Action needed for elderly

| 18/02/2014

(CNS): Cayman is reaching a crisis point regarding its elderly citizens as a result of meagre pensions and the failure of employers to extend healthcare to retirees, the independent member for North Side has said. Ezzard Miller believes the country needs to begin a national debate about how Cayman can ensure its elderly retire with some dignity because too many of them are in real need but often too proud to seek help from government. Miller said that in the first instance government needs to create an open and transparent system for offering support to the elderly and indigent and it also needs to revise the pensions and health insurance laws to prevent future pensioners spiralling into poverty.

The MLA said that he has real concerns that the situation for many elderly people who have worked all their lives who have now retired is dire. Many have been forced to retire whether they wanted to or not and have done so on exceptionally small pensions because they have only paid into funds since 1997 and, having been employed by different employers, have been forced to pay into various schemes. With inadequate contributions dispersed across different plans, they are struggling to survive and their meagre conditions are being compounded by a lack of health cover.

“We need a national debate now over this huge problem which is facing us,” Miller told CNS Tuesday.

In the wake of recent comments by Finance Minister Marco Archer, who pointed out that government is spending millions of dollars picking up the health care tab because of private sector employers' inadequate provisions, Miller is calling for a bigger discussion about what he says is already a national crisis.

He said it is time for government to be more open and transparent about how assistance is given to people via social services.

“We can no longer have this hidden, secret system where no one knows who is getting what. It seems those who are recommended to the department by politicians are assisted while others get nothing because they haven’t got the right contacts,” he said. Miller said it was time for a transparent, properly established system and criteria which would make it clear who is entitled to what and on what basis.

“We also need to revise the pensions law and reconsider one national pension plan,” Miller added. He said that he was not advocating that government run the plan but that a single fund would prove more effective. He pointed out that when workers move from employer to employer, they don’t necessarily transfer their past contributions, leaving them with tiny pieces in several different funds and very little to draw on come retirement.

He said past governments had bowed to pressure from the private sector, which was seeking ways to make money from the decision to make pensions compulsory with multiple funds, but in the end it has been to the detriment of many workers. Miller said it would have made much greater sense for everyone to pay into one pot. He said there would be nothing to stop those with the means to invest in other plans but if the basic 10% of all workers earnings had gone into one plan then the returns would have been better and moving employment would have had no detrimental impacts to pension fund members.

He said employers would have to start making health provision for those employees that retire or to put a stop to forced retirement .The independent MLA said there should be no mandatory retirement age, only a minimum age at which one can retire if one would like to. This, he added, would give people who are still willing and able to work a chance to accumulate more pension as well as keep earning for as long as possible.

Miller said that he did not have all of the answers on how the country would address this growing problem but the essential thing was to begin the debate and start assessing the real size of the problem.

A starting point, he said, would be more transparency, then the country can talk about viable solutions to help the community’s older citizens before it’s too late.

Category: Politics

Comments (132)

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  1. Unison says:

    Every human being is always dependent on others: a reality that should encourage empathy and inclusion.

    “One easily forgets that the relations among human beings are always relations of reciprocal dependence, which manifest themselves according to different degrees throughout the life of a person and become indispensable in situations of old age, illness, disability, and indeed suffering in general,” the Pope Francis said on Feb. 20, 2014 to members of the Pontifical Academy for Life in the Vatican.

    “This requires of all of us our efforts of necessary help through interpersonal as well as community relationships, in an attempt to answer the present need of these persons in their respective situations,” he urged.

    This to respond to a culture where “one encounters the tyrannical dominion forced upon us by a logic of economics that discounts, excludes, and at times even kills our elderly,” noted the Pope.

    Dr. Robert Buchanan, a Texas-based neurosurgeon and psychiatrist who also attended the Pontifical Academy for Life stated that the plight of the elderly must be considered as our own.

    “At some point in the normal aging process we all will have a decline. By decline I mean that we will confront limitations to how we can interact with our society and with others,” said Buchanan, who serves as member of the pontifical acedemy.

    “We all age, we all lose mental prowess, cognitive abilities, and we all die, eventually.”

    Buchanan was asked to present the “scientific principles” of cognitive decline, or dementia, in order to “provide a framework for the moralists and theologians and the other ethicists here to help put cognitive decline, all the way to the most severe forms of dementia, into a perspective: a moral perspective, (and) a theological perspective.”

    In turn, Buchanan hopes that the collaboration between science and ethics on this topic “will help not only academics but then the general population better deal with what is inevitable for all of us.”  

    “This will hopefully shed some light on the importance of personhood with people who are even the most severely demented people.”

    The Pope’s morning address also focused on the importance of recognizing the inherent dignity of the person, regardless of their age or diagnosis.

    “Health is certainly an important value, yet it does not determine a person’s value,” underscored the Pontiff. “The gravest deprivation experienced by the aged is not the weakening of one’s physical body, nor the disability that may result from this. Rather, it is the abandonment, exclusion and deprivation of love.”

    Buchanan noted that the temptation to such abandonment may increase as the number of elderly with healthy bodies but weak minds grows.

    “What we’re going to be confronted with in the future are many people living well into their 100s, with their brains still having similar problems that we have today in 2014. That opens up all of the concerns that are raising their ugly heads,” he remarked.

    “There will be a knee-jerk response by some in the media, some in the culture, to say that ‘grandma, grandpa, would be better off dead, wouldn’t they? Because their brains just don’t work and they’ve lost their sense of self, their sense of identity.’”
    ….

    Got this out from a Catholic Article.

    You know folks, some of the attitude I see from commenters are stemming from Individualism and Exclusion of others. It seems the more Cayman becomes money-focused and self-centered, is the more it disregards the wellbeing of its elderly and those in need. Let us rise above individualism and see that we are all interpersonal beings. Unison

    • Anonymous says:

      If you feel the moral imperative to sacrifice your hard earned income to fund those sitting on valuable real estate with their own families not contributing, so be it.  But morality and legal compulsion are not the same thing.  No-one should be compelled by the state, through taxation, to subsidise the lifestyles of the wealthy. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with the head line.  The more elderly I get the less "action" I am getting.

    I really do need more action.  You know like in my younger days!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Some say "generational land", others say "able to pay for their insurance".  Not sure why I should be taxed to pay for the healthcare of those that are richer than me because they want to keep land for their children. 

