hijacking it with the history of another country?  I am baffled to the point where I wonder if on the Parliament building, there will be a rainbow next year.

125 thoughts on “Misunderstanding the assignment or an act of manipulation?

  1. ” the Tudor Rose engulfed in a masonic emblem”
    I’m glad someone told me what it was. I thought it was the back of a sea turtle with a hole in it.

    • Agree with Heather’s point in the article that explaining the significance and relevance of the emblem should not have left to the designer. There should have been a clear plan to educate people before it was placed publicly.

    • So what are you suggesting Boss..?
      …that our leaders in Barbados have a clear idea of where they are taking us, a vision of a coherent future? ….and should therefore be required to share that vision with us …the brass bowls that elected (or at least failed to vote AGAINST) them???

      ha ha ha
      Don’t mek mock sport do!!
      These people don’t have a clue of what they are doing….

      ‘Vision’, for them is leveraging deals for their family, friends and constituents (in that order) – and then spending good money on public relations to tell us brass bowls how things ‘could be even worse’ if the the other shiite party was still in power.

      That ‘designer’ is sure to be somebody’s friend – who was offered a ‘pick’ to hang some cloth on the Parliament Building fuh independence / Republic day…. and told to de-emphasize ‘independence’.

      The poor chap probably only found out that it was a ‘Tudor Rose’ after Ninja Man declined to take it down to use as a blanket…

      What a damned place…
      What a curse!!

      The people WILL perish where there is no vision….

    • @Bush Tea

      You might have read Minister of Water Santia Bradshaw apologizing for the poor communication to do with the water outage which affected a wide area last weekend including the south coast. There is a common concern these these kinds of issues , incompetence.

  2. I’m trying to understand how a TEMPORARY Independence symbol could interpreted as an attempt to ‘eradicate the memory and achievements of Errol Walton Barrow,” especially when consideration is given to the fact that, not only are his contributions to the development of Barbados taught in schools, but are documented and recorded forever in the annals of Barbadian history…… while national recognition thereof is given thrice annually on Errol Barrow Day, National Heroes Day and Independence Day. Surely his image on the Barbadian $50, statues, and parks, facilities etc to honour him, are constant reminders.

    • David, poor communication relative to the water issue…… yes, I agree. The symbol on Parliament, in my opinion, is a non-issue…… another ‘9 day wonder,’ which will be forgotten by December 1st. At which time the homeless still remains in Independence Square and around the environs of Bridgetown. And people have to trek a dangerous route late at night, from ‘Granville Williams Terminal, through a deserted Broad Street and a dark lonesome Cheapside on their way to ‘Princess Alice Terminal,’ to catch the late night or 12:05am buses. Non-nationals, especially Guyanese and Jamaicans, hawking and setting up shanties indiscriminately all over Bridgetown. Non-nationals believing CARICOM gives them an inherent or ‘God given right’ to squat illegally on people’s property, and demand assistance from government. That MAJORITY of the stall in the new Fairchild Street Market were ALLOCATED to NON-NATIONALS who were ILLEGALLY selling food & beverages on the old market’s environs. Reason why more stalls had to be built to accommodate Barbadians who are LEGALLY entitled to them. These are only a few of several issues of which I am concerned.

    • @Artax

      With respect you are trivializing the concern about the Rose especially when contextualized in an environment where mediocrity is a constant. If it becomes a 9 day wonder does not shake the point, promoting the emblem should have been part of a structured plan by a government department to apprise the public of its significance.

    • David, while I ACKNOWLEDGE, ACCEPT and RESPECT people have the right to express their opinions, concerns or disapproval relative to any issue, in MY opinion, the symbol is non-issue. What could be taken away from ‘Tudor’s Rose’ is it represents the combined attributes of a red rose, which symbolises ‘love, passion and courage,’ and a white rose, ‘purity, innocence and loyalty.’ Do those attributes form any symbolic significance to independent Barbadians? If so, we could argue that something of local origins could have been used to symbolise those or other attributes, and articulate the intended message.

  3. “Common sense dictates that the Tudor Rose engulfed in a masonic emblem has nothing to do with the celebrating of 57 years of Independence of Barbados.”

    Freemasons designed Barbados’ best temples and buildings such as Parliament

  4. A sure sign of a society in decline is when in that society , the measurement of progress , is determined by the degree of wrongs done; when there is little or nothing being done to measure in terms of what is right.
    A hundred years ago, one Errol Barrow said that if he cannot move Mottley (Ernest) from the city, he would move the city from Mottley.
    Perhaps the realization is that since Barrow cannot be moved from Independence; the time has come to move Independence from Barrow.

  5. My dear Heather,
    You have been away too long. It appears that you have forgotten how things are done here.

    Please allow me to refresh your memory. Do you remember how we paid tons of money for a new and original slogan and got a used version instead? What did we do? We pulled together the best brains, formed a committee and came up with a new slogan that no one can remember. I am willing to bet that as I pen this to you, we are now forming a second committee to remedy this problem.

    It pains me to see your ignorance of Barbados history. You talk of Independence day, EWB and 1966. Barbados history began in May 2018 and we have replaced Independence Day with Constitution Day. Do you recall there was a plaque/monument to Errol Barrow where Mia’s name on the plaque is four times as big as the person being honored? We no longer need a Father of the Nation as we no have a Mother of the Nation.

    It may be difficult, but there are some parts of our history that you must forget. There is no need for you to remember anything prior to 2018. And whatever is done wrong can be remedied by creating a committee to fix it.

    I hope this letter helps in some small way.

  6. Anything can mean anything.
    Once again, I am amazed at what passes for logic on that small island. Some fool with a compass, a ruler and a lot of time on his hand drew a number of circles and presto … we have an Independence Day symbol. Ask anyone to show you any real connection with Independence Day and they cannot give a single example.

    Don’t let anyone tell you that a fist with only the middle finger pointing upwards is a broken trident with the two outers prongs missing.

  7. Stuuupse. The usual scandal chasers. It is becoming pathetic.

    Then again someone that could not set up a meeting turn will obviously struggle to think.

    • @enuff
      I “think” it was the end of August, in the PM’s address prior to going ‘pun weeks’ that she mentioned the NIS reporting was complete up to 2015.
      Yet I haven’t seen a single report issued. Have I missed them? Surely what is coming up to 3 months since, and they may have been completed prior to that, is an inordinately long time to share information which is ready?

    • She also stated that if her two senior managers didn’t bring the Savvy matter to a conclusion she would intervene. How long ago was that promise made?

  8. @DAVID

    Blessings Bruh…

    Please have a look at the “FARCICAL” nature of GOVs (NONE ARE EXEMPT)!!!

    Forgive the #OffTopicNature of this piece…

    Trying to get home a devilish point of reference!!!

    • @enuff

      Who wants to win anything with you? We want to disrupt animal farm behaviour and predictable outcomes. Carry on smartly though.

    • Exactly. I am not a politician nor do I marry myself to any party. Nothing to win or lose.
      I was wondering aloud when reports that are ready, will be finally laid in the House?
      Admittedly, I have long ago predicted the new incarnation of the NIS will appear before any outstanding Annual Reports are made public. But I would be happy to be proven wrong.

    • @NO

      Spot on!

      NIS change from next month

      THE NATIONAL INSURANCE DEPARTMENT will become a commercial state-owned enterprise on December 1 under the name, the National Insurance and Social Security Service.

