Pensioners are now deliberately being penalised for the financial misadventures of the National Insurance Scheme and its involvement with CLICO, the Berbice River Bridge, and the New Building Society (NBS).
This is according to Chief Whip of the People’s National Congress Reform, Lance Carberry, who explained to media operatives yesterday that up until recently, NIS pensioners and senior citizens were entitled to benefit from a facility whereby, on selected days, they could uplift all of their medications, free of cost to themselves.
He said that given the high costs of many of the medications coupled with the problems encountered for sourcing the medications, the service was convenient and of immense value and benefit for the recipient pensioners.
Carberry explained that NIS is now insisting that the pensioners should now obtain a prescription from their doctor, on each occasion, purchase the medications from their own resources.
Following this, the pensioners will now be asked to submit a claim along with the receipt for their purchases and then await NIS approval for a refund.
He said, too, that NIS is claiming that unless the medical condition is a “pre-existing condition”, that is, the condition was being treated before the NIS contributor started obtaining the pension, the pensioner would not qualify for a refund.
Carberry posited that it is evident that the strategy is a cost cutting arrangement by the NIS.
The PNCR Chief Whip said that given the meagre pensions being received, along with the high cost of many of the medications and the high cost-of-living, pensioners who have already been driven to the poverty line, have to suffer the further privation imposed to facilitate cost cutting by the NIS.
“While we are nationally recognising Senior Citizens Month, in recognition of the elderly men and women who have given yeoman service and contributed to the development of our country, they are deliberately being penalised for the financial misadventures of the NIS and its involvement with CLICO, the Berbice River Bridge, and the New Building Society (NBS).”
This newspaper had reported that the nation’s coffers will soon be affected adversely by the investment by NIS in CLICO (Guyana)
This opinion was pointed out by a well placed source within that company.
According to the source, based on the projections of the figures as they relate to expenditure and revenue the latter will soon be less than the required expenditure.
The $6B investment in CLICO is impaired and will not be available for use at any time in the near future.
The coffers will be affected given that at anytime NIS is unable to make its payments the beneficiaries are protected in that the company by law has to move to the National Assembly seeking monies to be approved for the Consolidated Fund.
It was pointed out that over the past three years expenditures and revenue were almost at break even and expenditure was projected to increase.
Over the years the revenue collected by NIS has remained stagnant while the expenditure grew so should the monies not be recovered from CLICO (Guyana) soon then it would be unavoidable for NIS to not petition for money from the coffers.
President Bharrat Jagdeo has promised that all affected by the CLICO (Guyana) fallout will be repaid but investments such as the one made by NIS will have to wait until monies could be recovered through the liquidation process.
The Bank of Guyana, which has been appointed liquidator, will seek to increase the liability of the failed insurance company by raising more money from activities such as the sale of the company assets as well as from taking legal action against BOSAI, CLICO (Bahamas) and Caribbean Resources Limited.
These companies owe CLICO (Guyana) some US$50 million with CLICO (Bahamas) owing Guyana US$34 million.
The sale of assets at book value should realize $2.7 billion.
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