  4. bow n arrow says:

    Thank you Mr. Miller for exposing this little dangerous and dirty little secret. Many people retire with a little saving and no health insurance and sometimes no pension after working for 30 and in some cases 35 0r 40 years.Now they must use their little savings to pay medical bills at the hospital and sometimes encounter a staff that is sometimes insensitive and even abusive when you  tells them you have no health insurane, and you need to pay by instalment.If  you were not pensionable whilst working your cinico would be cancelled on retirement. People have their pride and don't need the disrespect of the HSA staff. So  at times they  delibeately refraining from seeking medical treatment for some non-life threatening illnesses. Going to social service for relief in not an option for some of these retired persons. There is a vaccum that is unfilled. How large it is is a good question.

  5. Anonymous says:

    More hot air from Ezzard. As he jumps on the next bandwagon without ever giving a SOLUTION. Ridiculous. Do something Miller. Actually DO something

  6. Turtle Stew says:

    Wow!!!! Tax the poor elderly, let their children pay for them,  sell their assists! Man you guys have no heart or sympathy for these poor people currently suffering. Kick a person whilst they are down…….  It's simple and small things as a nation we could do to assist these people that worked their asses off to make this country  today so we  can have a better way of life. For example today I was at fcib and saw they had a sign and a special line for senior citizens.  It's these small things we can do to show our appreciation. Well done fcib for showing as  a corporate organization  you recognized  these people  of our community – well done. 

  7. Anon says:

    National Health Insurance is the only hope for residents of these islands to have affordable health insurance coverage. The mechanism is in place, that is CINICO, and if Govt would operate that as a true health insurance company everyone would benefit. They should do the following:

    Allow anyone to apply for coverage, thereby receiving premiums from healthy persons as well as the "uninsurable", instead of just making CINICO the dumping ground for those persons who the private insurance companies do not want and will not accept for adequate coverage. In the big scheme of things, the population of The Cayman Islands do not even meet the criteria of a "large" group in most jurisdictions but the premium income for CINICO would increase tremendously and with more members the premium would come down and eventually be more affordable. They can offer varying plans, just like the private insurance companies do now. 

    CINICO would have to agree to cover services provided by private physicians as well as HSA. Yes, the private insurance companies may lay people off but CINICO will need them. 

    One thing is for sure, under the present arrangement (including the health insurance Law), private insurance will only become more expensive and will eventually be out of reach of the vast majority of residents, young and old. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    13:32 YOU ARE SO SAD

    People who made $4per hour needs to save. Save what? You sound like the typical slave driver who expect blood out of stone, get off your high horses and get with the program. Mr. Miller has a valid point and one that needs discussion.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes.  Of course.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We must either raise or abolish the mandatory retirement age. And come up with a workable health insurance scheme for retirees. Kudos to Mr Miller fo raising this issue. My parents are past retirement age and are stll working. They still have a mortgage to pay thanks to Ivan. And their private health insurance costs are huge. That's not to mention massive CUC bills, high food and gas prices, etc. Even with family members pooling resources to help out – it's tough.

    • Anonymous says:

      Everything has a consequence, if you allow people to stay in employment longer then it's harder for the young to get a job, if a company only needs 10 workers they aren't suddenly going to find a job for a new recruit without one retiring and freeing up a space.

      Retirement planning has to be done in your early years to have any meaningful retirement pot, the scheme has only been running 15 years and if you've contributed the minimum in those years you aren't going to be able to afford much and it shouldn't have come as a shock.

      As to one fund or several funds, you need to let people have some responsibility in their own future, if you have more than one fund you can apply to combine them, maybe educating people on what they need to think about is something that's lacking, but not offering options isn't the way to go.

      If that fails they can always run for office, isn't it 2 terms of 4 years that gets all MLA's 60 percent of their final salary as a pension for life – pretty sure I could live off 70k pa in retirment!

       

      • Anonymous says:
        During WWII they used to say that if women worked it would take jobs from young men wanting to enter the workforce. It didn't happen.  Your “lump of labour" theory, that  the total amount of work in an economy is fixed, is a fallacy. An economy will actually expand if there are more workers contributing.
         
        Mandatory retirement does not deprive younger people of the opportunity to find work: If you have got more people working at any age they will have more money to spend andcreate jobs for more people. Everybody loses if you force people out of work, when it is a growing proportion of the population. 
         
        Older workers with their high productivity honed by experience, will lessen the demand for social services, at the same time creating wealth within the economy.
      • Anonymous says:

        Mr Anonymous,

        I don,t normally repond to people who do not hve enough confidence in their opinion to attach their name but you are so misnformd tht I cannot leave your comments for others to condsider, Here is what MLAs get as pension afercontributing $930.0 per month 20 % 0f 2/3 0f their salary ifthey serve for fur years.

        In the Cayman context wth 60% of the jobs occupied by worp permit holders there is no nee to retire a Caymanian tomake space for another aymanian siply cancel a work permit

        Ezard Miller 

        • Anonymous says:

          You'd better watch out the real Ezzard Miller doesn't catch you impersonating him.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ezzard is talking nonsense as usual but what I notice is he is having the same crap problem with typing/posting as many of us. What is happening Wendy/Nicky?

        • Anonymous says:

          Please say it aint the real Ezzard !

           

        • Anonymous says:

          My mistake, I've been carrying that piece of mis-information for 20 years in my head. It's still very generous, you pay in 44k over 4 years to get a guaranteed 16k of income per year (increasing with inflation?), or at the very least you get the 4 years of contributions back after 3 years of retirement, in reality you will get back many multiples of the contributions made.  Everyone else who are paying into a defined contribution fund, the one that's mandatory, would get an income of probably less than 3k for the same contribution. 

          My point, perhaps flawed in the reality, is that there is already a huge disparity in what most of us can expect to what those in charge have arranged for themselves and paid for out of the same funds that could be supporting the average retiree.

          As to the getting rid of an expat so that you can keep a retiree in a job is a bit simple don't you think? If a retiree is useful and doing a good job at a reasonable cost to a company they will likely keep them on after the retirement age, just as a company will be employing an expat for a reason. 