      Minister of Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector Colin Jordan made the announcement in the House of Assembly yesterday while leading off debate on the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2023.

      The amendment establishes a corporate body to administer the National Insurance Scheme (NIS). It also makes better provisions for self-employed people.

      Jordan disclosed that 247, or just over 92 per cent, of the NIS’ 267 employees had agreed to transition to the new entity. Those who opted not to “have already met with the Ministry of the Public Service and details are being worked out as to how they will be absorbed in the wider public service system”.


      He said it made “better sense” to have a bill that incorporated those components of governance of the NIS that were debated in the House at the end of July and in the Senate at the beginning of August this year, and to include “those additional things that were to be added to the governance side, as well as those provisions which related to the new self-employed regime”.

      As set out in the amendment, the functions of the Service are to manage and operate the system of national insurance established by the Act; advise the Government and other public authorities on matters relating to the Act and the regulations; and be responsible for the policy, organisation and administration of the system of national insurance.

      It will also appoint staff of the Service; be responsible for the recruitment, discipline, promotion and termination of employees; and develop policies for the prudent and efficient management of the NIS Fund.

      The social security service will be headed by a chief executive officer.


      Source: Nation

    • Scheme urged to prosecute more cheats

      THE NATIONAL INSURANCE SCHEME (NIS) is being urged to “prosecute more people” who are deducting employee contributions but not paying them into the NIS as the law requires.

      Government back-bencher and attorney Edmund Hinkson is also advising self-employed Barbadians to fulfil their “national duty” by contributing to NIS rather than spending “all the money that they are making now on things that quite honestly are not as important as NIS”.

      The St James North representative mentioned “fancy hair, long nails, fancy clothes, and shoes” as examples of comparatively less important expenditure, as he also urged lawyers, accountants and medical practitioners to pay their due to the country’s social security scheme.

      The former minister was contributing to debate on the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2023 in the House of Assembly.

      Hinkson said Government had to ensure that it was paying NIS contributions for its employees and also called on the private sector “not to take money out of your employees’ salary and not pay it in”.

      He thinks the authorities should prosecute more employers for this practice.

      “I have had, throughout my years, businesses as clients, and being involved in businesses I know that money could be tight sometimes, that is the truth,” he said.

      No money there

      “But you can’t be taking the employees’ portion of NIS and not paying it into the NIS because you are keeping it to sustain your business and in a lot of cases the employees don’t even know that the money [is] not being paid in. When they retire they go now to NIS to try to get something to hear no money [is] there for them.”

      “And really and truly I [am] calling here today on the NIS and the authorities to prosecute more people on this issue. It is alright to get the unpaid debt certificate and to register it, but enforce it as well,” he advised.

      “I know this country and I know that this is a country where people feel that they could make a phone call and therefore then they get eased off, we have to stop that because it doesn’t benefit the country as a whole, it doesn’t add to our national development, and in fact I can argue that it is a corrupt practice too,” Hinkson asserted.

      His advice to NIS officials was: “So don’t be afraid of anybody, enforce the unpaid debt certificates that you have against the private sector people who are guilty of these fraudulent kind of practices against poor people, the poor employees who get taken for a ride.” (SC

      Source: Nation

    • New NIS move

      Minister says self-employed now mandated to contribute

      SELF-EMPLOYED PEOPLE will be mandated to contribute to the National Insurance and Social Security Scheme as Government has removed certain impediments.

      This formed part of the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) (No 2) Bill, 2023, which was debated in the House of Assembly yesterday.

      Minister of Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector Colin Jordan said one of the “significant impediments to engagement” in the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) for the self-employed was “the difficulty posed by the structure”.

      He pointed out that many selfemployed people refused to join the Scheme because they did not enjoy certain benefits, or claimed it was unaffordable primarily because they were subjected to very rigid payment rules and arrangements which many could not meet.

      However, Jordan said the amendments will not only ensure a pension for the self-employed based on their contributions, but also provide for an employment injury benefit, once certain conditions as set out in the legislation were met, as Government had a particular interest in securing the welfare of the self-employed.

      “In July of this year when we laid the National Insurance Board’s principal recommendations for the revitalisation of the National Insurance Scheme, in the Ministerial Statement I made at that time I indicated that one of the significant outputs of these recommendations was a new regime for self-employed persons in the NIS. The object was to facilitate the easier participation of self-employed persons in the NIS,” he told the House.

      The current system provides for contributions every quarter, assuming that there is a consistency of earnings. In the new structure, self-employed people will be required to pay a minimum contribution of $1 200 annually, but will be allowed the flexibility of paying that sum at intervals and in amounts convenient to them.

      “If a person has $2 000 and they want to pay that, it can cover the entire year. If they want to pay it piece by piece . . . that is how you can pay it,” Jordan explained.

      He also said provision had been made in the bill for the self-employed to contribute towards prior years, “so that a self-employed person can pay for three years in the past” since contributory pensions need “a certain amount of contributions”. However, the minister advised there would be a surcharge of five per cent for this arrangement, in accordance with NIS regulations.

      Pointing to the plight of the selfemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan said: “I appeal to self-employed persons to take advantage of the easing of the ability to participate in this our social security system.” (GC)

      Source: Nation

    • David, self-employed persons are mandated to file income tax returns and pay income taxes, but several of them don’t. The new policy of mandatory NIS contributions by the self-employed leaves me to wonder what system has been introduced to ensure adherence thereto.

  9. David
    Speaking of Animal Farm, why you don’t go after Artax who was even more vicious in his response? I will always be predictable when responding to foolishness.

    • A reply was made to Artax. How is that a substantive point on your part? All of us have opinions on matters?

  10. With the failure of Republic Day, all other attempts will be made to de-emphasise any contribution of the DLP and by extension Barrow to Independence, education and national development. Simple. The symbolism of Independence is the broken trident. Full stop.

    At least Owen Seymour understood that some things should be beyond partisan politics and did justice to Independence Square.

    MaM is a political creature by default. The “legacy” of Barrow is the last leg the DLP is limping on. It is obvious therefore that no effort must be spared in kicking that leg so the patient can fall and hopefully never get back up. Barrow understood that too. So did Tom.

    Clearly there is no need for communication or explanation when there is 30-0 and “perceived” mass popular support.

    Artax was right, these things will be a 9 day wonder….even if they are “wrong”

    Just observing

    • Come on, David. To be fair, the former DLP administration did everything they possibly could to highlight ‘Barrow’s legacy,’ other party members and promote the DLP, while purposely ignoring Sir Grantley Adams’ contribution to Barbados’ development. I’m sure you’ll recall every night, 75% of CBC TV8 news was dominated to DLP sponsored events and ‘every cock fight’ a minister attended. Immediately after the news came ‘News Extra,’ which was used to broadcast speeches made by ministers, Freundel Stuart’s speeches at DLP annual conferences and other associated events, DLP Friday lunch time lectures. There was also a programme named, ‘Say it again,’ during which lectures by Bobby Morris and party associates at the lunch time lectures were televised. There were repeats, ad nauseum, of interviews of Barrow, Masie Barker-Welch, ‘Sleepy’ Smith, ‘Goldie’ Taitt, ‘Cammie’ Tudor, ‘Bobby’ Morris, Phillip Greaves and other DEMS I cannot remember at this time. Government buildings and schools were renamed after DLP stalwarts. And, in addition to being the obvious highlight of Errol Barrow and Independence Days, Barrow was the ‘main attraction’ every Heroes Day.

