Fifteen Million Dollars To Boost Social Security

Mathias, General Manager of Social Security

The government says the head of the Antigua Barbuda Social Security Board will be summoned to Cabinet at its next meeting.

It made the statement even as it announced a plan to finance the Social Security Board in order to ensure timely payments to recipients in the month of December 2018 and January 2019.

The board has had trouble paying beneficiaries on time especially in recent months. 

A sum of $15 million dollars has been pre-arranged although the source was not revealed.

The Cabinet says it decided to summon the Chairman and the Director of the SSB to its meeting next week in order to receive “further assurances.”

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  1. Either the money is there or it isn’t. If we need to change Antigua’s social security system then let’s change it now instead of pretending there isn’t a fundamental problem. Antigua should have a retirement system like Singapore called the Central Provident Fund (CPF). We can learn a lot from them and I wish our government would study Singapore policies more.

    Also, PM Browne stated recently that CIP funds are being used to pay Antigua social security payments. If that is the case, then we need to make sure that Antigua has the #1 CIP program in the world. However, we currently do not. Currently, Antigua’s CIP citizens need to pay $25,000 for every newborn child they have. This policy is just crazy and St Kitts gives their CIP citizens free citizenship to their newborn children regardless of where they are born. Antigua’s cabinet needs to correct this problem ASAP or else we will lose CIP candidates to competitors and our social security will suffer.

  2. Oh yes you will get further assurances. The Director has on many times given many assurances. One of them is that it is not his headache where the money will come from because as far as he is concern the government has the obligation to fund any shortfall that the fund may experience. So that is not his headache no sleepless nights here. What Cabinet should do is summon the Financial Controller to explain the budget and the monthly spending. When will these guys and girls learn? You will always be bamboozled by the Director. It will never be enough look back over the years. It started in 2014 when he said we only need to get more contributions. Then we need to raise the rate of the contributions than we need to raise the retirement age. But we never address the operational expenses that keep on climbing and climb. Look how much they now pay in rent. look how much they have in travel and IT and the list goes on. Scrutinize the budget and let them justify every cent that they spend. To date Social Security staff have never ever had to wait to get paid. But pensioners do have to wait to get paid. So, it is their money but they are not a priority. The staff is priority to get paid and the rent and all the other things.

  3. @From The Sideline, may be you may have missed it. OR maybe you turned a blind eye.

    You should read between the lines of the Director’s statements.

    This intuitive young Director was placed there to re-build SSB by the ABLP. He for most parts tried. He with varying new boards and chairs and new compliment of managerial and some bright and talented line staff worked feverishly to try to keep SSB afloat. Again, they tried.

    But the real problem is not the $30 mil or so owed by the private sector, it is the over $300 mil owed AND not being paid by the government, and you would have realized none of this was revealed or aired in the program. Strange!

    PM Worl’ Arss stated that he would have used CIP to help sure up SSB, strange again, CIP is coming in but none going SSB. Also, PM Worl’ Arss received a lofty sum from Chinese for development of Point and other social aspects, well this was strangely given just before REFERENDUM, and strangely too, people that did not want to vote, were encouraged to come out. Let us get back to the Topic.

    So you see, the government is the problem for SSB. OH, did I reminded you that SSB and the ruling ABLP administration of times past were warned not once, not twice but three times of this happening by 2012. It was the UPP administration that some how tried putting some small change into SSB, hmmmm! I heard one worker lamenting that “God warned us 3 different times like he did with the Pharaoh of Egypt but with 3 different Josephs and our 1980s, 1990s and 2000s Pharaohs did nothing.

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