           

           

      • Anonymous says:

        The reality, though, is that for most people, their expenses are higher when they are younger, as they are paying mortgages, raising children etc and salaries are at their lowest, so meaningful saving in their early years is very difficult. Most people do most of their saving for retirement in their later years.

        The retirement age in Cayman is ridiculously low, just like Greece (and look what happened to their economy). People need more time to save up for their retiremnet.

        My apologies for quoting from the experience in the UK, but it is a good example of a state pension scheme that has had to respond to the changes in world demographics (much of Europe is going through the same process).

        When state pensions were first introduced in the UK, around 1900, the retirement age was 70, when average life expectancy for men was 45. By the middle of the 20th Century, retirement age had been reduced to 65, with average life expectancy for men rising to 68.8, meaning that most people got two to three years of retirement. Nowadays, average life expectancy is greater than 82 (and Cayman is apparently slightly better better than the UK in that regard, by a couple of months), meaning that a pension has to support people for 15-20 years or more, which means that you need a lot more money than in earlier times.The response in the UK is to gradually raise the pension age over the next few years from 65 to 68 and also to recognise that you cannot refuse to employ somebody on the basis of their age, as this is a form of discrimination that is banned under the "any other status" clause of the ECHR. Many companies are actually finding that they benefit enormously from employing people with a well-proven work record and a tendency to get a good night's sleep and turn up for work in the morning without a hangover.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually the UK state pension is flawed, byt the time those in their 40's have retired there wil be nothing left for them to recieve, aftert paying into it for 50-60 years. It was even calculated that id the UK's demographics continue on their trend to keep paying pension and benefits to the elderly in 30 years time will equate to closs to 70-70% on those still working, just goggle it

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes – the system has challenges ahead – that's for certain. The UK pension scheme was well-intentioned, but poorly implemented (what do you expect from politicians). That's why the State Pension age is rising (it is currently planned to rise to 68, but many expect it to rise to 70 or more in future years. A lot of other changes are being made, in terms of the amount of contributions needed to qualify for a state pension (increasing) as well as simplifying the administration, to reduce the costs of running the scheme.

            In addition, a lot is being done to encourage people to save for themselves. Every business with more than5 employees now has to operate (as a minimum requirement), a "stake-holder"  pension scheme, with automatic opt-in for all employees (I may be wrong, but I think that it may apply to all businesses now, regardless of size). A stake-holder persion has to meet certain legal requirements (Annual charges must be less than 1.5% of the fund value, dropping to 1% after 10 years). There are a great number of these scemes availanle and the employer is free to choose which ones they want to use. In addition there are more sophisticated, managed schemes that are better suited to the more financially literate

            The UK system is in transition from a wholly state based system to one in which the burden is shared between the state and the individual. I would expect the burden to shift further towards the individual over the coming years, with the state pension being reserved for topping-up the pensions of those who have never earned enough to save up a meaningful amount, or whose investments failed and did not provide the promised benefits.

            The point I was making is that it is changing, in response to the demographic changes taking place in Britain. Many in Cayman don't even seem to realise that the demographic changes are happening. Retirement at 55 to 60 is an option only available to the wealthy and to force people out of productive work, just when they need to focus on saving as much as they can for their genuine old-age (which is closer to 75 these days than 55 or 65) is both short-sighted and thoughtless in terms of the national economy and cruel and unjust for the individual.
  11. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard. It is about time that this subject is talked about. However it is a very easy solution and is possible to achieve.

    All we have to do is get those Lazy hard back men and women collecting social services, to be forced to work and not just work but be effective citizens of the Cayman Islands. We should not be increasing the retirement age in order that older person can make a living after working so hard. Age 55 to 60 is enough work already.

    Let the young Lazy citizens understand what it means to be reliable and efficient in the work force. Let them earn their salaries like everyone else that have to wake up and go through the morning routines and work around our schedules to make a living. Enough with the Social services hands out for capable lazy young persons. Yes the elderly should receive automatic benefits such and pensions and health insurances from Government.

    Cayman is being ruined by too much dependency on government handouts. A single mother or father is notsingle by force but by choice. We are so caught up trying to rehabilitate the few criminal minded gangstas wanna be and giving them so many chances. Do not forget that we have hundreds of children in schools and good young men women that are trying to make a living and have not even been given a first chance. Some can’t even qualify for a house or Lot, due to the fact that they have live decent lives and refuse to have fatherless children for the deadbeats that out there breeding our beautiful young ladies.

    Social service can be used to assist our elders to have a life after 55 or 60, and not as mentioned having to still be contending in the ever changing workforce. And it’s bad enough to support Lazy born and bred Caymanians, but do we have to continue to give handouts to the imported lazy persons as well? Find the fathers of this set of people and make them work to support their children instead of turning them over to social services all the time.

    If someone reaches 55 or 60, its time to retire, but if they have no resources to do so, it is in reality taking up a spot for a younger capable person to fill. So we help the old and let the young able person work.  That we  can all  live with. Thats the way it should be.

    Young donkey men and women still up in mama house bout, "mama I hungry" and the poor old mother and or father have to be working to support such ignorance. cha man.

    • Anonymous says:

      55 is not old – it's early middle age – I'm 58 and I've barely got started on all the things I want to do – I certainly have no intention of retiring when I'm 60!

      Good grief – and you are talking about other people being lazy!

    • Anonymous says:

      55 are you f'in joking? You can retire by all  means at that age if you have the private funds to do it but do not expect the social to pay for you…unless of course you want to start living in a  Tax/NI based world…which you wont

  12. Anonymous says:

    You get what YOU pay for!

    Thats a fundamental rule, and nowhere more so than pensions. Worldwide, the systems that work are based on personal contribution through a working life, but here in Cayman, that suggestion is condemned as TAXATION, and so is turned down.

    Some years ago, I found myself summoned to a gathering of MLA's who had dreamt up a new tax, sorry, charge, that simply was not going to work. As I explained why it was ill conceived, I was called all manner of nasty things because to them it seemed their way out of a corner. In fact the only way out was far less comfortable, but yes, it was a suggestion that they should set up a fund  subscribed to by those that worked, so that the elderly or sick could benefit. One of the first to condemn it was, I am fairly sure, Mr Millar!

    Anyway, the truth remains the truth, the only schemes that work elsewhere are ones that relate contribution to benefit. If that isnt to your liking then you get all that you deserve, which is a fundamental truth!