    • Based on the above facts, David, any rationally, objectively thinking individual would reasonably assume such actions by the DEMS, was a similar ‘attempt to de-emphasise any contribution of the BLP and by extension Sir Grantley Adams, to education and national development’ as well. Yet, despite their exceptional party promotion skills and specific concentration thereon, in addition to poor governance and socio-economic policies saw the DLP being defeated 30-0 twice. Mottley and the BEES should bear in mind, according to Wilson, ‘high and haughty features might betray.’ A similar fate awaits them, for such display of arrogance. My humble ‘observation,’ the gist of which will be missing from the next list of ‘warmed over soup’ observings.

  11. Give up. Wunna caant win with me.
    Asking for a friend of a friend Enuff…
    What do you consider ‘a win’?

    Is it winning…
    1 – The argument -as determined by your assessment?
    2 – The argument – as determined by the Blogmaster / bloggers/ commenters?
    3 – The actual outcome of the discussion being in the national interest
    4 – The outcome being in the BLP’s PR interest (or DLP’s DIS-interest)?
    5 – Just opposing Bushie for the fun of it?
    6 – None of the above?
    7 – All of the above (except 6)

    Bushie is inclined to think that your honest answer should be ‘4’,
    Your politically correct answer will be ‘3’
    …but the Bushman’s gut feeling is ‘5’

    What says Enuff???

  12. “What do you consider ‘a win’?”

    FYI, A troll will never admit they lost an argument

  13. Not Wilson…… Thomas Campbell’s ‘The Gertrude of Wyoming.’ ‘And though amidst the thought of calm entire, some high and haughty features might betray…’

  14. @Artax
    Warmed over soup has much filled many a belly. 🙂
    I can completely concur re. a similar fate however.

    I think #8 is the bet choice

    Time will tell if the resistance succeeds.

    Just observing

    • Obviously you would ‘concur re a similar fate,’ while conveniently ignoring the other ‘observations re your political party.’ You should be ashamed to even make any referene to Enuff, especially knowing both you and him use different strategies to achieve similar objectives. While he uses a direct approach, yours is subtlety under the guise of ‘just observing.’ He is attacked, while you’re given a ‘free pass.’ Even Ray, Stevie and Julio can see on which side of the fence you sit.

  15. Reading ‘between the lines’ from comments by MP Hinkson, and another MP earlier, apart from the issues with self employed persons contributing, it seems enuff businesses followed the GoB lead and took monies on “trust” from the NIS.
    As the entities transition, transferring assets/liabilities maybe an issue?
    Given the continued lack of accountability by the NIS, any self employed person should continue to not participate.
    Charity begins at home.
    Business or entities who deduct from employees but fail to remit cannot be condoned. But this is no different than businesses who collect VAT and similarly keep those taxes in trust 😆
    Like in politics, the unwritten rule is if you can get away with something, why not?
    If the keepers of the fund are not going to abide by the rules, why should you?

  16. @ Northern

    I would also add that anyone contemplating paying the NIS as a new self employed person, needs to ask themselves in light of how the government has kicked the retirement can to 67, what guarantee do they have that it will not get kicked to 70 over the next decade?

    If the same young business person took at a plan with a respected private institution, their pension age would be defined in the plan and form part of the contract on the day of signing, that along with their monthly contribution. Can the NIS make the same claim? Nope.

    • David, eligible self-employed persons are entitled to invalidity, maternity and sickness benefits, and their spouses, survivors benefits and funeral grants.

    • @JohnA
      Their is that….reduced benefits (but we are good cause somebody will compare it to another locale?).
      The bigger truth, is the larger employers, who HAVE paid the requisite premiums, refuse to hold the 🔥 to the NIS and put premiums into escrow UNTIL the NIS begins to follow the rules. It is very simple.
      Or as the PM phrased it, put the contributions in trust.
      Those are the only ones with a big enough stick to drive change.
      Because what will happen is a whole lot of fanfare, and the lack of governance will continue. Why change?
      Many of those involved with the NIS over the past 15 years have been rewarded and honoured.

    • @ David

      You cannot in all seriousness look at pension alone as the only benefit to be derived from the NIS.

      1% of employee NIS contributions is allocated to health care service.

      The death benefit is currently $2,800.
      The fact that several Barbadians have decided to apply for it, could perhaps be an indication of “how bad they need it.”

      However, options other than NIS have been available to Barbadians for several years.
      Over the years, people, especially those who could afford to do so, have invested in insurance policies, inclusive of pension and health care plans.
      I invested in my first insurance policy at 20 years old. Fortunately, the monthly premiums for young people are very low, gradually increasing as they become older.

      The credit unions have also been encouraging their members to invest in the various types of registered retirement savings plans.

      Saving money requires financial discipline.
      Similarly, some people make it a priority to tithe 10% of their income to the Church, and others, ‘to throw a meeting turn’ every week.

    • @Artax

      The blogmaster’s probing should be placed in context regarding attracting self employed people to pay into the fund.

  17. @ David

    The main benefit I refer to is pension. Health and other needs can be covered through private insurers, as well as unemployment benefits under their extended plan. As for the death benefit well you have to decide how bad you need the $1000.

    I have paid NIS for 40 years and do not regret it. However the recent debt restructuring has cat spraddled the fund. Also kicking the can on the pension age down the road has left many doubting the ability of the fund to honour its obligations long term. You got to remember younger people are well read and are not the sheep of yesterday. The fund in my view has lost the faith of many. Both the Bs and Ds are responsible for this as well. One printed the money and the other wrote it off.

  18. @NO
    “Many of those involved with the NIS over the past 15 years have been rewarded and honoured.”

    As is always the case in a country with little accountability and much “patronage”

    agreed that the fund has lost the faith of many, but, the preverbial question is always who is or should bell the cat?

    If I had made a reference to Enuff I might be inclined to be slightly ashamed but since I didn’t I am not. And yes, the view from BOTH sides of the fence is lovely.

    Just observing

  19. The problem with many and what always stands in the way of true change it seems is politics. That is why I don’t do the party thing. Both parties have done good and both have done bad for this rock. The question for me is not who done what or when, but who will fix it regardless of party affiliation. I still feel we have it within us to fix the NIS. Question is who will see the process through and will the politicians support the changes on both sides of the fence?

  20. Speaking of politicians, when will their retirement age be addressed? I swear I heard the PM say this needed to be dealt with. To be fair to the PM she never said by when though. Lol

    • Small businesses key to NIS, says Husbands

      BARBADOS’ ECONOMY could be left “bleeding from a bullet hole in its side” if the country’s small business owners and entrepreneurs are not able to make a substantial contribution to retirement savings at the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

      Minister of State in Foreign Trade and Business Development Sandra Husbands sounded that warning on Tuesday as the House of Assembly debated the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2023.

      The St James South representative said this was important given the estimate that small businesses contribute 40 per cent of Barbados’ gross domestic product.

      Husbands, who praised the contributions of small businesses and entrepreneurs said that the “pressure of the immediate” often made it difficult for them to “build the discipline to do the long-term planning required, that the NIS demands”.

