NIS will collapse given backward management

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first_imgDear Editor,The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is bound to collapse given its present management. This is a certain fact when you peruse the last actuarial report on the corporation. As the name suggests, the National Insurance Scheme is a corporation that caters for the welfare and good of all of its members when they would have reached the mature age of retirement. A well-thought-out plan for the good which works very well, especially for many of those workers who only lived for today and not for tomorrow. So, the NIS is a wonderful idea put into action.Now, why should an institution with such lofty ideals ever see bad times, failure or collapse, a question every onlooker is asking right now? Well, here’s a couple of reasons for that morbidity. As the name suggests, NIS is a welfare institution; however, if it is run purely on welfare lines, as is the present situation, then it is headed for sure failure. The NIS is also a bank; one should never lose sight of that, which means that there are inflows and outflows. If there are only outflows and not commensurate inflows, then again I say it would become a bankrupt body. Then, it is a warning bell to the powers that be that the Insurance Scheme is in trouble and there have to be mechanisms put in place to have it run on commercial lines. This is something the previous Administration had well in place which transformed the Scheme into a huge success story.Another factor that must be taken into consideration is the fact that NIS is almost totally dependent on the contributions coming in from Government employed personnel and from – the very important factor – investment. On these pillars, the NIS is buoyed; without these, it will fall.Now, when this People’s National Congress (PNC)-led Administration came into power that viability was dampened in two key areas, that is in the Government service areas when over 7000 sugar workers were dismissed from regular earnings and regular NIS contributions. In addition, there were others such as 2000 workers more in the Amerindian community who lost their jobs. This means that direct inflows into the Scheme were heavily affected.But this is my main concern and I draw your attention to the way this Government dealt with investment made by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government. I make mention of the Berbice Bridge investment made by NIS; the incoming PNC Administration deliberate move tampered with the above-board and sound investment made by the previous Administration through the NIS in that bridge. They threw the original contract overboard and deliberately lowered the toll for the users of the Bridge. That meant instant failure as it puts the returns of the investors in jeopardy.When failure begins to seep into the PNC/AFC coalition, they turn again to blame that failure on the PPP/C. Outrageous!I must hasten to a close, but I will say this, do you know that the successful and efficient management of the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) there has led the Government of St Lucia to cease payment of pensions? Yes, since 2003, all Government employed workers are now paid a percentage of their earnings by the NIC? If you do not believe me, I urge you to make a telephone call to the Government or Corporation and you will be apprised of it. Tells you how backward the PNC-led coalition has led Guyana, instead of progressing we are digressing.Respectfully,Neil   Adamslast_img

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