    • Anonymous says:
       
      • Anonymous says:

        Your comments about pension funds are true, when related to the stupid system set up in, was it 2001? Small funds dont work because they dont have the "insurance" aspect of the bigger ones that spread market risks along with individual risks.

        As to your comments on who sneered at my suggestions, yes, I am fairly sure it included him, but it isnt of much consequence because the disapproval was genera! It happened like this. There was as usual a big budget shortfall, and the solution was to tax the gigantic bank balances they thought they had. I simply pointed out that the origin of those balances that made them an unlikely banking centre was itself a deposit tax, an insurance levy on New York overnight balances. The imposition of that tax caused the money to flee to Cayman would simply cause it to flee elsewhere, would thus achieve a return of nil, and ruin the assertion essential to the finance industry of "world confidence". I also pointed out that the transaction tax introduced the previous year had produced less than it cost to collect, and the response, I think from Mr Millar (!) was to call us bankers "greedy Ras", a new term for me!

        This undermined their easy solution, so, after the meeting I e mailed the then Health Minister and suggested a community charge such as the UK one, Island wide and charged at source to fund Health and pensions. He agreed, he thought it was wonderful, thanked me and brought it to his colleagues. That was all I heard apart from the general explosion about TAXATION will never come to the Cayman Islands.

        Its a shame , because if you look worldwide, you find either a system such as the one I describe, and it works, or you find nothing, as in Cayman, and guess what? That only produces a complaint that those that can afford it ignore those that cant. Thats why Government has to get a bit wiser, and use the only system that does work, and thats Caymans problem, where will it find the WISE politicians.

        As to Mr Millar, I rather agree with the poster above who poinbts out that he makes a lot oif noise, but does little.

    • M. says:

      Social Services need sustainable revenue to support the needy instead of having to ask government all the time for the allocation of funds which dry up ever so often, leaving those in dire need on a wait list. In my opinion that is rediculous!  For a modern country such as ours, we should be in par with the many nations that look out for the needy. What?  Is an increase in crime going to be a signal to us that we need to introduce a community tax, a sustainable revenue for our social services; or are we going to let things get worse and rely on private sector to the rescue?  Folks, wake up!  I am a Caymanian and I certainly know that a community will not hurt our banks like what the conservative doomsday people are saying.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    Can someone shed some light on a rumour that "Status Holders" are on the Social Service List? and some who hold the papers has also become a burden on the UK government., going up there, not working and get funding and housing free.  What is happening in these islands. You mean to tell me you get your papers to stay, behave, work and contribute to the country and you have become a "burden" instead. What a crying Shame! And children are being born in this situation, I wonder what will Cayman be like in the next 10 years. One thing for sure true born Caymanians are an endangered species and a fast dying generation.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's true plus all the foreigners that are marrying Caymanians are divorcing and Social Services are putting them up in houses and supporting them.

      • Anonymous says:

        And I was here thinking I was alone with this thinking? Facts are facts. Cayman has a high divorce rate, simply because it is so easy to get that stamp and stay below the radar for a few years, married or not. Too many imported burdens causing a problem in this Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        But by then they will be Caymanian unless you are a deep rooted racist.

        • Anonymous says:

          Racist is color not nationality.  And if they married to stay here why should social services be taking care of them?

          • Anonymous says:

            Article 1 of the Convention defines "racial discrimination" as

            …any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.[22]
    • Anonymous says:

      As a permit holder I have to say it makes no difference to me. My money is given to paper and true caymanians equally! Jeez

    • Anonymous says:

      Pure unadulterated racism.  This mentality is the cancer at the heart of the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      A "Status Holder" is, to all intents and purposes, a Caymanian citizen – it's only the fact that the Cayman Islands isclassed as a BOT that prevents it from being called what it really is (and yes – I'm aware of all the stuff to do with naturalisation  – but that's really more to do with UK Nationality than Caymanian). It's the duty of a Goverment to look after ALL it's citizens.

      So what you are saying, to paraphrase Animal Farm, is that some Caymanians are more equal than others

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm…no. You seem to miss the point that in order to have acquired status the person generally needs to have shown that they will be able to support themselves and their dependents. This raises a whole lot of questions if they cannot in fact.   

      • Anonymous says:

        A status holder is a person with another nationality who has acquired rights to live, work, own a business and vote here.   

      • Anonymous says:

        I think they are referring too those freeloaders from the infamous grants from politicaians.  You know those undeserving ones that had just gotten off teh plane two months before?  I know one of those families that got it and was instantly on social services.  I also know of a woman that was married to a druggies didn't live with him and had five children for other men.  She was on Social Services and got status too.  I'm positive that she didn't have status when she was getting social services assistance. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Well – unless the people of Cayman are prepared to address the issue of the status grants and how they were made, they have to just put up with the fact that these people are citizens and the duty of any Government is the protection of those whom they represent. A Government cannot discriminate against someone on the basis that they aren't a "real" citizen. Prosecute them for obtaining status by deception or bribery and strip them of that status by all means, but while they are a citizen, they are entitled to everything that all other citizens are entitled to.

    • Anonymous says:

      You nasty bigoted racist, you are a prime example of why this island is going to the dogs. Maybe the UK should turn round and say that OTs are a drain on their pursevand should be got rid of..

  14. Anonymous says:

    What is needed to stop this from becoming a bigger issue is for people to be more financially responsible.  Stop living above their means while they are working and engage in proper retirement planning so that they can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle beyond 60-65.

    Everyone knows that one day they have to stop working and there will be limited income so stop taking out loans with repayment plans that extend beyond the age of retirement. Budget properly for your retirement.  If you have assets that you do not require or plan on ever using (ex. property) either sell it or give it to the loved ones early on in stead of waiting until you pass on.

    • Anonymous says:

      My top tip of the day, is don't buy that facny new car you can't afford and will end up paying around 50% extra for after interest on the loan payments. Put the money into your pension fund.

      Frankly hitting retirement age with very little in the pot, just because you had to pretend to your friends and church congregation how weill you are doing, Is a disgrace.

      I know receptionists with brand new Tahoes all purchased via bank loans, who then complain they have no money every month. There is a serious lack of financial common sense in this country.

