One of many concerns Barbados Underground has been championing through the years is the rate of depletion of NIS funds. Quoting former Minister David Estwick who addressed the matter last week, “the operating balance at the NIS becomes negative by 2028, six years from now…and the NIS funds would be depleted in 12 years. Compounding the problem is a matter of poor compliance”. Do we have the capacity to run with the message for the purpose of engaging in constructive debate?
There are not many other ways one can continue to express concern about the management of the NIS by the Barbados and Democratic Labour parties through the years. Although Prime Minister Mottley has given the assurance the NIS is nowhere near to a crisis situation, the reality of the numbers tells a different story for the independent minded.
The country awaits the outcome from a recent national consultation on the NIS when it is anticipated significant changes will have to be implemented. As it stands our NIS contribution is one of the highest in the region with age eligible for full pension benefit being 67. The fact we are labelled an ageing population with restricted opportunity to expand the pool of contributions has opened the door for managed immigration.
While this blog highlights the NIS fund, the burgeoning pension liability of government for the public service, both central government and SOEs adds to the problems a future generation will have to wrestle.
Barbadians have jumped on the bandwagon and have become addicted to the latest flavour of gossip news. In the meantime…
The following article posted in the Nation newspaper on May 25, 2023 with the title Retirement crisis looming, says former Minister is recommended reading.
The blogmaster takes a note that Sir Richard Cheltenham continues to perform in the role of Chairman of the Parliamentary Reform Commission (PRC). The blogmaster has no issue with the quote attributed to him in yesterday’s media – “We have inherited a bicameral system; a House of Assembly and the Senate, but now we have to ask ourselves whether we should continue that system or whether we should have one chamber; a unicameral [system]…We’ve always used the first-past-the-post system that gets most votes at the polls to determine membership but there are questions about whether a mixture of first past the post and proportional representation. . . all of those questions will be on the agenda and have to be carefully considered”. It is important work and hopefully the PRC will deliver on its mandate.
What the blogmaster has a problem with is the fact Sir Richard Cheltemham has a matter pending with the Disciplinary Committee of the BAR association. Several blogs have been published on Barbados Underground (BU) through the years directing the public to matters requiring answers from Cheltemham and local authorities without success. BU also questions those who agree to sit on a committee with Cheltenham with serious accusations outstanding waiting to be ruled on by the Disciplinary Committee of the BAR. Further, BU questions why a Mottley government advocating a political agenda of good governance and integrity continue to appoint persons who are being investigated for possible wrongdoings.#peterodle
The traffic situation on our roads can be described as being in a state of organized chaos. Successive governments have adopted a laissez-faire approach to traffic management and regrettably the Barbados Police Force (BPS) must be included as part of the problem. The lawlessness being witnessed daily on the roads in Barbados many argue is a symptom of something bigger.
The Barbados Transport Authority was established in 2007 to (a) undertake the planning of the transport system, (b) monitor and regulate the operations of the public transport system, among many other functions listed under the Transport Authority Act which was recently amended. A conclusion can be made based on what transpires daily on our roads the Transport Authority is a another failed government agency leaking taxpayer money.
The blogmaster has been in town too long to accept the Nation’s headline ‘Outdoor facilities awaiting green light emblazoned on today’s page 3A. There is no doubt in the mind of the blogmaster traditional media is easily manipulated by the political directorate and shadows with deep pockets not necessarily in that order.
Barbados Underground has posted blogs highlighting the ongoing struggle and frustration of Allan Kinch to develop his property located on Bay Street. The blogmaster does not have a bone in the fight, however, there is prima facie case as presented in the court of public opinion to more than hint there is more in the mortar than the pestle.
There is a story brewing which involves the ‘abduction’ of an alleged Trinidadian arms dealer from Barbados. The blogmaster has not been following closely to do justice to the matter largely because the BU household decided to retreat to Cattlewash for the long weekend. However, the matter has raised a few times by members of the BU family reflected in messages to BU inbox.
Here are three links to the story for your consumption and discussion.