      “And so very often NIS and . . . and taxes will take a backseat because they’re not immediate and you are responding to the urgent, what is right in front of you. And this is how so many of them get tripped up in their journey in entrepreneurship,” the minister said, while voicing her pleasure that the legislative changes would make it easier for small business owners to make NIS contributions.

      She said this was important because “we have come to a situation where a change has to happen because we are actually facing a time bomb”.

      “The reason and the importance for making the changes to the National Insurance legislation [is] to allow people to pay contributions, even back paying, allowing them to get injury benefits, allowing them flexibility as to when they pay, these things are an important change in order not only to help the National Insurance Scheme work better, but to stop the Barbadian economy from the bleeding from a bullet hole in its side,” she told the House.

      “When you have an ageing society like ours, and you have within the next ten years or so more than half of your population will be over 60 years of age, a lot of those are going to be your entrepreneurs as well.

      “And what this means is that the decline in their business activities as they slow down, or as they close, means that . . . 40 per cent contribution to the gross domestic product will start to decline unless Barbados can raise a new generation of entrepreneurs who will step into that space and help to keep that contribution going,” she asserted.

      Husbands added: “The second loss as those entrepreneurs age will be the contribution that they made to their households, how they were able to help their families, their children, their grandchildren. The other loss will be the employees that they were able to hire and the suppliers that they bought the goods and inputs from and so that is a bullet hole in the side of the economy where you can get some serious bleeding if it is not addressed.”

      She said the challenge she outlined meant that “it is in the interest of every single Barbadian to get involved in helping people to get on board with the payment of their National Insurance savings”.

      Noting that young people, especially those in the gig economy rather than full-time employment, face the same challenge, Husbands said this was one of the reasons the Ministry of Energy and Business Development was intensifying its efforts to increase financial literacy in Barbados, including in relation to retirement planning.

      “I believe that one of the things that we need to stress significantly in our population is that issue of retirement planning. We want to do that not just with our seniors but with our middle agers and with our young people, because if they can start early they’re going to be able to amass sufficient funds that they should be able to take care of themselves in their old age and be able to live a comfortable life,” she said.


      Source: Nation

    • NIS ‘must benefit’ Caricom citizens

      WITH BARBADOS AMONG CARICOM countries committed to full free of movement in the region by March, the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) must be ready to ensure that qualifying people from other nations in the region have access to social security benefits.

      That was the advice on Tuesday from Government back-bencher Edmund Hinkson, who said he was prepared to support more resources being made available to the NIS “to take on this so that there are no challenges”.

      The former Minister of Home Affairs was speaking in the House of Assembly yesterday during debate on the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2023.

      Hinkson reminded the Chamber that “our Heads of Government have committed our CARICOM statehood to come to closer union in terms of full freedom of movement, I believe the date given at present is March 31 next year”.

      “And I know that discussions are going on at many levels, drafting committees, implementation committees, policy committees in various areas on this,” the St James North Member of Parliament said.

      “As we all know right now we have freedom of movement amongst skilled nationals, Barbados recognises 12 [categories of] skilled nationals at present, but if we’re talking about full freedom of movement between our CARICOM nations, something that is present already in our sub regional group the [Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States], . . .the transferability of social security benefits is of prime importance.”


      He added: “And therefore we have to get this right. In 1996 in Georgetown, the CARICOM nations would have signed an agreement allowing for transferability of national insurance and social security benefits among CARICOM nations and peoples.

      “That agreement came into effect in April or May in 1997. So for example, a Guyanese worker, whether employed or self employed in Guyana, who comes and lives here can have the benefits in Guyana, which would have accrued in Guyana, added to the benefits here on retirement to bring up the amount of pension that they will get.”

      Hinkson pointed out that Barbados “would be would be obliged to pay the percentage of the benefits which would have accrued while they were working in Barbados”.

      “The Revised Treaty of Chagauramas which came into effect I think it was in 2005 would have enhanced those rights. I think it’s Clause 237 that speaks about contingency rates, which will be health and education, and national insurance social security benefits,” he said.

      “So the National Insurance Scheme – Services as it would be called after this act [is passed] – has a primary duty and responsibility at CARICOM level to ensure that people can get their benefits as they move across our CARICOM nations seeking work and obtaining work either as employed persons employed by companies etc., which would have the responsibility to deal with their NIS, but also a self employed persons.

      “And if it is that the [NIS] needs more resources to take on this so that there are no challenges I will be all for them getting the resources, and for monies to be voted in this Parliament that will cause the National Insurance set up to be more efficient in this regard and to be able to respond better to its customers and to the public,” he said. (SC)

      Source: Nation

  21. @ David on November 22, 2023 at 6:09 PM said:

    @John A
    It is to be addressed as part of that parliamentary reform commission Cheltenham is chairing.

    Blogmaster, don’t you think that the “job” of being a politician today is one of those perfectly fitted for being overtaken by the coming Artificial Intelligence (A I) deluge?

    If Medicine, Law and Engineering (or even the Priesthood) can be outsourced to the gravitational allure of A I why not the job of the politician?

    What value do politicians add to the lives of ordinary citizens today that can make a difference to make them immune to the virus of AI?

    If Medicine, Law and Engineering, Accounting (or even the Priesthood) can be outsourced to the gravitational allure of A I why not the job of the politician?

    What value do politicians add to the lives of ordinary citizens today (many of whom are just as ‘educated’ as the very politician) that can make a difference to make them immune to the virus of A I?

  22. @ David on November 22, 2023 at 11:58 PM :

    The ultimate challenge with the implementation of such an ‘alluring’ project would be the art of programming the robot to lie while carrying a ‘straight (poker)’ face.

    But you never know. West Indian politicians (especially the current crop of Bajan Po ‘LIE’ ticians might just find their niche in becoming world-class experts in that field.

    A former MoF carrying the pseudonym ‘Sin Liar’ might just be the perfect candidate capable of ticking all the boxes and meeting all the specifications for such a World-Class Job.

  23. BT
    “Granting self-employed persons additional flexibility in paying contributions to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) has been deemed a “master stroke” by Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology Davidson Ishmael.

    He said the ability to pay contributions online is an added benefit of the fresh process which will start on December 1, 2023, allowing small business persons and entrepreneurs the option of paying a minimum of $1 200 a year towards the social security services which will be known as the National Insurance and Social Security Service (NISSS) from the same date.

    “They now have a high degree of flexibility on how they are going to make their contributions on a yearly basis. They can even do it once a year. This is a tremendous benefit for a self-employed person,” Ishmael said, adding that the contributions will also cover entrepreneurs in the case of on-the-job injury.

    Speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday on the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2023, Ishmael noted the legislation also gives people working with other companies the opportunity to bump up their contributions based on earnings from their “side hustles”.
    He noted that they will get reminders via email and text messages that their contributions are due.

    Dear Minister Ishmael. For some years now, the people of Barbados, you know, the voters and their employers who pay into the NIS funds, have asked for Annual Reports. You could send hard copies, or digital in .pdf, word or whatever you choose. We have sent these requests via text, WhatsApp, email and hard copies to no avail
    So sit your ass down and stop talking shite that some new methods will encourage people. It has not worked on the politicians so why should it work on the people.

    • The matter of self employed people paying NIS was discussed by Walter yesterday to confirm what we know. It is very hard for self employed people to support proof of claim for an injury on the job.

  24. From BT
    “Earlier in the debate, St George North Member of Parliament Toni Moore, who is also General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), said the NIS should ensure that it always has enough resources to carry out and maintain monitoring and enforcement.