  15. Anonymous says:

    If  they did not save adequately for retirement don't come looking to me for money.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Someone should suggest taxing the expats, say 5%, but rather than calling it "tax", it could be called a "community enhancement fee".  I reckon it might catch on.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is called prejudice and abuse of human rights, go for it, would love to sue CIG

      • Anonymous says:

        There are many planes leaving daily.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh Christ, 17:31, Michael manley lives! And he did such a wonderful job of effing up Jamaica once and for all time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Obviously you are an expat. People like you are not welcomed here. Why don't you pack and leave? I guess not because Cayman is paradise for you. I can almost guarantee where you come from is a dump and you don't want to return to your own home. You have no shame. If you did you would be on the next flight out of here with a one way ticket.

        • Anonymous says:

          Do you mean the Caymanians that were originallly from Europe , N. Americans, Central America, South America, Phillipines, Africa should also all go back. I'm sure if we go back far enough we can find you a plane ticket back to your parents or grand parents country of origins.

           

           

           

        • Anonymous says:

          And if you were born here, remember to get you baby born in Miami so you can get all the goodies you can't scam from CIG from the US governmentwhen you ahve destroyed the environment here…

        • Anonymous says:

          Why is it that every time a rabid native has a go at an expat the assumption is that the expat either a) comes from a dump, b) cant hack it in their own country, c) wants to screw the island for all its worth, d) doesnt spend any money locally, e) is only here for status….so on and so forth.

          This is why there is a problem on this island…

    • Anonymous says:

      I fully agree. A community fee may help us get rid of some of them. Either way the government will be better off in terms of revenue.

      • Anonymous says:

        not meaning to punch holes in your logic but if "A community fee may help us get rid of some of them" the goverment would not only lose the said community taxbut also the 30,000 a year they recieve for WP fees. Add to that the reduced population and over supply of housing and the government recieves even less on duties and stamp duty.

        Then those that will leave will be those that send their children to prvate schools don't recieve any well fare and cost the country little.

        Add to that those who leave will be those bringing in al lot of the financial services revnue that will follow them to competitors, and even less fees collected by government

        SO "the government will be better off in terms of revenue." statement is completely wrong, their revenue will drop massively and quickly and at the same time thier expenses will not change.

        You see the problem.

        A tax on the right to vote, would be a far better idea.

  17. Anonymous says:

    As the government has made it clear to visiting workers that they have no long term interest in the well being of the Cayman Islands, forgive me if I don't care as long as no-one expects one cent of my income to go to this. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You're already paying in where you'll never take out. Wake up! Who do you think funds all of the boondoggles here?

  18. Savannah Resident says:

    This particular topic of discussion should be explored and engaged.  In my opinion our current Government continues to boast about paying down on the country's debt at the expense of all the residents.  The cost of living in our country is unsustainable.  No steps have been taken to reduce gas tax, health insurance cost and utilities fees.  Until action is taken to address the myriad of issues that plague this country, the dependence on social welfare will continue to grow. 

    Wake up people, our dependency on Children and Family Services is the highest it’s ever been.  Let us all come together and seek solutions to these problems. 

  19. Anonymous says:

    I believe Ezzard is running for the job of Premier and he has a long term plan using his OMOV strategy to break the power of the parties thus opening way for his obtaining the top job.

    Frm this position of power Ezzard can move the country toward independence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just so it's independent of him. 

    • Anonymous says:
       
       
  20. Anonymous says:

    Start taxing and say goodbye to the only marketable point of the Cayman Islands, and furthermore it is a slippery slope to put money in the hands of a government that has not proven it can manage its own funds. Watch the tax rate creep up with no accountability as to how that taxed money is spent.

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally agree.

      The reason so many elderly are struggling is because of the sky-high cost of living and the mafia called "health insurance". When is government going to step in and sort out those two issues? As long as there is no control over cost of living and health care, there is really no point to discuss this any further.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Umm, the government has already stepped in (or stuck their hand in). The oldest profession NEVER changes. They screw you and take your money. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Ummm.. usually it is they screw you and YOU take THEIR money in that profession. You may have got gypped on the deal.  Just Sayin'.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are only going to tax the expats. I would be happy for some of them to leave this island.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman already does tax the expats – what do you think a $30000 "work permit fee" is? A US H1 Visa costs $250 (the cost of processing it) and runs for 3 years.

  21. Anonymous says:

    No tax would be necessary if the accounting was transparent for government and statutory related organizations. There are enough corrupt practices and stolen funds that would more than enough be able to set up a fund to pay for the elderly. 

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      To:Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 19/02/2014 – 10:19.                                 Since you have evidence of "stolen funds that would more than enough be able to set up a fund to pay for the elderly" it is your civic duty to present such evidence to the opolice.Have you done this ,and are you willing to be a witness..

      • Anonymous says:

        13.44 a pompous and frankly stupid statement. The fiddling and failings of CIG and the CS are as plain to see as the nose on your face and the reason why clear accounts are not produced. Mr. Swarbuck needs more power to investigate and prosecute and I wonder why the Financial Crimes Unit is not involved more often to inestigate. Years travelling Easter Europe in their early days of independence showed me exactly the same behaviour, the protection of "interests" over protection of public funds.

    • Anonymous says:

      No doubt you are an expat. Regardless of government spending you should be taxed. So shut your mouth in our country or leave.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dont forget that the same expat you want out contributes to your pension fund…..

  22. Finance Boyo (expat) says:

    Health: What Ezzard wants is a national health plan or service and that can only be funded via significant increases in taxation – almost certainly based on ability to pay – so that would mean income tax. 

    To expect employers to maintain health cover for retired employees is pie-in-the-sky and is a naive comment at best. 

    Social Security: agree with the need for transparency and proper means testing. Elderly need to be supported by family where there are some.To much state assitance brings us back to a full social security scenario – funded by more taxes (probably income taxes).

    Pension: there needs to be competition amongst providers, so a single provider is not a solution. Why doesn't some bright spark open a pension switching service for a flat fee, to consolidate small pots for people? Or just consolidate them when you retiire.  

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Welcome to the real world, where a responsible society supports it's own and the disadvantaged.  There is nothing wrong with social healthcare and a properly organised welfare state, especially when so many are fortunate enough to earn excessive salaries, own property and inherit land.

