Straker calls on Government to name and shame NIS defaulters

With private sector entities and self-employed individuals said to owe the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) in excess of $300 million, one private sector leader is suggesting that the Freundel Stuart administration publishes the names of the culprits.

However, President of the Small Business Association Dean Straker is warning that before any such action is taken, Government should ensure that its own financial house is in order.

“I mean, if people owe the Government money you have to get it in . . . [but] at the same time, if you publish the names you better make sure that you don’t owe those people anything or be willing to offset it,” Straker said while suggesting that urgent action was required.

(From left) GEF/Small Grants Programme Subregional Associate Programme Officer of the United Nations Development Programme Tamaisha Eytle, President of the SBA Dean Straker and Minister of Industry Donville Inniss.

Last year Government implemented an interest waiver programme for those who owed the NIS. That waiver, which lasted between October 2016 and March 2017, saw the NIS collecting $11.9 million from about 147 employers, and waiving $7.8 million in interest.

Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, in releasing the findings of the 15th actuarial review of the fund earlier this month, revealed that collectively, Government and the private sector owed the National Insurance Scheme approximately $650 million.

She also said Parliament was expected to approve another interest waiver programme when it convenes later this month.

Straker could not immediately say how many of the SBA members owed Government or how much was outstanding, but he told Barbados TODAY: “My personal opinion is that if businesses owe the Barbados Revenue Authority hundreds of millions of dollars in VAT [Value Added Tax] or NIS or whatever else, publish the names so that we as an association or the Barbados Private Sector Association can try to deal with their members.”

The SBA spokesman also said he supported a suggestion made by the trade unions at a recent Social Partnership meeting for retired public service workers to assist Government, on a commission basis, with collecting outstanding funds.

“I thought that was a great idea,” the businessman said.

11 Responses to Straker calls on Government to name and shame NIS defaulters

  1. Kevin September 9, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Many years back two business were named as failed to having pay taxes and NIS to government. Both had the same reply, that if they are made to pay the taxes they would have to shut down or send home workers. These business are very bold with this nonsense.

  2. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba September 9, 2017 at 2:38 am


  3. Boyce Jr Angus
    Boyce Jr Angus September 9, 2017 at 4:12 am

    They can’t cause they themselves would be on that list….smh

  4. Kelly Scantlebury
    Kelly Scantlebury September 9, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Government ain’t who topping the list ? Mr Straker clearly does not listen to the news

  5. Helen Charles Knighton
    Helen Charles Knighton September 9, 2017 at 7:02 am

    First the NIS need to list the 95% investments they have taken from the people’s money. The IMF warned you all about that but wunna just doing what wunna want with the people’s money.

  6. Nikki Bayley
    Nikki Bayley September 9, 2017 at 8:14 am

    I guess the government is at the TOP of this list

  7. Loretta Griffith September 10, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Whenever persons who live in England and the USA see or hear the large sums owed to BRA and NIS they want to know how could something like this happen. They wonder how could any responsible government allow such. Their response is no way would a taxpayer in these countries (England and USA) risk something like this. The IRS would long have them hauled before the courts and their properties confiscated.
    It is time government, B, D or C get serious where the collection of taxes is concerned. There is no point making impositions and not collecting. It defeats the purpose.
    It is clear the economy has not been properly managed by both governments. We need to put real managers in positions and not sycophants. Take the politics out of these appointments and allow persons to progress on merit.
    We really need a revolution. Cannot be business as usual.

  8. Saga Boy September 10, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Loretta you need to do your research. The IRS not only owes billions to businesses and people it is also owed money by small as well as large corporations. It is no different than BRA. The same thing obtains in Britain. Stop trying to make people believe things like these only happen in BIM. Stop misleading people.

  9. Loretta Griffith September 11, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Saga Boy where did I misled any one. Those were/are the sentiments of persons who live in both countries. They were not figments of my imagination.
    I have never lived in either country, just visited.
    This has been my experience where they marvelled in bewilderment at the sums owed to both departments.
    All I am concerned about is that all of us should pay our fair share of taxes. Not Peter paying for Paul and Paul paying for ALL.
    My interest is that Barbados be made better. I would like to see it get back to its PRISTINE position.

  10. Buun September 12, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I hope you have the money in your budget for maintenance and support because this is the problem with these new and exciting things we bring about here.

  11. Loretta Griffith September 12, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Buun, I am unable to comprehend what you are saying. I am not sure your comments are directed to me in response to what I have written.
    Please enlighten me.


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