The chairman of the National Insurance Scheme says the NIS can handle the increased unemployment benefit claims that will come as Government’s retrenchment programme begins.
Chairman Dr Justin Robinson says there should be no problem.
The Inter-American Development Bank has cautioned, in its January quarterly bulletin, that Government’s plan to cut 3,000 public sector jobs will see unemployment rising to about 14 per cent.
Those higher unemployment levels could present financial challenges for the NIS, the IDB says.
But Dr Robinson tells Barbados TODAY, while the NIS has had to pay out more unemployment benefits in recent years, it is still financially sound.
“The idea behind the Unemployment Fund and Severance Fund is that you build up surpluses in good years and and then when the hit comes you run down those surpluses,” he said.
“The Severance Fund has large surpluses. The Unemployment Fund has taken a major hit but at this point it has enough resources to handle the current level of unemployment.”