      Just because the 'freedom' loving yanks think that a public healthcare system is the demise of capitalism and communism at the door, don't follow down their path of dictation by insurance markets and commercial interest. Caymanians must pay more into their own society, they must take responsibility for their own, (and that of their families) future.

      If you own, or are are due to inherit land or property that is in excess of reasonable ownership or residential need, then the state should force you to make a contribution to a social welfare system before you invest that money elsewhere. If you refuse to sell and sit on it hoping to avoid payments, then after 10 years you should be required to sell enough to contribute a minimum amount, (CI$50,000 to CI$100,000). If you do not have available financial assets, then a compulsory contribution should be taken at source from income to ensure a basic state pension.

      All residents and workers should be entitled to choose whatever pension plan they see fit to invest THIER money into. To have such a restrictive market is not helping anyone and actually encourages many to avoid poorly run and low return local policies. 

      Cayman simply cannot afford to rely on duty and visa payments in the long term, a wholesale reevaluation of income and the ability to pay must be forthcoming. Why should some Caymanians be allowed to amasse huge fortunes, whilst their own people, (very often their own employees) look forward to an uncertain future. It is unfair and unrealistic to heap more fees on expats earning less than CI$100,000 , (the vast majority) and struggling small businesses, make those who can afford it pay more. That is the sign of a fair and mature society.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why the mention the Caymanians? What about the foreigners in the accounting and law firms who are making the millions?

  23. Anonymous says:

    As a retired person with a retired spouse I would like to comment on this writing.

    We pay our health Insurance monthly and it takes a great chunck out of our budget. While I was employed , the employer used to pay half of this premium like everone else.

    Now, while retired and and on a hard budget, we have to pay the full premium. Can there be a small help from the government towards this? The senior citisens are being held at ransome by these just recently again hightened premiums.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think instead of allocating funds to upkeep our social programs and elderly welfare, we should move towards a sustainable revenue instead, and that would mean a welfare tax in place, across the board that everyone (expats and Caymanians) have to pay monthly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why did you not save more during you working lives?  Are you property owners?  If so having benefitted greatly from the increases in real estate prices in Cayman over the years, why do expect us to pay for you when you are asset rich?

    • Anonymous says:

      Besides the actual monthly premium, the issue is for many that they can't afford to pay out-of-pocket upfront and then wait for months to be reimbursed by insurance companies.

      From what I understand, doctors are supposed to accept insurance cards and file with the insurance companies directly. Apparently, the law was written rather vague and so many doctors don't follow this protocol and dentists have assumed it doesn't apply to them. This needs to be sorted asap!

      The current upfront cost people are expecedt to cover out of pocket for examination, blood work and other tests is mind boggling and prevents many from dealing with health issues when they arise. Instead of encouraging people (especially when they get a certain age) to have regular preventative health checks done, in Cayman one has to wait until it has turned into a medical emergency.

      Many insurance companies in Europe have long realized that paying 100% for preventative checks saves them millions in the long run.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Has someone said Tax?!

  25. Anonymous says:

    No public funds should be spent on the health care of anyone who owns land worth more than $100,000.  There are plenty of "poor" in Cayman who are sitting on large amounts of real estate. 

    • Anonymous says:

      100,000.00 in property is not "large amounts of real estate".  There is very little you can buy for 100,000.00 or under.

      • Finance Boyo (expat) says:

        Lifetime mortgages would do the trick. Owner and spouse have the right to remain in the property until 2nd death. No repayments during their lifetimes, and interest rolls-up. You obtain an "income" (actually small loans) based on the value of your real estate. You would only take a draw as and when it is needed, to keep the loan and interest as low as possible, and there is an underpinning guarantee that the loan+interest would never be greater than the value of the property.  Not a happy solution, but it works. Needs to be regulated to keep loan sharks and bad boys away.

      • Anonymous says:

        It's a pension pot though, and a damn good start.

      • Anonymous says:

        If medical services are provided via a state loan secured on real estate that does not matter.  I bet you would see far less scrounges and a lot more children and grandchildren offering to help.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid comment!! So people must have their homes taken away because they can't afford the high premiums once they have retired!! Do you know it costs about $100,000 or more to be treated for cancer. I totally agree with Ezzard, something needs to be done about this healthcare fiasco, you are forced to pay it while you are working but when you retire AND NEED IT MOST, you can't be properly covered or afford the high premiums!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Mostly this is family land handed down for generations.  What do you suggest the elderly people do? Sell the houses that they are living in?  Sell all the family land to foreigners?

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess you are wealthy and would like to rape them of their property so it can make you richer.

  26. United says:

    Please … people, its about time we consider a simple COMMUNITY TAX that has nothing to do with the banking/financial center nor will impose harm to the turnover of visitors to the country!  A simple earmarked tax directed at supporting the poor, elderly, and long-term unemployed. Moreover, I recommend like what the Chinese do – tye the tube of women who keep bringing babies into the world and can't take care of them!  I understand women up there can only have 2 children unless you are an upper class person who can show to the government you can have more. We don't need to adopt the U.S. way of doing – abortions!  Let's think smart. There are so many people here that before the next generation will become a financial and economic burden to the Cayman Islands.  

    • b5bi5 says:

      I agree with the tax thing – however i dont think they want to do what the chinese do … rather abortion

    • momma says:

      Tying ones tubes are taking away their right to birth!  The statement "We don't need to adopt the U.S. way of doing – abortions!"  What exactly does that mean?  The US does not make people have abortions, the Chinese make their people tie their tubes, or give up their child if they are over the limit.  

      The same problems exist in the U.S. with their retired folks.  Most of them get social security but it is not enough to cover theircost of living, insurance, etc.  Most retired go back to work for a low paying job just to cover their living expenses.  This is unacceptable as well!  There are not many places that worry about their retirees, but honestly a lot of them suffer.

      Maybe Cayman should think of their own way to solve this problem!! Let's not look at other countries for ideas, be unique!  How about supply some food from local farmers?  Assist with insurance costs? Get a reduced rate on utilities?  There are many possibilities but those in government don't want to help.

      Healthcare in the states is ridiculous and from what others are saying Obama really ruined it!  The cost went up and the care went down.  Don't learn from the US, learn from yourselves.  For people to NOT have to pay ANY taxes is ridiculous.  Think about what $.01 – .02 cents per dollar could do for those needing assistance.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        The old argument of "taking away their birth right". I believe this is an example of where society is going wroing- when individual rights trump what is better for the greater good for the majority? 

