OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: NIS delay unfair to young mothers
He has showed you, O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of, but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8
MY QUESTION THIS WEEK is to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and deals with the payment of maternity benefits to many young mothers in Barbados.
We have been hearing that the department is upgrading its computer system and claims will be delayed. In my view, the delay has been too long.
But while the system is being upgraded, mothers are suffering and it can be very hard on other family members to make ends meet. It is just a case of while the grass is growing, the horse is starving. It is not a nice situation for those mothers and I feel their pain.
Only those who are suffering will know. They have bills to pay and we must remember that some mothers are not receiving any other income.
I am aware of many women who were on maternity leave since November 2014 and have not received any benefits. There are also some who have returned to work from maternity leave and have not been paid.
Is the NIS placing upgrading of a system over the welfare of those young mothers?
I think that the welfare of people should come first and there should have been a backup system so that beneficiaries could be paid.
It is time to stop what is happening, because every time the system is being upgraded, people are not being paid. The NIS must do something right away and pay those benefits.
Another question that must be asked: What were we doing before there were computers?
The workers have all paid in their NIS contributions because it is one of the first things that are deducted and now in the time of need, they should have their money (benefits).