    She reminded workers that they have a duty to check to ensure that their deducted monies are being paid into the scheme”

    Now here’s a fucking idiot. She has been an NIS Board member longer than most. Did the RH public employees from whom NIS monies were being deducted but not remitted have an effing clue?
    Or was somebody at the NIS getting an IOU from the GoB saying we trussing de funds, so mek de books look like we paying.
    Ms Moore where are the RH annual reports your Chair(s) were to send?

    • Again Walter and Caswell reminded us yesterday that the NIS inspectorate does its job but NIS maguffies upstairs usually intervene to halt punitive action against employers blacklisted.

  25. Poor Eddy Hinckson. The folks making sport, saying (due to a speech challenge) he must have inside info, cause the new NISSS isn’t new, he’s been calling it that for years!!!
    Murdah Bajans can be tough.

  26. N.O.
    The place is being run by incompetents, and we like it so.

    This way, we brass bowls get sit back and laugh at the idiots fouling up constantly, wasting millions of dollars in the process, while handing all our assets over to foreigners, and signing on to contracts that bind our children to albino-centric directives.
    But the REAL joke is not on the political incompetents…
    It is about the lotta brass bowls who are sitting back laughing …while their goose is being cooked.

    • Bushie
      Unfortunately there is some truth.
      You frequently speak to the foreign invasion of local businesses.
      Just think how much money between employee remittances and employer contributions the likes of Sagicor, GEL, the host of Massy entities etc etc etc have sent to the NIS.
      And the new CEOs playing dead. The day they sent their monies to an escrow account and seek some accountability, whomever is running the NIS is cooked.
      But they sit idly back….I know a few who would be spinning in their graves.

    • N.O, are there any laws that prevent local business owners from selling THEIR ASSETS to whomever they please?

    • …are there any laws that prevent local business owners from selling THEIR ASSETS to whomever they please?
      There is a Law with which you should be VERY familiar..
      “A breach of common sense…..”

      Want to sell your home to Bushie for a couple million?
      You and you family are welcome to stay around…for a reasonable rent …..and my rental contract meets international standards…

      You can even name the price….
      …especially if your children are healthy, strong and ‘compliant’….

    • 🤣 🤣 🤣🤣

      I had to laugh. Seems as though your meds are ‘wearing off.’

      But, then again, you’re a risible guy.
      And, predictable as well.

      Interestingly, you have been continually advocating for the closure of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), because, according to you, “When it comes to the question of being qualified to compete at the GLOBAL LEVEL, there is no damn place for local qualifying standards.”

      There isn’t ANY DENYING that, although the Council has been faced with challenges over the years, which were confronted and overcame, CXC REMAINS an INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED qualification.
      CXC certificates has been used by Barbadians and other Caribbean nationals, as prerequisites for entry into international tertiary level institutions and professionally designated programmes such as ACCA and CPA.
      As a result, Barbadians have been able to become “qualified to compete at the GLOBAL LEVEL.”

      Hence, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to consider ‘education’ as a ‘personal and national asset.’

      Bearing those facts in mind, you went on to ‘say’ that, “The CORRECT approach of course would have been to ATTACH ourselves to one of the most respected GLOBAL examination Institutions, and then to prepare our students to excel at THAT level…..”

      Ironically, Barbados has been “attached to several respected GLOBAL organisations,” including the OECD.
      As indicated on the OECD thread, the island has been forced to increase corporation taxes in accordance with the GloBE rules.

      I’ll remind of your response thereto.
      Bush Tea on November 10, 2023 at 7:22 AM#: “This inherent trait make us into complete BRASS BOWLS when we CHOOSE to adopt the albino-centric, shiite, foreign ‘rules’….”

      Yet, you’ve been essentially suggesting we return to the days when decisions relative to the content of our examination syllabus and accreditation of qualifications were made by FOREIGN institutions, such as London, Oxford & Cambridge, LCC and Pitman because, according to you, “there is no damn place for LOCAL qualifying standards.”

      Therefore, by ACCEPTING those FOREIGN examination STANDARDS, wouldn’t we also have to ADOPT and ADAPT to changes made thereto?

      Wouldn’t this be also “handing our asset, (education), over to foreigners, and SIGNING on to contracts that BIND our children to albino-centric directives, shiite, foreign ‘rules’,” as well?

      So, whether or not rules, guidelines, directives etc are ‘albino-centric,’ should only be determined according to the ‘whims and fancies’ of a Bushman?

      You have clearly demonstrated what your friend ‘Froon’ described as, “a MONSTROUS PERVERSION of common sense…..”

    • Artax…
      When you don’t understand a point, or a concept, you should just say so and move on….
      You must know that there are some quite intelligent observers on BU who can perceive when you are at sea…

      Unless of course you “know not that you know not…”

    • You’re a risible guy. But, you must also bear in mind ‘there are also some quite intelligent BU contributors who can perceive when you are at sea’ as well, and are NOT AFFRAID of your bullshit to remind you. ‘Unless of course,’ in adherence to the proverb, deciding to SHUN you is probably the best option.

  27. I begin with my usual lament ‘I cannot keep up. Too many balls are in play. Too many promises being made. Too many things being tweaked’.

    I am glad that some can follow the bouncing balls. Just going to focus on a few issues
    Constitution Commission✔️
    Education reform✔️
    Judicial reform ✔️

    Off my list
    Energy matters
    Pending Police matters
    Hotel construction
    Beach access .. is the matter in the AG constituency settled?

  28. @ David

    Please permit me to ‘go off topic’ and offer condolences to the relatives and friends of the late Richard ‘Dick’ Stoute.

    Apparently, PM Mottley visited Stoute in the hospital yesterday and sought his permission to name the amphitheatre at the ‘National Botanical Gardens’ after him.

    Unfortunately, he did not live to attend the naming ceremony.

  29. @Artax
    Business owners are free to sell to whomever they wish.
    I don’t challenge that.
    Yet, we must accept a handful of elected persons have run the NIS into the ground. Barely a peep out of the employers?
    There seems to be this ‘don’t careish’ attitude. Wha yuh want me to do? The last one who made public reference to the NIS condition was subsequently highlighted by a PM as ‘threatening’ (on other matters) and publicly vilified.
    Just tek it, shut up and carry on.

    • N.O, employers enjoy the luxary of with-holding both employer and employee contributions, and the fund would honour benefit claims from employees. Severance payments to former employees of delinquent employers are usually approved by the NI Tribunal. I know business people who refuse either to deduct NIS contributions from employees’ wages, or don’t remit deductions, especially when they’re experiencing cash flow problems. Unfortunately, government revenue collection policies are extremely poor, resulting in an accumalation of arrears in rents, NIS contributions, VAT, income & corporation taxes. For example, stall rent in the former Golden Square Market was $50 a month, and some vendors had as much as $3,500 in arrears, which is totally ridiculous.

  30. The fund has been mismanaged like everything else. We have allowed workers to be robbed by their employers and then we have to honor this criminality and the offending employers walk away .
    Same thing with VAT; taxes and other commitments. We congratulated these heartless offenders by writing off the teefing.
    However, I agree with making the self employed pay NI contributions. It’s in their interest to so do. And we should be encouraging persons we know , who are self employed , to pay contributions

    • It will be difficult in this environment to persuade self employed workers people to contribute to NIS given an erosion of confidence in the fund. There will have to be a push strategy (compelling reason made to do so).

