Let’s talk about NIS

Dear Editor,
The National Insurance Scheme or NIS is a large-scale systematic plan or arrangement put in place to attaining a particular good. That good is for a worker at the twilight years of his existence to go and gain remuneration for his continued sustenance on this earth. It is a noble scheme that has helped countless workers over the years, and I salute the scheme.
Now, the workings of this institution entail a weekly or monthly contribution into the fund that would redound to the contributor’s own benefit at the end of his working life. Another important point to note, is that monies paid into the fund is insulated by the security mechanisms of the State, which simply means that the NIS cannot go bankrupt. There is the fundamental principle laid down, that the State must ensure that monies deposited there must be available for payout to the worker irrespective of whether things go bad in the country; the worker is guaranteed of an income at the end of his active work life.
The PNC, through its economically backward instrumentalities, thought it best to sack thousands of workers, which in essence weakened the NIS at its very core. The sacking of those workers meant that the systematic contributions of those workers was wiped out. During those five years of PNC rampage, the tenor of regular and scheduled income generation to the NIS was eroded.
But instead of accepting their fault they have accentuated it by saying it is Jagdeo’s fault for investing part of the NIS in the Berbice Bridge. They did not stop to think that it was as a direct result of the sound investment in the Berbice Bridge that The NIS is still receiving dividends in its investment, and for which the fund is still made buoyant. Left to their narrow and myopic view of the NIS we would be bankrupt by now.
I am saying neither is the NIS an almshouse, as the PNC would want to make it, that is, an institution left to the “generous” contributions of “kind-hearted” individuals, or the infilling of the crumbs that might occasionally fall from the tables of the rich, far from it! The NIS is the result of deliberate and systematic contributions of the working public and purposeful investment. Overall, this principled economic approach is even upheld by the credit unions. So, I am aghast at this foolishness coming from the PNC.

Neil Adams