PM faults Social Security for not giving timely notice of revenue shortfall

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The situation which the Antigua and Barbuda Social Security Scheme finds itself in, being unable to meet
its obligations to beneficiaries for the month of December, could have been avoided if the government had prior knowledge of the situation.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne made the statement yesterday during an interview on OBSERVER AM.
He said, “This is where we fault the management of Social Security. If we were notified before we could have issued a bond. We had a bond that was oversubscribed but, unfortunately, they took so long to notify us — only when they found themselves in a crisis — we were not able to raise the funds on time.”
However, Browne gave the assurance that the funds will be raised on time for pensioners and other beneficiaries to be paid. He also explained that it will take some time to fix Social Security, an issue which he said was inherited from the previous administration.
The scheme is struggling to meet its obligations to beneficiaries because of millions of dollars owed by several contributors who are failing to pay their contributions despite legal action being taken against them.
Last week, the Cabinet disclosed that private enterprises – employers of two-thirds of the nation’s workforce – owe Social Security more than EC $27 million. Of that amount, $10 million was declared bad debt which cannot be recovered.
The highest amount, $54, million is owed by other statutory corporations. In a recent interview, the Director of the Social Security Board, David Matthias, explained that several methodologies were being explored to collect the sums owed.

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