  31. Have yu ever struggled to complete a problem and felt good about your accomplishment at the end? Have you ever seen a next student step to the blackboard and offer a short sweet and elegant proof that is easy to remember and repeat.

    I see the same problem here. Some seem to want to follow the laborious road and provide tomes fill with answers, perform elaborate calculations, formulate heavy hypotheses and engage in endless debate.

    It is inevitable that with so much effort that some will become frustrated and engage in personal attacks on other theorists. This is not needed I have given you the short and elegant answer but you refuse to accept it, but here I come again.

    Everything is a scam, a sham, a con, a kick of the ball down the road. It is systems functioning in an organized ‘chaos environment’. Put away your pocket calculators and just admit that the con men are too smart for you all. You try to match them but they have moved on to the next scam as you are producing your numbers.

    Looks like a beautiful morning where I am. I hope you can say the same. Have a great day Barbados.
    I remember when someone felt that my wishing a beautiful day to Barbados was hypocrisy. A fellow cannot put two thoughts together but believes he know my mind.

    Have a great day Barbados.

  32. @Artax
    It seems then, the ‘condition’ exists on both sides of the fence?
    You have employers, who for a myriad of reasons fail to remit/contribute but expect claims to be honoured. And then the you have the NIS maguffies abusing the system and failing to enforce the rules, without fear of reprisal.
    Yet in between, you have employers who have gone to great lengths to ensure the NIS receives its remittances/contributions and they are the ones who should be speaking.
    The same dilemma exists with VAT?
    At some point, unless some enforcement bares its teeth, the system breaks. It becomes a free for all.

    • “Yet in between, you have employers who have gone to great lengths to ensure the NIS receives its remittances/contributions and they are the ones who should be speaking.”

      @ NorthernObserver

      Although I understand and agree with the point you’re making, there is an ‘inherent human cultural tradition’ whereby some people become concern with an issue ONLY when it affects them directly.

      As long as the laws governing the deduction and remittance of NIS contributions are obeyed, and the benefits to be derived therefrom are achieved, why worry whether or not the political directorate and NI hierarchy obey the laws governing administration of the Scheme, to wit, the National Insurance & Social Security Act?

  33. @WS
    While I agree in principle the self employed should participate, how can a self employed person justify paying into something without an AR in umpteen years, followed by a reduction in benefits, which we are likely to see again in future.
    It doesn’t make sense.
    Apart from burying the past, there is nothing in NISSS which will make it more accountable than NIS?
    We know the elected will do as they please, we have seen it for umpteen years.
    We have seen similar with multiple other entities who likewise have flaunted the laws governing their accountability.

    • “……how can a self employed person justify paying into something without an AR in umpteen years, followed by a reduction in benefits, which we are likely to see again in future.
      It doesn’t make sense.”

      @ NorthernObserver

      Again, I understand and share your concerns.

      But, the reality is, based on my experience interacting with small businesses owners, I haven’t come across many of them who make filing income tax returns or contributing to NIS a priority, even long before current developments relating to the Fund.

      They generally do not show any concern with whether or not NI prepare annual reports or how the Fund is administered.

      Some people believe pension is mandatory when they reach pensionable age, only to discover payments are not forthcoming because they did not contribute to the Scheme.

      While others (and individuals) are of the opinion they should file tax returns only if they’re entitled to a refund, or if an issue arises that makes it necessary to do so.

  34. @ NO
    I understand your position but , as seems to be the norm, the most vulnerable , at the very least need to protect themselves wherever possible and necessary and hope that their investment in the system does what it is supposed to do. In other words, it is better, to pay into the system and have a fighting chance , to reap benefits, than to discover that you have nothing to get , latter years.I can tell you that I know of a few self employed people who were encouraged to pay contributions. When COVID struck, they were able to get some benefits.

  35. @WS
    Everybody is vulnerable?
    It is a scheme to benefit ALL members in times of need.
    The path.
    Many have seen, and been able to predict with accuracy the path of the NIS.
    We know the mismanagement and theft, goes beyond the imagination of most. Even my own.
    With the ’18 “debt restructure”, the NIS (compliments of years of buying GoB paper beyond recommended limits) still holds a mountain of GoB paper. In fact, it got more recently, as the GoB didn’t have the cash to repay all the remittances the GoB redirected in former years.
    The next restructure, while the debt will be better split between local and multi-lateral agencies, will also hit the NIS and the CBB.
    And nobody has a clue exactly the hit to, or should I say the level of NIS participation, in a myriad of known/unknown “investments”.
    The mere fact the GoB is withholding reports it claims to have, is further proof the intent is to cover-up what occured. They just cannot sanitize it enough.
    Hence, as a self employed person, the emotional outreach to support brothers and sisters, cuts only for the emotionally inclined and the blind. The ones in control are showing no remorse nor corrective action for the past.
    To contribute is like buying a lottery ticket. While there will be a few winners each draw, the only real winner is that entity skimming off 50%, not the 50% which is distributed.

    • The most vulnerable by definition are not able to protect themselves in a material way. We have to be careful to simply be spouting nebulously.

  36. @ NorthernObserver on November 27, 2023 at 1:29 PM said:

    “The mere fact the GoB is withholding reports it claims to have, is further proof the intent is to cover-up what occured. They just cannot sanitize it enough.”

    This continuous breaching of the Act governing the operation and management of the NIS is a clear indication of there being more in the Mortar than just the pestle aka the lack of accounting skills and services to complete the job and sign off on those financial reports.

    These promises to complete and present ‘audited’ financial reports to provide a ‘fair view’ on the performance of the NIS go way back to the time of the Ex-banker chairman.

    The probability of endemic fraud and or other widespread financial infelicities should not be discounted or dismissed out of hand.

    • The Opposition and members of civil society have a ready made issue in the NIS that will resonate with all Barbadians. Why the party leadership of the DLP doesn’t mobilize a message around the fund inadequacy is unbelievable.

  37. The BU intelligentsia is struggling. When we say transformation, we mean transformation. More legislative, processes, systems and infrastructural transformation to come. Wunna gine be dizzier.🤫

  38. @ Enuff on November 27, 2023 at 5:18 PM:

    What transformation are you talking about?

    Are you referring to the tens of thousands of used vehicles imported into Lilliputian Barbados over the last 5 years despite international talk of going carbon neutral by 2030?

    You guys can’t even get the tens of thousands of non-road-worthy uninsured vehicles off the highly congested cart roads of tiny Barbados but yet want to talk about greening Barbados.

    Are you reminiscing about the Golden Age of the Adamses Administrations?

    Are you expecting a reincarnation of Grantley & Son to transform Bubadus?

    Barbados is both socially and economically worse off than it was even under the Erskine Sandiford Administration.

    When you guys put your words (political swords) into positive action (ploughshares) then we will listen to you.

    • For once no mention of Malmoney’s Hyatt…but still nothingness as usual, all hyperbole and melodrama. Then again tourism was dead according to you. Sigh!

