|Esther Byer-Suckoo, Minister of Labour and Social Security. (FP)??|
Forty-five years after the establishment of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, has praised that department for remaining a safety net to elderly Barbadians and a lifeline for all.
She also commended the scheme for its ability to have "expanded, evolved and [provided] coverage for injury, unemployment, disability and self-employed persons".??
The Minister made these remarks last Sunday during a church service which was organised to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the NIS and held at the New Testament Church of God, River Road, St. Michael.
Dr. Byer Suckoo told the congregation that the NIS formed an integral part of this island’s social safety net and said that Government was committed to "strengthening our retirement system and protecting social security as a reliable source of income for seniors, workers who develop disabilities, and dependents."
Pointing out that the NIS was established under the leadership of Barbados’ first Prime Minister, the Rt. Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, she noted that in 1966 the system of National Insurance and Social Security was signed into law "to protect ordinary Barbadians against any interruptions of earnings and to provide for them during their sunset years.
"The Act brought much hope to some of our vulnerable citizens and also gave elderly Barbadians income security.?? At the time, it provided payments for sickness, maternity, invalidity, funeral grant, old age and survivor benefits," she observed.??