Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Senator Jepter Ince (FP)??

The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is sound and the Government of Barbados is committed to the development and the security of the financial industry of this island.

So says Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Senator Jepter Ince, as he addressed Guardian Life’s pension reception at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael recently.??

"Let me reinforce that the NIS is sound. I can say with confidence, and I am speaking as the first investment manager of the NIS fund, [I am] speaking as that individual who, along with the director and the board, was able to move that fund from $800 million mostly of treasury bills and debentures to $2.5 billion in five years," he emphasised.

Stating that Government was encouraging companies to move capital into Barbados, he stressed, "It is important from a government standpoint that we are committed to the financial industry… that this industry remains sound and we have done that by creating the Financial Services Commission.?? We recently enacted laws on Money Laundering, terrorism and the sharing of tax information."

Reassuring participants "not to worry" about President of France’s recent allegations branding Barbados as a tax haven, Senator Ince said: "I am not surprised by the statement … I have said publicly that whenever there is a world problem, the Caribbean is blamed for it.??

"When Enron collapsed, they said to us, we need to have corporate governance, and every day somewhere in Barbados, there was a seminar on corporate governance.?? You have another collapse of the financial industry and they blamed the Caribbean.?? They are asking us to put systems in place.?? So, within the next year when something happens, they are going to move the goal post again and we are going to be asked to enact legislation and laws to combat what happens within that industry."

He explained that Government’s commitment also extended to the protection of this island’s citizens and pointed out that Government saw Pension Planning as an important part of that process.

"We were committed to developing a pension industry.?? We are also committed to protecting the lives of our citizens, and we can do this through long-term planning and pension planning is an integral part of this process.

"Pension retirement is always an issue that would be on going.?? An issue where persons must be prepared for unforeseen circumstances of their lives," Senator Ince said adding, that it was important to create an environment that facilitated this longevity.??


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