  39. David
    LMBAO, I just love to tease and taunt the BU intelligentsia. You researched Edutech to see the role it played in exposing Barbadian school children to computers/IT etc from young? You’re here supporting rubbish about the government is trying to erase Barrow’s legacy. The Dems by introducing UWI tuition dismantled one of Barrow’s key legacies–expanded free education. No consultation, no referendum not one ting. Then said he never meant it to be ever. I wonder if he had the same vision for the DLP ie it wasn’t to last forever. Now the same people talking about erasing legacy and want consultation on everything including a temporary mural on the Parliament building. You ready fuh de stadium, legal profession legislation or new sewage plant? Or Heather going to the unveiling of the monument tomorrow to see what she can criticise even though lacking any expertise or understanding? We know Bushie will describe it as albinocentric and devil worship or will argue we should have sought albinocentric advice.🤣

    • Enuff

      Look out!

      If there is turmoil worldwide and the monument at the Garrison is responsible for the such in Barbados……

      ……. then woe to Barbados after the unveiling of that new monument?

      🤣 🤣 🤣

    • @Artax

      Tell Enuff to have the potholes fixed, then we can have a material conversation about ‘transformation’.

    • Enuff

      You can’t be serious. EDUTEC put money in the pockets of a few favoured suppliers. The blogmaster can recall computer hardware dumped in storerooms at St. Leonard’s school for example. The idea was a good one but per usual the project was riddled with the usual problems.

    • David, far from it for me to ask Enuff to do anything, my friend. Perhaps you should’ve asked his nemesis, the Miller, to do so, or another member of the ‘anti Enuff gang’ instead.

  40. ‘Why the party leadership of the DLP doesn’t mobilize a message around the fund inadequacy is unbelievable’

    You’re joking. Barbadians cannot be that gullible. If Barbadians gave a shite about the condition of the NIS, they would be marching every day..lol. And before 2018. If they care, they don’t show it very well.

    • Pension plan worry

      Underfunding a major concern for FSC

      by SHAWN CUMBERBATCH shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com

      A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER of company pension plans in Barbados are underfunded by millions of dollars, and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is working with administrators of the schemes to ensure payments are made to close the deficit.

      With the FSC making it clear that “it would be important to fund these gaps given the falling birth rates and increasing longevity risk”, Barbados-based actuarial firm Eckler Limited said the FSC should engage with the sponsors and trustees of the more underfunded pension plans “to ensure that such deficits are funded in accordance with the Occupational Pension Benefits Act, Cap 350B”.

      The major challenge, which is outlined in the 2022 Financial Stability Report published by the Central Bank of Barbados and the FSC, follows a year in which the occupational pensions sector’s total income fell by $68.6 million following declining stock returns and volatility in financial markets, due to high inflation and rising global interest rates.

      The FSC, as regulator of the pensions sector, said in the report that “of the 248 registered occupational pension plans, approximately onequarter were underfunded on both a going concern and solvency basis”.

      It explained that the going concern valuation “means a valuation of assets and liabilities of a pension plan using methods and actuarial assumptions considered by the actuary to be in accordance with generally accepted actuarial principles and practices for the valuation of a continuing pension plan”.

      A solvency valuation “assumes that the pension fund will be wound up or terminated as of the date of valuation [and] all assets and liabilities are at market value”.

      “As at December 2022, there were 61 underfunded pension plans on the going concern basis, with a combined deficit of approximately $137.8 million. The largest proportion of the underfunded pension plans by assets were defined benefit pension plans, with an estimated deficit of $118.9 million, followed by hybrid and defined contribution pension plans with $16.3 million and $2.5 million, respectively,” the report stated.

      “Most underfunded pension plans on the going concern basis are non-Government/private sector pension plans. The deficits may be due to insufficient contributions towards benefits – and expenses – and investment losses.

      “Sixty-five pension plans were similarly underfunded on a solvency basis at December 2022, with a combined deficit of approximately $181.7 million. It would be important to fund these gaps given the falling birth rates and increasing longevity risk,” it said.

      The publication said the FSC had begun engaging administrators of underfunded plans with funded ratios below 80 per cent.

      “The administrators have been asked to provide confirmation that the actuaries’ recommendations have been understood and accepted, and they must provide evidence that the special payments are being made,” the information from the FSC added.

      Speaking yesterday on behalf of Eckler Limited, consulting actuary and principal Lisa Wade said: “The proportion of pension plans that recorded going concern and solvency deficits at December 2022 is significant.

      “In 2022 international and regional investment markets generally recorded investment losses in both the equity and fixed income classes of assets. Therefore, pension plans that had 2022 as their measurement year would have typically recorded a worse financial position than if their valuations were carried out in 2021 or in 2023,” she said.

      “Under the Occupational Pension Benefits Act, Cap 350B it is a legal requirement for companies sponsoring pension plans to pay the additional contributions that have been calculated by the actuary, such that their pension plans are projected to be solvent on a market basis within five years of recording such a deficit and 15 years of recording a deficit on a going concern basis.”

      Wade noted that this “ensures that sponsoring companies fund their deficits in a timely manner, first seeking to ensure that should the pension plan cease to operate that there would be sufficient assets to provide the benefits that have been earned by members”.

      The actuary said that the FSC “should engage the sponsors and trustees of the pension plans which are more significantly underfunded – that is, less than 80 per cent – to ensure that such deficits are funded in accordance with the Occupational Pension Benefits Act, Cap 350B.

      The Financial Stability Report said the asset portfolio of the occupational pensions sector contracted in 2022, attributing the decline to “waning investment performance amid high inflation globally and limited local opportunities”.

      Total investments of the sector were $2.82 billion, a 2.2 per cent ($64.3 million) decrease from the previous year. The sector’s overall assets were an estimated $5.05 billion last year, a $29.9 million decline (one per cent) over the previous year. This was a reversal of the $394 million (14.7 per cent) growth experienced in 2021. Most of the occupational pension plan assets – $1.55 billion – were in defined benefit plans.

      Source: Nation

  41. Surely the blogmaster’s November 27, 2023, 5:02 AM comments were ‘said in jest.’ The same DLP had TEN (10) YEARS to ‘fix’ the NIS and ‘make the financials current,’ but failed to do so instead. Unless he wants to convince us a NEW president absolves them from blame for ‘inadequacy of the fund.’ But, then again, why should ‘the DLP’s leadership mobilize any message,’ when their Roebuck Street colleagues established the NISS, which essentially serves as a ‘cover up’ for BOTH political parties and absolve them from blame. This ‘new dispensation’ means ‘we’re starting from day one.’ And, the ‘duopoly wins again.’

  42. David

    That’s just one side. When you’re ready for granular analysis of the other side, shout me. As for potholes, we building not just patching. But when the party you sang so loudly for leading up to the 2008 election fixes little to nothing in 10yrs, isn’t it unreasonable to ask this government to fix all in less than 5yrs? Again tell all sides of story, give some context–how many roads have been repaired and are being repaired? The ministry posts notices every week, so the info is there. These matters don’t need to be philosophised or intellectualised. Ronnie(wh)o still accusing the government of holding up bridges with wires?🤣🤣

    • @Enuff

      Your tactics of late are borrowed from the Mohamed Ali playbook (hit and move), perfectly understandable.

  43. @ David,
    I found this BBC documentary (We the people are Barbados) a tough listen. We use the words “little England” without truly understanding its full meaning. I know that triple D, Bush Tea, William Skinner, Artax, John, et al. may not accept my sentiment. However, I truly believe that the majority of those who were born, raised and remained on the island “grew up stupid under the Union Jack”.

