BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 06. 2018 – GOVERNOR of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine says that Governments and Social Security Boards around the region need to develop a sense of urgency in the implementation of key reforms to their scheme.
Social Security Schemes in the region are coming under threat of not being sustainable over a long period.
While providing the keynote address at today’s opening of the 29th CARICOM Heads of Social Security Meeting in Basseterre, Governor Antoine told the representatives that the framework of the Social Security Scheme is under threat across the region.
He recommends the adoption of the fiscal resilience framework by governments, which he noted is critical to helping safeguard the sustainability of those schemes.
Additionally, he noted that there must be an urgency in the implementation of key reforms by publishing time-bound action plans and annual progress reports, while pointing out that collective actions as a region is essential to managing risks.
“Collective action is critical to risk and opportunities that confront our social security scheme,” Antoine said.
In pointing to the importance of the Scheme, the Governor revealed that in CARICOM, Social Security accounts for 24 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for member states.
Within the ECCU sub region, it accounts for 34 percent of the GDP, which stands for one third of the overall percentage.
According to the Governor, it is extremely important that people pay their dues.
Officials in the federation have over the last two years, called on employers to make their due contribution for their employees as they have found many to be delinquent in remitting.
Minister with Responsibility for Social Security, Vance Amory pointed out recently that they are looking to bring more meaningful returns to the investments of the Scheme.
Earlier this year, he was quoted by the Government Information Service as saying that, “We (the government of National Unity) believe that the Social Security Fund could be used to improve the economic development of this country whether it is in tourism, infrastructure, housing or in education”.
The Social Security Board has been investing heavily in local projects, as it recently loaned the Nevis Islands Administration EC$10 million to construct houses on the islands.
Additionally, the Social Security Board has vested in the construction of the second cruise pier in Basseterre.