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Letter: Progress in Barbados
Published on April 13, 2017Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

How have we accepted that progress is taking money from persons’ pensions and telling them to work longer? Progress is allowing persons to retire earlier not pushing the pensionable age out longer and asking persons to wait longer to retire. The IMF is telling us the following about the National Insurance Scheme:

• Spending is outpacing contributions currently

• Spending will outpace total income in 2024

• The Fund’s reserves will be depleted in 2037

We need to rethink how the pension system is managed currently and quickly.

Here the IMF further warns:

“In the event that the scheme is unable to meet its obligations, the government is expected to step in to compensate pensioners. However, since fiscal positions are already overstretched and public debt-to-GDP ratios are very high in the region, these contingent liabilities are major sources of fiscal risk. Cebotari (2008) and IMF (2012) have shown that, in several cases, failure to disclose and prepare for contingent liabilities has led to large increases in public debt and triggered fiscal crisis. In other words, countries with both large debt-to-GDP ratios and unfunded pension schemes need to implement far-reaching pension reforms now or risk even higher taxes, lower growth and unsustainable public debt dynamics.”

I don’t think raising taxes is a reasonable response to this looming problem and at the political level I don’t think Esther Bayer Suckoo (the Minister of Labour) or Dwight Sutherland (the shadow minister of Labour) are doing a sufficient job in addressing the citizens or providing solutions for this problem.

Further I don’t think Esther Bayer Suckoo should state that the year of concern is 2067 without providing evidence to refute the IMF or other professionals, who have consistently stated problems would arise much sooner.

I will discuss the United Progressive Party’s solutions via a press conference in the summer. However, I will give the floor to Dwight Sutherland to provide tangible solutions as he is paid to be shadow minister of labour.

We should demand all Members of Parliament do their job.

Craig Harewood
Saint George South United Progressive Candidate
Investment Manager
Reads : 3034

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