Lovell on Social Security: Just Fix It!

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United Progressive Party leader Harold Lovell says only an immediate and massive cash injection can save the Antigua and Barbuda Social Security Scheme.

Pensioners are always being paid late.

Lovell says this is unacceptable.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. This is height of nonsense. They find money for everything else. This situation going on since early 2019. How can anybody defend this government? We elect them to do better and all we get is empty promises and plenty excuses. I agree with Lovell. Just fix it. Jesus fix it!!

    • Easy, if it were so easy to fix why didn’t Lovell fixed it in the ten years he was in government and being Finance Minister for five years. Too much chat when he is out of government. The problem goes deeper than just money. You’ll be putting money in a bottomless pit if you do not change the Act. All Social Security are built like Ponzi Schemes. Today’s workers are contributing to pay for today’s pensioners and when the contributions fall there is a major problem. That is why the Actuary Report all over the world had suggested we extend the pension age gradually to 70. And therefore, when we have an average life span of 75, we will only enjoy pension for five years. Lovell has no brain to think outside of the box.

      • That is really your justification for when people can expect to get pay. All the mumble jumble and no solution. Lovell has no brain could not fix it. Gaston has all the brain and he is doing worse. So where do we Fooly people go from here. Something had to be done. Talk. Criticize. Rinse. Repeat. Calling all of the bright people. People need their money. Can we stop talk about the past and deeal with the here and now. Sick people tomach now!

        • Gaston is not doing worst. That is not possible. Its only since Covid hit us and the effect of it on the entire economy and the world’s economy did we start experience these payment delays. And no matter how people explain this to you guys you still expect Gaston to do an economic miracle. What is so hard to understand that Covid not only devastated our economy, but also our healthcare system. And until we can stop Covid we cannot build back our economy. And the only way is for us to get to herd immunity. Do I need to explain it again and again how the Funds is supposed to work? Present contributors pay in for present pensioners. Many of the present contributors are un-employed, therefore contributions are at their worst. It doesn’t matter how much money you put towards it. It will be a bottomless pit. In the past the shortfall was manageable and fund from the CIP could easily cover it. Not anymore. And apart from pensions, benefits are way behind. Things like maternity benefits are way behind. Sick-Pay and Funeral grant, all many months in arrear.

    • We sure could use that money from the CAN’T PARK & WADADLI POWER CAN’T – 2 projects made possible courtesy of Harold Lovell

    • Not well thought off you can say. Perhaps borrow money again. Listen every solution from the UPP is to giveaway money and how you do that? By going to borrow it. They are not concern about how to pay it back. Therefore, if they were at the wheel we would have been in some serious debt. Perhaps for the next one hundred years. Note that the debt to GDP ratio will climb just because the GDP is decreasing. Therefore, if you keep borrowing it will only get worse by the day.

      • FROM THE SIDELINE are you really serious? Have you gotten the debt that the previous ALP Administrations have left this country saddled with. Moreover, what exacerbated the situation over the years is the ALP”s attitude of blatantly refusing to honour its debt obligation. You should be ashamed to talk about debt to GDP ratio since it was the UPP that brought down the ALP’s debt to GDP ratio from 140 when they assumed power in 2004 to 95 in 2014.

        • https://www.eccb-centralbank.org/debt-portal/documents/open/25
          https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/Antigua-and-Barbuda/Government_debt/
          Charles sorry I recognized your comments this late.
          Question to the editor. Can you get our web engineer to design the site in such a way that we can see the latest comments first. The Caribarena website was designed in that way. I know have to go through many articles that I have commented to see if anyone responded to me.
          Anyway Tabor. I have given you to links to see the facts.
          When it suits you, government is continuous. One ALP government is not the same as the other ABLP government. Especially when you have a different leader. This is the Gaston Browne ABLP government. Study the debt Management Strategy. And look at the graphs of the debt to GDP from 2000 to 2020. You will note yes that it was brought down by the UPP under the skillful financial leadership of Dr. Cort and massed up in 2009 by Harold. And when he left it was 101.1%. The very next year Gaston started to bring it down and we got it as low as 76.3% in 2019, only to get disrupted by Covid. And it’s not that we borrowed more. No, it’s because our GDP fell. And therefore, the ratio got distorted. So please Mr. Bush lawyer stick with what you know a little off. Cause even when it comes to legal issues you are a total failure. And that is a compliment. Every legal opinion or position you have held on this medium you had it wrong. Hope you were able to listen to Ken Kentish and Senior Counselor Anthony Astaphan. And to the legal opinion from the former President of the CCJ and the Law Professor.

