COMMENTARY: A Scheme So Well Intentioned Now So Badly Broken

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
Audley Phillip

A Scheme So Well Intentioned Now So Badly Broken

In 1965 the ruling ALP Government realized the need for more adequate provision for the nation’s poor and indigent.

By July 1972, the Social Security Act was passed and Antigua became the first country in the OECS to have introduced a fully-fledged Social Security System.

Fast forward 50 years later, Social Security should have been flushed with money, extremely wealthy and thriving but as it stands now, it is dead broke and struggling and barely able to meet its obligations to the very people who in the early days contributed to its existence and success.

It is a darn shame that in an effort to try to correct the wrongs that successive regimes have inflicted on Social Security, Government continues to mandate increases in personal and employers contribution as well as to increase the retirement age making it impossible for those of us who have contributed to the scheme for many years non stop, from claiming what is rightfully ours.

The shifting of the retirement age is criminal and unjust.

Pensioners are being penalized for the excesses and failures of the Government over the years.

It is truly the biggest disgrace of my lifetime.

The Social Security Scheme is on life support and only subventions from the Government enables the scheme to meet its monthly obligations to pensioners.

All the Directors and successive Governments have all failed the Social Security Scheme.

It is time that both workers and employers start withholding their contribution in the interest of accountability and saving the scheme from total collapse. We can’t continue like this.