THE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT FUND is paying out millions of dollars more than it budgeted for, and Government’s retrenchment programme earlier this year has been blamed.
In June and July the fund, which is administered by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), paid out more than $2.5 million over what had been budgeted.
This revelation comes in the wake of last week’s announcement by the Economic Affairs Division that the unemployment rate for the second quarter – that is, April to June – stood at 13.2 per cent or 19 100 people.
The rate at the end of June last year was 10.5 per cent of the labour force or 15 000 people, meaning there was a net loss of 4 100 jobs within the last year.
It comes, too, nearly a month after Minister of Social Security Dr Esther Byer Suckoo sought to assure Barbadians that the fund was still “solid”.