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Opposition Leader Proposes Special Standing Committee On Social Security

Opposition Leader Proposes Special Standing Committee On Social Security
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (second left), embraces outgoing Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (left), following her contribution to the 2017/18 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 16. It was Mrs. Simpson Miller’s final budget presentation in Parliament as Opposition Leader. Shaking hands in the background (from right) are Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang and Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Dr. Peter Phillips. Seated is Member of Parliament for North West St. Catherine, Robert Pickersgill.
(Media Credit: Michael Sloley)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- Outgoing Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is proposing that a Special Standing Committee on Social Security be established in Parliament, aimed at increasing participation in pension schemes. The Committee, she suggested, should also focus on promoting retirement planning and savings in the nation. She lamented that not many Jamaicans take the matter of pension and retirement planning seriously, noting that less than 15 per cent of the population now contributes to a pension scheme. She argued that this places a bigger burden on the State as the society grows older. “This must change as we face the next phase of Jamaica’s development,” she stressed. Mrs. Simpson Miller was making her contribution to the 2017/18 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday (March 16).

She further argued that the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), which has served the nation for more than 50 years, is not enough to meet the nation’s needs.

The NIS is a compulsory contributory funded social-security scheme, which offers financial protection to the worker and his family against loss of income arising from injury on the job, incapacity, retirement and death of the insured.

“Going forward, there needs to be a comprehensive social-security framework to take us into the next 50 years,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller, who has been in representational politics for 43 years, made her final Budget presentation in Parliament as Opposition Leader.

She was the first female Prime Minister of Jamaica, serving in that capacity from March 2006 to September 2007; and from January 2012 to March 2016.