Minister Brantley recently posted on facebook that jobs had increased in Nevis under CCM in coalition with Team Unity. He quoted job statistics of the Social Security Board in support of the claim. Hon Joseph Parry, leader of the opposition NRP in Nevis described the data as “jumbie maths”.
Parry and the NRP dispute this job data on subjective qualitative data: when he walks around Nevis, he sees no economic activity and he sees very few young people working. He challenged readers to contact Social Security concerning the data.
The Observer took up Mr Parry’s challenge and contacted the Social Security Board. This is what we learnt.
According to our source, 2016 was a record year for the institution, one in which they collected more money than in previous years in contributions and paid out the highest amount ever in benefits. In fact, we were told that for the past 7-8 years, each year has seen improvement on the previous year.
We learnt that there were 231 employers in Nevis in 2016 who employed 5,387 persons on average, per month compared to the 204 employers who hired 5,335 workers on average per month in 2015. On top of that, some persons were multi-jobbing because the number of jobs recorded in 2016 was 5,735 as opposed to the 5,651 of 2015. The 2016 payday was good too, averaging $17.43M in 2016 compared to $17.05M of 2015. There are 543 reporting self employed persons for 2016, down marginally from the 55 of 2015; but the self employed payments to Social Security in 2016 was up by 8%.
Overall, therefore, it appears that Mr Parry is wrong; and that Team Unity has reaped rewards for Nevis and Nevisians over and above that which was already reported.
Readers may recall that the Labour Administration (which included the NRP) made very disparaging remarks about the first $10M tranche that was sent to Nevis. Readers may also recall that the NRP would have to resort to borrowing from the SIDF while St Kitts got grants.
Fairness for all may have finally come to Nevis. It is time for renewal!