NIDS is one more wasteful number

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I have some deep reservations about the imposition of the proposed National Identification System (NIDS). Chief among them is the thought that this is a scheme to put those individuals now waiting in line to collect on the judgement made by the court, or based on mediation, may just drop dead while waiting on an inefficient and ineffective system that continues to disrespect the Jamaican people.

Why so many numbers?

1. There is one number that is applied to our birth certificates; this number is recorded for us to be issued a passport.

2. There is the National Insurance Scheme number as well, which links automatically with the National Housing Trust (NHT) and makes no provision for a beneficiary designation, hence there is a conglomerate of challenges for 'next of kin' to access NHT contribution refunds in the event of the death of a contributor.

3. There is the Taxpayer Registration Number. This, to my mind, is the sensible option for standardising this numbers game.

4. There is the voter registration number. This apparently provides an additional bread basket for some souls.

Now we are being forced against all reasonableness to get involved with this NIDS foolishness — New Inconsiderate Dupe System.

The projected cost to the people of this country is $8.7 billion, all while we are unable to effectively fund our health-care programme; we are unable to pay public sector workers a decent and liveable wage; we are unable to provide those who have served with a meaningful pension, the exception being those who make the rules.

Additionally, we are unable to settle on a timely basis with our local creditors, funds owed for goods and services, and we are not told what it will cost the nation when we add 15 per cent for overruns, plus the interest to be applied over the life of this imposition.

With whom are we partnering? I hope it is not the country that has an irrational and erratic head of state.

Clive W Savage

porkrum@hotmail.com

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