The president of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) is pleading with utility companies and other service providers to give pensioners a break if they can’t pay on time.
President Ed Bushell today appealed to companies not to cut off services if pensioners are forced to default, with their cheques from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) delayed.
“I hope the service providers such as the Barbados Water Authority and Barbados Light & Power Company would take this situation into consideration when these pensioners skip a payment. I hope they work with them through the situation. I don’t know how long it will last,” the BARP head said.
He told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that pensioners have been calling into BARP’s office complaining they were not in a position to buy food.
Bushell said he had been trying to reach officials at the NIS on the matter, but up to today had no success.
BARP represents about 42,000 members, many of whom are retired.
Asked if his association was putting any interim measures in place to assist those who depend on their weekly or monthly pensions to survive for a living, Bushell replied: “Morally, yes, but if you mean financially . . . something tangible, no.”
Meanwhile, a senior BARP official told this newspaper that while some may be able to hold on for at least a week, the weekly paid pensioners – and those who live from cheque to cheque – would be more challenged to do so.
He believes the NIS should introduce some short-term measure by which the thousands of affected pensioners could be paid.
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