        A maximum of one child would be a step in the right direction of solving many issues facing Cayman. I commend China for what the action they have taken. 

        You are also mention many retired Americans receive social services. But you forgot an important part of this- in both the US and Canada, a majority of people have paid into 401K or old age security plans or the Canadian Pension Plans. This is the part the Cayman Islands are missing- they were late starting to contribute to pension plans and then many businesses have been unscrupulous in their contributions. There needs to be a national system that everyone pays into for the greater good of the whole, and not so individulaistic. 

         

        The bottom line- the more you want to depend on government for assistance (whether for single parents, retirees etc) it tells me that taxation is in your future. It is the only way I know of that will fund what you are asking for. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe that the experience of most countries is that the income tax rate needs to be around 5% just to cover the costs of running the tax collection system.

        Maybe "death duties" on your properties and capital assets would be a better system, as no-one is taxed in their own lifetime, though of course descendants would inherit less.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard I take my hat off to you this time! Thank you for your concern of our elderly people. May heart cry out when I think of the treatment of the elderly in this country, it is a crying shame. The elderly has been abused by their families and government help enduce the pain and suffering by paying no mind to the situation. What Social Services do is listen to the abusers and the poor elderly person is silenced. Some of the elderly unfortunately has gone on after suffering by the hands of those who take their pension, land, house and maintain their own lifestyle.  Government needs to seriously overhaul the "Social Services" the handouts are going to hard able body people who can "WORK" and make every excuse not to find a job.  That office is over staffed and the service is poor, unless you are one of their friends or connies.  Some Caymanians who are able and still willing to work are laid off at a certain age and their post are replaced with an older foreign person. This is heartbreaking for many Caymanians in their own country and no where to run, some resort to depression and after a long haul ends up a burden on government. Ezzard may you continue to press this urgent issue as many who mistreat our elderly, enjoy our shores, and send back home our CI dollars has the slightest clue that the foundation of The Cayman Islands was built by "our elderly", and we are proud of our heritage, thanks to our forefathers.

     

     

  28. anonymous says:

    Agreed! I endorse this message!  Good vision Ezzard!

     

  29. Anonymou says:

    Again the tail tries to wag the dog.

  30. Foreign Devil says:

    Where are the children and grand children of these people?

    • Anonymous says:

      They are waiting to inherit land and expect us to pay for their family so they can get rich.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can they afford to pay for high costs of healthcare, don't you people get how expensive operations/treatments are?!!!! There needs to be something put in place whereby when you retire you are still fully covered. Just one cancer treatment can cost close to $100,000!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Probbaly just as poor as the parents.  Poverty begets poverty.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mostly working their asses off and trying to stay afloat while also supporting their kids and trying to help their parents as much as possible – you judgmental git.

      • Foreign Devil says:

        Elderly ?

      • West Baya says:

        Working their asses off? not the buch of lazy ass caymanians running around robbing people…… You speak as if people are not suppose to work or take responsibility for their lives….. Your probably one of those that think government owes you something. 

    • anonymous says:

      I am not sure anyone knows who is related to who anymore.

  31. Google is your friend says:

    Sadly, this situation has gone ignored for far too long. What we need to do is stop focussing so much on the symptoms and try to cure the underlying cause.

    I think Mr. Miller has correctly identified at least one ailment and that is the failure of many businesses in Cayman to do right by theiremployees by adequately providing for their care during employment and also paying reasonable compensation to allow an employee to save for their post retirment care.

    I honestly believe education is one of the antibiotics that is going to help cure the patient, until Caymanians are better prepared to assume the positions that attract the level of compensation needed to live in these Islands, we will continue to these types of social problems and by extension, the Government costs that go along wih it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the few times I have ever agreed with Mr. Miller but he is right on this one. The country is headed for a big problem because a significant portion of the population will end up having to be supported by government if somethingis not done.   

  33. Anonymous says:

    He is so right! Daily I see people who have contributed so much time and hardwork into building up these islands in the hey day. But now, look at the thanks they get? Enough to get Wendy’s value meal. This is shameful. I say let the people work as long as they are able and want to. No wonder our retirement community is being buried now only a daily basis. These people are being neglected.

  34. Turtle Stew says:

    This is something I have been an advocate for during the last political campaign and it fell on deaf ears with many many empty promises. 

    What I don't understand is the reason for companies not wanting  to employ anyone beyond age 60 if they are healthy, able and willing?  For example my aunt retired from  a company 2 years  ago.  She receives  $450 from pension and her mortgage is $790 per month. Unfortunately she did not have home insurance as the costs to properly insurance her home was too expensive. then Ivan came and blew everything away and what was not blown away, was soaked.  She had no choice but  to remortgage her home to rebuild. then 9 years later, she was forced to retire and still has this liability over her head.

    She has been trying for the past two years everyday to gain employment so  she can meet her expenses and the companies that do respond, advised she's too old. Thank God as a  family  we try to pool together to assist with her living expenses. But this becoming burdensome as we have families too and are faced  with our own financial challenges. CUC, food bill, gas, property insurances and so on are so expensive that we are struggling to make ends meet. Further more if we haveexhausted our  surplus funds on our aunt, then when we retire we will be faced with the same issues too and then it will be full circle on our society.

    Something  needs to be done. Why can't we continue to work if we are able to? Let's face it we all can't be lawyers, doctors, and accountants that makes millions each year.  There needs to be garbage collectors, mechanics,  cashiers , etc.. in every society  and have the opportunity if possible retire with some dignity and to be dependent on government each month is absurd  and laws are needed on the books to protect the likes of people like my aunt, my brother,  my wife and myself.

    i pray that mr. Premier now turns his attention to this festering issue as it is just as important as the rest of issues he and his fellow colleagues have been flying around the world attending to.

    my mother always taught me charity begins at home. So give my aunt an opportunity for her to have some dignity for the rest of her remaining life. 

    Ps. she has been working in the hospitality industry then in banking for the past  42 years and to  see her like this makes me ashamed to be called a caymanian. As I see it, she helped built this country for all that come to our shores to  live and enjoy this beautiful place. For her to take hand outs or to become a burden to society  goes against her belief and she only want the right  and opportunity to support herself. It's an unfortunate place to be in. However, there are many more in this predicament and those that are not faced with it now, it will happen soon if changes are not forthcoming to protect our senior citizens of this country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry to hear about that unfortunate situation. Your aunt should look in to selling her house to pay off the mortgage and buy something smaller.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Solutions:

    -Income tax on salaies over 100k per year.

