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PM Skerrit responds to Opposition’s leader call for pension increase

by: - November 20, 2018
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Prime Minister of Dominica and Minister of Finance Roosevelt Skerrit

Prime Minister of Dominica and Minister responsible for Finance, Roosevelt Skerrit has responded to the call of the Leader of the Opposition Lennox Linton for an increase in the pension, stating that Linton’s proposal shows his ignorance of the country’s workings.

Mr. Skerrit stated that this proposal shows citizens the opposition’s inability to properly manage the country’s finances.

“Once again the Leader of the Opposition in his hastiness to oppose for opposing sake has proven to the people of Dominica, that he does not understand how to manage the finances of our country. His recent call for the increase in the minimum pension rate shows that once again he has failed to analyze how much work we are doing as a country to rebuild after Hurricane Maria,” he stated.

He noted that “at a time when this Government is simultaneously undertaking several substantial projects in housing, agriculture and tourism to name a few, it is reprehensible that the Leader of the Opposition would propose an increase in Government funded pensions.”

He noted that if a pension increase is given, it will hinder the current development of the country, as well as impact the pension of future pensioners.

“This proposal will only jeopardize the pensions of the current workforce as well as hinder the ongoing development and diversification of our country’s economy. Contrary to what the leader of the opposition seems to think pension rates are not plucked from the sky.  They arrive after careful analysis by actuaries. Actuarial science is not to be confused with political mischief making,” Mr. Skerrit stated. According to Mr. Skerrit stated that the sustainability of the Dominica Social Security is predicated on a prudent and responsible management of the finances of the DSS, adding that “any decision that is not supported by the actuarial science will run into difficulty, and will cause serious difficulty for those who are now receiving a pension.”

Mr. Skerrit went on to state that before an increase can be made, its future effects must be studied, adding that the proposal from the Opposition shows his misunderstanding of the system.

He noted that before a pension can be disbursed every single cent has to be studied and evaluated against the reality of its likely impact on the fund down the road, stating that “the Leader of the Opposition’s proposal shows that he lacks an understanding of how the system works.”

“We must not forget as a country that it is the very same UWP which almost bankrupted the DSS by not remitting to the DSS due to it by law, and also the mismanagement of investments by the DSS proposed by the UWP at the time,” Mr. Skerrit added.

Mr. Skerrit further added that these statements and plans form the opposition show that neither he nor his team are aware of the future impacts of this suggestion.

“The leader of the Opposition’s lack of a feasible ideology and vision of Dominica is clear.  His utterances prove that neither he nor his advisors have assessed the projected trends of aging in Dominica, and the impact that this proposal will have on them in five ten twenty and twenty five years,” Mr. Skerrit added.