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WILD COOT: Sucking on NIS nipples

Harry Russell

WILD COOT: Sucking on NIS nipples

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As it stands now, it is believed that over 20 per cent of our present population will defy the biblical prescribed age of threescore and ten and keep the Governor General busy with celebrating 100 years. The Wild Coot wants to be in that number once he is still perking. I need not remind people that the biblical limit was once sixscore.
Those who are lactose intolerant may be left out.
In spite of our wickedness – our irreverence in swearing using the name of the Almighty, our purloining of others’ treasures (tiefing); our increasing murder rate and not acceding to Deuteronomy, our political stubbornness and silence, our nastiness (cleanliness is next to godliness) in littering habits; our gossip mongering – God has sought to bless us with an extra 30 years. At least we have not introduced casino gambling although we have it in certain places – but we do not call it so. At least we have no official brothels but street prostitution is acceptable. Yet in spite of all these things God is favouring us.
We are gifted with politicians who do not take everything for themselves like in other countries. Many people enjoy the trickle down effect – probably still too few.
We support the churches and Kingdom Halls that proliferate throughout the island and we attend the services even if we do not love our neighbour as ourselves. So you see how many people attended church at Easter, although there were surpassed by the partygoers.
Wealth in this country is evenly distributed except for the growing disparity now facing us. But facing a per capita income of US$16 000 cannot be sniffed at. So folks we are not doing so badly, that is why so many are being blessed – 60 000 of us living now will reach and probably surpass 100 years old.
But there is one thing that we seem to have forgotten.
Who will take care of the older folk on their journey to 100 years? Already the drain on the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is showing. “The capacity of the National Insurance Scheme to absorb additional securities might be limited by balance sheet constraints.” (International Monetary Fund Country Report.) It carries over 60 per cent of the large debt profile of 128 per cent of Gross Domestic Product. Government is in no position to start repayment, and is in the rolling over business, only paying low interest to the NIS. Maybe there are even some advances that the NIS is stuck with at Four Seasons. That is a sin that God does not like as good men were discarded for standing up.
So here is the position. Our folks will be living to 100, and engaging the NIS probably for 35 years – many more for just under; youths are unable to find work, no contribution to the NIS; 3 000 or more are being laid off and will for some time be the responsibility of the NIS. Worse of all, our Government is also leaning on the NIS. There is a lot of sucking of nipples of the NIS. Government nipples are being exchanged for NIS nipples, having had to complain of soreness.
Those who do no reach the coveted number may be lactose intolerant, having only reached 50 or 60 or even 70. Their milk and honey will come later when we all will be caught up with the angel and archangels without the responsibility of having to pay value added tax.
The Wild Coot will perhaps incur the wrath of the powers that be as he points out the sad state of the Central Bank in its dilemma. Perhaps it now realises that the misguided policies of the Government have meant that the banking community has had to incur losses and is now risk averse. However, it has to make money and therefore has to have the latitude to institute vengeance with the blessing of the Central Bank.
Getting to 100 years old can be delightful, but it has issues on the way. Few people make it without handicaps. One of these handicaps the Barbados Association of Retired Persons is trying to resolve. It is reverse mortgages.
This is two years that the legislation has been in the hands of our minister. But he seems to be too busy to address a growing blessing, living to 100.

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