  2. I want to thank Harold for being candid on this matter. The Government collected and borrowed from 2014 to now over 7 Billion dollars. They have received over 2 Billion in CIP revenue, and they are telling the nation they are broke. Fact!! when the UPP was in office prior to the election of 2014 our economic growth was 4.5% real growth, with revenue was just over 600 million. (Check the IMF data) in 2008, 2009 we were 25% economic decline during the crisis. ALP is only dealing with a 17% decline, their worse revenue year in 2020 was over 700million (fact check the budget). THE UPP had a deeper recession and Harold and his team at the Ministry of finance buckle down and got the job done. (THEY HAD A PLAN) where is your PM Browne? They never boast or brag they just work and you PM Browne took an economy on the rise generated an additional 2billion from CIP NEW MONEY and you are saying that your broke. Really now when you look at your balance sheet Mr. PM we see monies being spent left, right and center. Not on social programs, or improving the lives of the ordinary people, but on enrichment policies that you advocated. You told your ministers enrich themselves creatively. So was the E-Books with a price tag of 76 million apart of that?, or is the auto pilot to Barbuda in a plane that never flown apart of that. So now you coming to tell us your broke. We know you are but it’s not only money its also about ideas your broke there as well!!!!

    • Great comment FLED. It is full of compelling and irrefutable statistics. It would be great to get a response from TENMAN or any of the other ALP apologists to your comment.

    • When stupid people say stupid things, it’s better to leave them in the stupidity. No need for discussion. Will not waste my time and energy.

  3. A society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. And who is more vulnerable now than the pensioners?
    Billions collected in “free money” via the CIP and the situation at Social Security was not corrected. A situation created by ALP Administrations withdrawing without depositing FOR DECADES.
    This was bound to happen. And now who is suffering as a result?
    If the Government could borrow for the purchase of Deluxe, they can borrow for Social Security. Just fix it!!!

    • I’m a pensioner now for ten years and in no way, I’m classified as vulnerable. Actually, The Social Security Pension is just like a savings account. And I can bet you people like Lovell enjoy the same financial wealth. Apart from his Government Pension he doesn’t really need the Social Security pension. And he has his private practice. I do acknowledge the less fortunate ones amongst us. And some education needs to be done to young people today to make them understand that they need to secure their latter days. You will not always stay young and healthy. That reality is still not sinking in by many young people. They live for the moment and when they get old they become a burden on the society.

  4. FROM THE SIDELINE your silliness never cease to amaze me. Yes, you are a pensioner and you are not vulnerable. Does that mean that many of the other pensioners are not vulnerable? If you were lucky to prepare for your retirement years without relying on your pension to survive just give thanks. However, not every one is in your position. Finally, none of you apologists for the ALP can refute FLED’s comment hence your ridiculous response “When stupid people say stupid things, it’s better to leave them in the stupidity”. It is this comment that is the essence of PURE STUPIDITY.

    • You have a big comprehension problem. As I did acknowledge the “less fortunate ones” amongst us. But I also suggested to prevent future generations from falling in that group. Retirement planning should form part of our life today. But again, all you can do is try to criticize. And you are one as well that does not need the Social Security pension. You are still a practicing lawyer and I’m sure you have put your monies aside for old age. Social Security pension will not be able to support your lifestyle. And regarding the garbage as commented by Fled, why would I waste time on that. Simple macro analysis of the CIP alone shows he has no clue what he is talking about. There is a big difference of the cash option and the investment option of the CIP. No matter how the government provide semi-annual reports, they still cannot read and understand these reports. At one time even I get tired to educate you guys. Cause really and truly you guys do not wish to be educated. You hope people buy in to the foolishness you spew out there.

  5. What an asinine thing to say! Even if Social Security is “just like a savings account” for Lovell or anybody else, it is THEIR MONEY!
    When you go to the bank to withdraw your savings and the teller says you don’t need it, tell us what you’ll do then.
    Selfish, myopic fool!
    And how do you persuade young people to contribute when this Administration is SHOWING THEM there’ll be nothing to collect when they’re old and, yes, VULNERABLE????

    • You also seem to have a comprehension problem reading my comments. Yes, it is my money cause I contribute to it. And let me tell you something, the way the Funds is setup presently some people will get more out of the funds then the put in. You have people that depend slowly on the little pension check. Some as low as $300 a month. If someone would setup a charity to assist these individuals, I would gladly make my social security available to them. Actually, if social security would ask those of us that can wait a few months to get paid, I would be first to raise my hands. Because as I said my pension is not for my upkeep. It goes to my savings. And you have many people in the same bracket as me and I called out Lovell as he wants to be a leader of the country, having two pensions and people like Tabor who still has his practice. We do not need the money on a monthly basis. Therefore if it was possible social security could focus on paying those needy first and deal with us later when the cashflow permits. And the most important thing that I addressed and that none of you are commenting on is the Retirement Planning that is missing in our society. Therefore, we may say the next generation of pensioners going through the same thing. “Poverty at Old Age”

      • FROM THE SIDELINE I do agree with you that retirement planning is important and should be pursued by all. With respect to the CIP, it does not matter which option the money comes from. The fundamental point is the quantum of funds that the CIP has generated. That is the point that FLED was making. Now, with over a billion dollars that has come through the CIP, can you point to anything tangible that resulted from those funds. You can do all the macro analysis that you want, it does not change the fact that the ALP government has wasted most of the funds generated from the CIP. With the funds that was at their disposal Antigua and Barbuda should really have been on course to become an economic powerhouse in the OECS sub-region.

