Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Can We Bite NIB Bullet? ‘Bold Decision’ Needed - Raise Contributions To Sustain Cash Assistance

 
Public Services and National Insurance Minister Brensil Rolle.

 KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
krussell@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Insurance Minister Brensil Rolle yesterday admitted that no government has been “bold enough” to take on recommendations that National Insurance Board contributions must increase to sustain the financial viability of the social security net.

Mr. Rolle was asked yesterday about the possibility of NIB contributions increasing, as he said the agency has to date paid out in excess of $100m “to individuals primarily who have not contributed to NIB or who have contributed partially to NIB”.

He was noncommittal on whether an increase will come or when it could happen, only telling reporters it has been an ongoing discussion for years.

“I challenged the media last year to have that discussion to engage the public and let’s see their views,” the minister said before yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.

“Individuals have, in my opinion, now recognise(d) the true value of NIB and its contributions and the value of the contributions to the community. The government itself, in unemployment assistance alone, is spending nearly $100m to individuals primarily who have not contributed to NIB or who have contributed partially to NIB.

“So, members of the public know how important that is and I challenge the media and I offer that challenge again to the media to put it out there, to let me see what the response of the public is going to be because your platform is much, much larger than mine.”  Read more >>