On the 18 April 2023 Barbados Underground shared a disturbing story that a medical student enrolled at an offshore medical school in Barbados registered under the name of Barbados International University (BIU) committed suicide. The reasons shared can be seen on the previous blog – INDIAN MEDICAL STUDENT DIES BY SUICIDE AT BRIDGETOWN.
Arising from the story it was reported in the traditional media on the 20 April 2023 local police confirmed the matter was being investigated. The also confirmed what is generally known- an autopsy will have to be performed to determine the cause of death. The blogmaster takes this opportunity to issue a gentle reminder about a related matter stuck in the ‘system’ – Media Barred from Emma McManus’ Inquest.
The question must be asked, why is the process in Barbados and other civilized counties used to determine cause of death being disrespected? Here is how the matter was reported in The Times of India on 20 April 2023.
Khammam student dies in Barbados
Hyderabad: A 20-year-old student from Khammam suffered a heart attack on 17 April and died in Barbados in the Caribbean islands where he was pursuing his medicine course….
The Tax Administration Management Information System (TAMIS) was implemented in 2018 for business and individuals filed one year later. From all reports it was implemented at great expense to taxpayers. It should be an easy process to identify the cost of government projects but as we have found out with the Trident ID project as one example, it is not.
TAMIS has caught the interest because of utterances from Commissioner of the Barbados Revenue Authority Louisa Lewis-Ward in May of 2021. She was quoted that discussions had NOT reached an advance stage on if TAMIS had to be replaced.
“…The directors are taking a look at it in earnest to see how far we can go to rectify some of the issues which caused taxpayers discomfort in the system…The system did cost quite a pretty penny and therefore, it’s not an easy decision to make to throw the baby out with the bath water. We’ve just moved from one system to another…and the TAMIS system was supposed to be the technological replacement, so we will take a look at the system in earnest…
Recently, a case was brought against a local medical practitioner for malpractice. The courts ruled against it. Reading the following report, one has caused to wonder what effect this local case had and will continue to have on the parties involved, how it will effect them going forward and the consequences this case will have throughout the local medical profession as it interacts with the public.
Has a time bomb been set in place for patients and professionals alike? Many of the stressors in the article are reported to be present in the local arena.
The Science and Technology Festival is currently taking place on the grounds of UWI, Cave Hill under the Graduation tent, it ends today (18th March 2023). The festival is being organized by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Smart Technology and the Faculty of Science and Technology at Cave Hill.
It is a good idea for parents and guardians to expose children to the event anticipating where global demands for skills is headed. For details of the event see the Ministry’s Facebook Page. The event is showcasing the innovation and inventions of Barbadian students up to University level’
The following note was received from the Head of Unity Workers Union and former Senator Caswell Franklyn – Blogmaster.
David the attached document is a spreadsheet showing the increase in salaries in the Public Service. Please note that the 10% increase in allowances for the politicians must be added to the column showing “Total Increase”. For example the actual increase for the Prime Minister $1,082.67 plus $456.99 increase in entertainment allowance for a total of $1,539.66 per month. Persons at the bottom of the scale would only receive $123.85 increase.
The Barbados government is in the process of initiating another bold policy that without a doubt will be contentious. The draft policy prepared by the Barbados Population Commission was recently posted to the Barbados Government Information Service website to garner feedback from the public during the month of March 2023.
What cannot be refuted is that Barbados is an ageing population, when this is coupled with a declining fertility rate – Houston, we have a problem. On the current trajectory the quality of the labour force; talent pool and revenue opportunity will be negatively impacted.
It was heartwarming to learn about a truce between local gangs (we do have gangs in Barbados) orchestrated by players from the affected communities. The leader of the homegrown initiative Winston ‘Iston’ Bull and his team must be given all the plaudits. What is demonstrates is that we have the capacity to solve problems. We pray for the truce to hold and for similar community based initiatives to take root.
See the Nation newspaper video of Branch sharing his perspective on the initiative and related.
It is Superbowl (57) today and local talent and one of two living national heroes Rihanna is slated to perform at halftime, one of the biggest slots on the global entertainment program. If you are a detractor or not Barbadians and Caribbean people everywhere will be kicking back to bask in the global spotlight her performance will attract.