    The poet laureate Esther Phillips, along with the other interviewees, were MAJOR disappointments. The second link, below, offers us much greater hope with the young people. I know that triple D has a son who she speaks highly of. It is to them that we have to rest our hopes on.


  44. Recently we posited that the most vulnerable will continue to beheld to ransom by insensitive governance of our limited resources. This was in relation to the NIS(S). However, we were careful to point out that in many instances, they can only hope for the best and must therefore be proactive, in order to have some chance of benefiting from the pure stupidity, that unfortunately is still being defended by some, who believe they can escape fact by parading glaring political bias.
    Today, we read in the Nation, that many private pension funds may not be capable of meeting commitments because of declines in their portfolios. The FSC , is therefore very concerned.
    It seems that our changing society is daily confronting challenges that cannot and will not be solved by political clap trap.
    The challenges are enveloping all citizens.

  45. @ TLSN
    I personally find no problem with your point of view. However, I don’t think one has to remain or leave our country “ to grow up stupid under the Union Jack”.
    There are some who opine that we are now growing up ignorant under the Broken Trident.
    I totally agree with you that we will only be saved by the generations coming after us. I wrote off my generation a long time ago.
    We plundered the gains of those who came before us. And we are very ashamed to admit it.

  46. @TLSN
    Two small points
    (1) I fear that if reparations comes as just a financial package, a mere fraction (if any) will reach those who are most deserving.

    (2) the fact that Drax records and plantation closed to the local public should not be blamed on Drax. The government should have made an attempt to ‘grab’ the property a long time ago.

    The records will suffer the same fate as Barrow’s jacket. Then we will wrong our hands and cry

  47. Somewhat amused that some who do not have a dog in the fight are always trying to balance de lashes or give one dog 99 lashes and the other dog just one.

    To be fair, my lashes are also one-sided, but I have a dog in the fight. I support the underdog and the people of Barbados.

  48. David

    The record is there for all to see and growing and therefore I don’t need to stay long in a ring wasting time and energy, especially when the opponents are in weight classes below mine. Two quick uppercuts from me usually floors the anti-Enuff club into conflation, sophistry, hysterics, verbosity and/or hyperbole–bruggadung!! 🤣

  49. @ Enuff on November 28, 2023 at 7:39 AM said:
    “For once no mention of Malmoney’s Hyatt…but still nothingness as usual, all hyperbole and melodrama. Then again tourism was dead according to you. Sigh!”

    Dear Sir Enuff, the red Prince of sycophancy, please, please don’t pay serious attention to that King Artaxerxes!

    The Miller is not your “nemesis”. For he is your mentor hoping to see you get rid of that habit of telling lies especially about yourself and your Don Quixote brand of ‘imaginary’ achievements.

    It is good to see you are making some progress even if only behind a computer on Roebuck Street.

    At least you have dropped that line of trying to impress yourself that you are that single black (sambo) chief among an all-white cabal handling multi-billion contracts in a major metropole located somewhere in your world of pure fantasy.

    Is your ‘about face’ a mere mimicry of the total silence on the part of the double MAM’s where the imaginary Hyatt is concerned?

    Aren’t you ashamed to see that a monument to replace Lord Nelson is about to be unveiled but not even a brick is insight to herald the start of Malmoney’s Erection and to signal the ‘possibility’ of that long-promised opening for 2024?

    Would your boss lady be using the unveiling of the monument to say something about the revitalization of the dying Bridgetown with special mention about the start of the Hayatt erection?

    Or would the residents (and their families) of Bridgetown have to wait on the arrival of those electric airplanes which you said would be touching down at GAIA come 2025 in order to save the planet from the deleterious effects of burning kerosine at 35,000 feet in the air crossing the Atlantic Ocean?

  50. David
    There is no arrogance and I repeatedly say the government is not perfect. The blog is 99.9% anti-government. I merely seek to bring some balance by highlighting the good the government is doing. Or in your opinion nothing good is being done?

    • BU has always been critical of government, mainly the GoB.
      Pro or anti refers not to the perpetual entity, the GoB, rather to which political entity has been voted to have current control, and who supports that Party.
      While those who wear a party banner proudly, can see a difference, for others, it is sometimes difficult to note any difference.
      The nation’s largest wealth storage, the NIS (soon to be the NISSS) is such an example.
      The practice of failing to submit an Annual Report began under the OSA administration. It continued under the DT-FJS period, and under the current MAM terms.
      The NISSS will be born, in a few days, without a single annual NIS report from before 2006.
      But somehow, the GoB, wishes employers and employees, including the self employed to embrace the concept of a National Insurance Scheme??
      The transparency promised, (by the Party seeking votes as the then opposition in 2018) appears to have died, somewhat prematurely, after the GoB deal with White Oaks was made public.
      What had become in 2018, an entity (GoB) which failed to comply with the law on reporting on a majority of its entities (incl SOE’s), has continued with wanton abandon.
      But a handful of reports prior to 2018 have been made public. The BTMI made two, which while unqualified by auditors, only showed that a multi million loan from Scotiabank to lease a cruise ship during the World Cup remained “in its fullness”, all these years later.
      And we are asked to accept when the same Bank buys a few GoB Bonds it is a ‘sign of confidence’.
      If you want a mirror image go to the abattoir and watch.
      So while the GoB continues to flaunt ‘the law(s)’, all others should comply?
      And one wonders why the comments on BU are not more positive.

  51. It was reported in NationNews “This decision was made by the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training in order to protect the health and safety of students and staff from the ongoing environmental issues such as leaking roofs and mould infestation that plague the school.”

    repeat ‘mould infestation ‘ that plague the school

  52. @ Enuff on November 28, 2023 at 8:20 PM said:
    I don’t have time to waste with a Luddiite.”

    You just cannot help yourself!
    It seems you are really beyond redemption when it comes to lying.

    Do you know the difference between jet engines operated by “alternative” forms of fuel and an electrically-operated engine?

    How about hydrogen-operated jet engines versus your brand of electric engines on an AirBus?

    It is precisely because I saw the same article that I raised the issue of your ‘2020’ prediction that “electric” planes will be landing at GAIA in 2025 fully loaded with British visitors.

    Yes, I can see aircraft being operated by alternative forms of fuels (other than the fossil fuel kerosine).

    But NOT fully-electric planes landing at GAIA in 2025 or any time before 2030!

    We are really disappointed in you calling the “Milluh” a luddite.

    How can the Miller be such a retrogressive idiot when he is all for AI right across all segments of modern society and especially in the professions such as Accounting, Medicine and Law (especially)!

    The Millluh has even proposed the replacement of Lying Politicians with AI equivalents.

    But that would be a bridge too far!

    For that would spell the end of your idol worshipping and a loss of your propensity to lie!

  53. Enuff could or should get a job for the Government of Barbados as a professional consultant to produce rebuttals as he is top notch at dealing with formal complaints that will need to raised at the next level and then the next until you reach the top and have exhausted the corrupted complaints systems in place

  54. Now Northern, it is never my intention to accuse anyone of a lack of patriotism, but when that person refuses to acknowledge that Barbados is a republic then that charge must be made.

    You continue to use the acronym GoB instead of the correct acronym GoRoB. Whilst I gain information from your many contribution, for patriotic reasons, I may have to scroll past your posts

  55. Theo
    Be my guest and keep scrolling.
    Maybe I should just use a different name in the “name” box 😆😂

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