    -Property tax on property owned by non-residents.

    -100% tax on cars above 50k.

    -Doubling fees on international banking (money laundering).

    -Wave business license fees for companies less than 5 employees.

    -10% tax on business revenues. 20% for real estate brokers and insurance companies.

    -The job of MLA and minister becomes a voluntary job.

    After that, we can afford free healthcare for everybody and pension for the elderly.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you? MAD?!

    • Anonymous says:

      After that, there will be nothing left of Cayman..

    • Anonymous says:

      First off, I'll bet you conveniently do not fall into any of these categories or else you would not be asking for these rediculous taxes..

      -Income tax onsalaries over 100k per year.( In order for Taxation to be effective you need to tax everyone not just a select few )

      -Property tax on property owned by non-residents. ( They would all put their properties on the market and flood the market )

      -100% tax on cars above 50k.( This is just stupid, So you pay 50K for a Car and then have a 50K tax on it no one would buy them killing the market of luxury cars)

      -Doubling fees on international banking (money laundering). (Again this would kill the banking industry, An the day of Laudering money in the Cayman island is long gone)

      -Wave business license fees for companies less than 5 employees. ( How does this generate tax revenue ?)

      -10% tax on business revenues. 20% for real estate brokers and insurance companies. ( On one hand you save wave the fees for companies with 5 employees, but now say add a 10% Tax on their revenues, This along with your 20% Tax on Real Estate brokers would just raise prices on everything because the tax would be passed on to the customer.

      -The job of MLA and minister becomes a voluntary job. ( Great Idea or at least lower their salaries )

    • Anonymous says:

      or maybe implementing the recommendations of the miller shaw report………zzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      You must be mad!!  Then how will the MLAs and Ministers pay their bills if they are to volunteer their services.  your comment does not really merit a response but I just could not ignore you.

  36. Comon cents says:

    These are caymanian parents. Where are their children and families?

    • Anonymous says:

      Define "Caymanian"…

      We all accept that the "Natives" have long-been otunumebred bu the New Caymanians.

      Regardles, whether it is Aunt Sally, the retired former helper with Caymanian status, or Uncle Joe, the retirement Caymanian mariner, this retiremnt / pensions photo needs careful scrutiny!

      I do agree, tho, that it needs to start with a rebalancing of all pensions/salaries — btu, start with those that MLAs voted for Themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Northward.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure a lot of 60 and over people would like to work part time. Full time of 40 plus hours a week is intensive doing physical work. It is in these times we would want to spend with our love ones our waning lives. 

    Problem one is medical insurance no matter how healthy you feel something could be working against you. We don't what it is and sometimes the doctors don't know or misses it. Why charge more premium and sign waivers? They will not pay for the illness or operation. We still have cherry picking it has not gone away. We are now just paying more for the privilege of telling someone yes I have medical insurance.

    How many old people are gaining weight, getting high blood pressure, possible diabetes, cataracts, teeth decay, and so many other problems that can cause people to get infected or die? Shouldn't they have like what is offered in the states? Medicare? Can't it be under CI $200?

    Why can't they have small 2bedroom houses where only old people can buy in a scenic area close to stores , hospital or clinic, a pool and activities in a quiet area. Without it having to be a pines type of setup? Someplace where one could still claim their privacy? Just an old man thinking about his future. 

  38. Anonymous says:

    One of the disgraceful aspects of this whole problem that needs to be brought out into the open and debated (and Ezzard will not do it because it makes Caymanians look bad) is the abandonment of the elderly by their own family even in situations where there are multiple family members earning salary. They would rather Government looked after them so they don't lose any of their money. I and many others could give names but CNS would not print them.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I am not a fan of Mr. Miller but in this case I agree across the board with the exception that there should be the ability to pay into private pension funds with avc's so that a person does  not put all of their eggs in one basket and by no means do I want to see one national pension fund that does not have checks and balances all over the place given government's track record and I would also expect a level playing field I.e. civil service must pay a portion of their pension instead of private sector in essence covering it.

    I also am very much in favor of no mandatory retirement age.  I fortunately work for a company that employs everyone from 18 to currently 81 and it works very well.

    as to health insurance unless we go to a national health care scheme you will tank the private sector if you force them to deal with retired employees that was CINICO's mandate.

    These are valid points but let us hope it is not yet another committee that finds a solution never to be implemented!

  40. Anonymous says:

    So Ezzard wants more money for pensions and healthcare, an admirable goal in a modern society. However, this is Ezzard we're talking about, and knowing him he has an agenda. If I were a betting man I'd put money on him wanting to raise expat pension and healthcare contributions to pay for his plan. He definitely won't want Caymanians to pay for their own futures or to support their elderly through a fair system of welfare taxation, he would rather force those wicked foreigners he despises so much to pay instead.

    The day is coming Cayman when a choice will have to be made, pay more or expect less. If you raise expat contributions many will leave, cash in their pot and cause a funding crisis, the result being high levels of poverty in old age. If you do not release their funds they will either withhold payments or not come here in the first place. This might suit Ezzard and his walking dead followers, but it will soon become apparent how much this country needs expat contributions, spending power and investment.

    The only real alternative is to implement a proper welfare system, paid for through fair income taxation. Why are you investing your money into commercial enterprises to eventually pay for government services. Why not invest in the government to support the economy and provide a cost effective welfare system for all?

    Insurance company's are leaches that feed off our need for help and support. Find a way of slim lining the whole procedure so that everyone fairly contributes to a state pot that ensures a basic level of income for all. On that point I agree with Ezzard, the system is too secretive and complicated, with far too much money filtered off into the commercial aether. But, I don't trust Ezzard to do the fair thing, he will want something for nothing, as always. 

  41. Anonymous says:

    Agreed Sir Ezzard.  You and i dont really take tea but you are so right on this one.

    I have been working for the past 35 years and in two pension plans, and with less than a decade away from retirement, I cant see how it will be possible.

    THis really worrysome for people who have worked hard their whole life.