        • Sorry to say it again. You and Fled lack basic understanding of finance. cash money is money in hand. Investment money is cash spend on a project, like building property. The government may not earn a dime from that. Or someone making a movie in Antigua. These investments are only good for calculating GDP. Cash option is the only option that provides the government with real money that they can spend.

        • By the way Tabor, I for one pray for the day when our pensioners do not have to live in poverty. We need to have a society like most of the industrial countries, where a pensioner can enjoy his latter years in financial comfort. And for their own good we should make things mandatory. Lots of people have these small pensions from Social Security because they do not have enough contributions, and because of the ceiling of the pension. We need to revamp and restructure the entire Fund. we need a white paper that studies how it is they got where they are and what to do to prevent other generations to get there. As a Rotarian for over 30 years, I have been dealing too long with feeding the poor. It must stop one day. Even though the bible says, “the poor you will always have with you”. And I said it before the UPP was good in introducing social programs. But I believe it is better to teach a man how to fish, than to feed him every day. Personally, I can say I have brought a few people in my life out of poverty by paying for their education. One was my helper’s son and daughter. They now live in the USA and are well off. As the saying goes, Education is Empowerment.

          • By the way FROM THE SIDELINE, we know that the ALP has not introduce any social programs like the UPP. Yes, the government has continued with the UPP’s social programs. However, my question to you is this: has the ALP government in its 7 years in power taught any one how to fish?

  6. FROM THE SIDELINE I may not be trained in finance like you, but this issue is not about finance it is about how the CIP funds are utilized. A person seeking an Antiguan passport through the CIP program has two options, namely the Cash Option and the Investment Option. Unlike St. Kitts the Antiguan government seems to put emphasis on the Cash Option. It is your contention that the government does not benefit from the Investment Option. I believe that you need to go back to university and brush up on macroeconomics 101. From an investment project employment would be created and the multiplier effects of that on the economy would be widespread. The government would also benefit as well as the Social Security Scheme. Should the investment project involves the export of a good or service, then the benefit of foreign reserves arise. Now, with the Cash Option the benefits to the economy would be a lot less. It is for that very reason why St. Kitts has outperformed Antigua in the last several years because they put emphasis on the Investment Option. I have looked at CIP reports and it is shameful the use that the government has put the funds from the sale of our passports to. Yes, the million and million of dollars has been put to mainly consumption and not productive enterprises. Don’t get me wrong since consumption also contributes to economic activity. However, the benefits from serious productive enterprises are more. Finally, let me give you one mind boggling example of how our CIP funds have been used. Peruse the CIP reports and you will see thousands of dollars paid to Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan for legal work done for the government. That is the wasteful use of our passports funds that results in no tangible benefit to our economy. I am begging you to stop sprouting financial and economic nonsense to justify the government’s mismanagement of our SACRED sale of our passport funds.

  7. Bold face says “when you nah know ya just nah noo, and the hardest this is fu noo”

    Before you start mentioning me in any comment first Know what you are talking about. I pointed to facts and figures not assumptions and fluff up statements seeking to sound like a economic idiot.

    When you collect billions of dollars in revenue as a government you ought to spend it wisely.

    When you spend scarce resource recklessly then this is bound to happen whether its covid or a thunder storm, PROPER PLANNING PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE.

    From Sir George Walter to Sir Vere Cornwall Bird to Sir Lester Bird to Dr. Winston Baldwin Spencer no Prime Minister have had more money to spend and have done less than PM Browne

    Every Prime Minister faced challenges in their Tenure in PLM it was Oil Crisis and recession in Sir Lester Bird it was Hurricanes in Dr. Spencer its economic crisis and now it’s covid.

    The difference between them and this one, PM Browne they never asked their Ministers to enrich themselves they were socially driven and their policies reflected that.

    PM Browne is driven by Greed and Self.

    So Pensioners would not have been a priority it matters not how much money he collected in revenue. He does not have that social conscience.

    So no need to skip and bob all over the place ANTIGUANS know what and who they were getting. Whether we accept this as good governance is up to the voters on election day.

    Stop seeking to Justify injustice by saying the other person is the same. So your in a relationship and the woman/man a horn you and you stay there, with this excuse, ‘well the next person might do me the same thing’. Are you mad? get out of that rotten relationship and then choose a better one, anything but that one, that NOOO good.

    Unless you like knock bout!!!

    YOU LIKE KNOCK BOUT?

    #STOPLISTENTHINK

  8. Says the man who could not pay neither pensioners nor government workers on time. Lovell need to have several seats cause he worst then Gaston Brown. If he Lovell would inna power right now I can only imagine the massive layoffs in the public sector and who left back would be still getting paid later.

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