Letters & Opinion

Open Letter to the NIC

I do not believe that I stand alone with the thoughts expressed within this open appeal. This letter serves as a plea to you our dear National Insurance Corporation Inc, and while this may reek of desperation, it is with the intent of attaining your attention along with that of the relevant and competent authorities.

It is true that these are unprecedented times that we are facing. However, it is also true that thousands of Saint Lucians are out of work since late March 2020 and are facing profoundly hellish times while awaiting the promised relief from you. While the circumstances that we are challenged with are not unique to St Lucia, that should not continue to remain an excuse in our country.

We are hard-working people. It is blatantly apparent by the lack of proper communication and follow-through on your part as it relates to the ERF Program that the regular working Jane and Joe are of no concern to you. For now, we make no contributions, as it is highly impossible to do so; but what happens when we return to work? Can you imagine being out of work for nearly three months with zero to little savings? In the case of many, add the expenses of utilities, children and trying to stay alive and well in hopes of returning to the jobs that we love, oh so much!

The NIC has fabricated/put on a facade of transparency and integrity all while chastising and ignoring the plights of the concerned and increasingly irate populace that qualify for the ERF Program. One begs to question your motives and integrity as the organisation tasked with safeguarding our social security.

Your team ignore emails, telephone calls and even direct messages through your social media platforms (which you will take the time to address “claims” that are of no immediate, if any concern to the general population – yet you “find it necessary” to do so).

Given the above-mentioned, are we to willingly make bi-weekly and/or monthly contributions to this corporation once we have a semblance of normalcy? Are we to remain in this country and do so? Or shall many of us instead seek opportunities abroad and shellshock this establishment when contributions are far less than your projections? Why must we be met with petulance when trying to seek clarification on the status of remittances under the ERF Program?

People are being thwarted and becoming increasingly infuriated, do you not see the problems that will arise when the economy will start to pick up?

Funds were to be disbursed over the period of April through June. We are almost mid-way through June and some of us would have been lucky enough to receive payment for April in May! You “communicated” through Mr McLean that individuals were to anticipate TWO payments in May – that for April and May. The second payment for May should have been anticipated in the week of May 25th; which many of us considered fluff talk – too good to be true. And so, it has been proven. Again, the integrity of the NIC (its board and employees) is called to question.

Do tell, what impact will this have on the economy if the debt to income/revenue gap continues to grow disproportionately? What creative methods will the unemployed people of Saint Lucia need to resort to in order to survive in this country and keep YOUR position secure and relevant?

Finally, the resounding question around the island: Is the NIC really operating “for the benefit of us all”?

With lack of faith,

Frustrated Jane

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