LETTER: UPP is also a culprit that has contributed to the downfall of Social Security

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Dear Editor,

From all reports, it is quite evident that a Social Security program is one of the best insurance program that a country can ever have for it’s people.

Here in Antigua, the Social Security program is designed  to provide an income to the retired employee who have  contributed to the state during their employment years. At the same time, the program also assists in providing an income to those persons who are not retired but have been certified by a doctor that they are unfit to work due to sickness, pregnancy, etc.

Interestingly,  for sometime now, beneficiaries of the scheme, like my grandmother, are paid late due to the limited cash that is in the Social Security coffers. As a result, this has caused political ramblings between our two main political parties, ABLP & UPP, as to who is the cause of the  financial crisis that our Social Security Scheme is presently facing.

Looking into my grandmother’s interest, I will admit, that  I have taken part in marches & demonstrations that UPP has organized. Of course,  UPP had convinced me that this present administration and its predecessors are the chief culprits  responsible for the mismanagement of the Social Security funds thus causing the present financial instability at Social Security.

Amazingly, after listening to the Director of Social Security, who was on Daren Matthew-Ward’s morning show last week, the records concerning Social Security and its funds, in my view, were set straight. It was my understanding that the Director in his wisdom & professionalism, in an under tone, emphatically explained that this present Gaston  Browne’s administration should be complimented and given high kudos for the conscious efforts that it is making to correct the financial situation at Social  Security.  I also understood that so far, from the $550,000,000.00 that has been owed to the scheme, the Gaston Browne’s administration has offset it by almost $350,000,000.00 of which the other administrations under VC Bird, Lester Bird and  Baldwin  Spencer has made VERY LITTLE effort to assist in offsetting the amount owed.

The Director’s report definitely brought out the CHICKENS to hatch. There was clearly some light on the matter. It seems to me  that over the years, UPP has been deceptive & misleading the masses throughout.

Governance is a continuation! The responsibility of converting the wrongs of a previous administration into rights is the role of the governing administration. Did UPP do that during their tenure? The answer is clearly NO!! Perhaps if they did, then Social Security would be in a much better position than where it is today.

Instead, they operated on keeping  their monthly statutory payments up to date and conveniently ignored what was owed to the scheme. As a result, Social Security had no chance of recovering because of UPP’s irresponsible behaviour coupled with the impact of the pandemic & the downfall of Allan Stanford’s empire.

To mislead the masses and to have the pensioners getting heat strokes & sunburns from the hot sun as they sport placards demanding answers from both the Director of Social Security & the ruling administration, is a serious indictment on UPP, knowing very well that they are also a contributing factor to the problem at Social Security .

UPP needs to understand that governance is continuous & the country & the people’s business always comes first, rather than ignoring what the previous administration has left behind. Two wrongs cannot make a right! The wrongs from the previous administration, if any, should always be corrected if it benefits the country…. MSJMC is a prime example when they decided to leave the hospital as a white elephant but was forced by ICC to get it up & running because of world cup.

That modus of operandi of deceiving & not touching what the previous administration has left behind is certainly unwarranted for any administration who is vying to manage the country’s affairs.  It’s a clear sign of political immaturity & intellectual dunceness!!