NCN should hold a debate on NIS and the old-age pension
Shortly after the debate on NCN about the President of Guyana‘s pension package and all other benefits that goes with same, I caused a letter to appear in the letter columns of our two major daily newspapers, the Stabroek News and the Kaieteur News in which I mentioned that if would be very very interesting to have NCN with the same moderator and the same panellists, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, Minister of Labour Nanda Gopaul and Mr Carvil Duncan one of our senior trade unionists, debating the National Insurance Scheme and the old age pension paid to our senior citizens. I would like to add to the panel Finance Minister Ashni Singh and Human Services and Social Security Minister Jennifer Webster.
Editor, I am convinced that all Guyanese would like to have a public debate on the topic with the persons aforementioned taking part. I am also certain that the Alliance for Change and APNU would relish the opportunity of having a representative take part.
The labourer having worked with the government or private sector or being self-employed and having attained the age of sixty, would get about $17,000 monthly as an NIS pensioner. The old age pensioner having attained his 65 years receives $10,000 monthly.
Assuming the old age pensioner was self-employed for all of his or her working life and could not have afforded to contribute to the NIS – an example would be a rice farmer who goes back to the days of the bull and plough and the grass knife – he or she would have to live on their old age pension. Our politicians, members of the business community, civil society and leaders of the church must say if what they receive is adequate or how grossly inadequate it is.
If I was in the category of that very important large group of persons, who we must recognize have made a sterling contribution to the country’s development and are still doing so, this is how I would have budgeted to spend for each month:
It may be impossible to live a more conservative life.
The question that would be asked or the argument made is can Guyana currently afford to pay more than what is paid to our pensioners.
The same question must be asked and the same argument advanced as it relates to the president‘s pension package, and for me it is not just the president‘s pension package but all others who are receiving the same or something similar.