No NIS deductions for working Venezuelans

Thou­sands of Venezue­lan mi­grants are ex­pect­ed to en­ter the coun­try’s work­force fol­low­ing Gov­ern­ment’s re­cent reg­is­tra­tion pol­i­cy pro­gramme and while em­ploy­ment will pro­vide many with the life­line need­ed dur­ing their stay, no mea­sures have been im­ple­ment­ed by the gov­ern­ment for the state’s cof­fers to reap any ben­e­fits.

Speak­ing at Thurs­day’s post-cab­i­net news brief­ing Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley stat­ed that a de­ci­sion had been tak­en to ex­empt reg­is­tered na­tion­als from pay­ing NIS con­tri­bu­tions, “we’ve tak­en some steps, one, to make them not re­quired to be reg­is­tered for NIS so they won’t claim ben­e­fits for NIS and since their win­dow of op­por­tu­ni­ty is one year we don’t think they are to be reg­is­trants and have NIS de­duct­ed from their earn­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Prime Min­is­ter, it is most like­ly that many who man­age to land a job will be earn­ing un­der the tax­able fig­ure of six thou­sand dol­lars.

He said, “Most of these peo­ple are go­ing to be cov­ered by the non-tax arrange­ment, let’s face it very few of these will be earn­ing more than six thou­sand dol­lars and if there is a qual­i­fied Venezue­lan who has a job earn­ing more than that then pay your tax.”

Even pri­or to the gov­ern­ment’s amnesty there had been pub­lic dis­qui­et over the im­pact of a Venezue­lan in­flux to the coun­try’s econ­o­my.

While some quar­ters in so­ci­ety sup­port the gov­ern­ment’s po­si­tion, there are those who are fear­ful of the con­se­quences.

Dr Row­ley not­ed the suc­cess of the cur­rent pol­i­cy de­spite some mi­nor re­port­ed hic­cups, es­pe­cial­ly at the south reg­is­tra­tion cen­ter.

He al­so lashed out at per­sons con­demn­ing the move to as­sist the mi­grants and by ex­ten­sion aug­ment its mi­gra­tion pol­i­cy.

He said, “I see a lot of peo­ple tak­ing is­sue with what we are do­ing, I’m not see­ing their al­ter­na­tive po­si­tions be­cause there is none, I want to re­mind you we trans­port­ed eight Venezue­lans here who agreed to be trans­port­ed out of the de­ten­tion cen­ter and I no­ticed the same set of voic­es had a lot to say both on the na­tion­al and in­ter­na­tion­al lev­el so you send them back home it is a big noise, those who are here we keep them and make arrange­ments, you don’t want them here, all I’m say­ing dif­fer­ent peo­ple have dif­fer­ent voic­es.”

Mean­while Dr Row­ley re­in­forced gov­ern­ment’s po­si­tion that it will not be ac­cept­ing any for­eign fi­nan­cial aid to as­sist with the Venezue­lans flee­ing so­cial, po­lit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic cri­sis in their home­land, “if there are prop­er arrange­ments es­pe­cial­ly through the UN for deal­ing with peo­ple dis­placed this way with­out strings we are not afraid of we will con­sid­er it, but those who come run­ning with grants to en­cour­age us to run refugee camps, thanks but no thanks”, said the Prime Min­is­ter.

Reporter: Jesse Ramdeo

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