EDITOR, The Tribune.
This is an open letter to Ministers Brent Symonette and Dionisio d’Aguilar,
You are the only people that I know in this struggling little government, so you are it.
I know you will see Peter Turnquest tomorrow so please pass this on.
I was delighted to be granted a work permit for a housekeeper, and thank you for that Brent. Very professional and modern plastic card with photo, etc.
I was so delighted that I immediately completed the application for an NIB card for the new employee, got the requirements off the application (need passport and work permit), ticked those boxes and off I went to the Fox Hill sub-station this morning (January 22).
A few people were in the customer chairs and I looked around and the guy at the information desk was not there, but someone in the customer chairs, relaxed with arms outstretched over the other chairs, asked if he could “help” me.
Oh, I said eagerly, “yes”. “I am here to get a National Insurance card for a new employee”. You could see the angst disappear from his face as he says “oh, you gotta go to Blue Hill Road for that” . (He wasn’t going to have to leave that comfy chair after all ). I said in disbelief “Blue Hill Road? You want me to go to Blue Hill Rd?“ “Oh yes,” he says, “and you have to take the employee as well!” “So, I have to take a day off my work, and she has to take a day off working for me, to get registered?” “Oh yes, because they have to take the employee picture and then it has to go upstairs to audit.”
Now hold on I’m thinking! I am registering to pay the NIB money and they don’t trust me? I have the person’s passport and work permit but I still have to go out to Blue Hill Rd. Do they think I might bribe someone in order to register this person, to pay them money every week? Why would I have to go to Blue Hill Rd?
Now, brother Brent, maybe you can amend that legislation so that the employee, gaining a work permit by default, is also registered with National Insurance by default. And tell Mr Turnquest that they could save a lot of money by sending those employees at Fox Hill home, and closing that office.
Please ask Mr Turnquest to send someone to see me at 165 Eastern Rd. where he can take the photo of the permit holder. Alternately, he can access your immigration system to get the photo copy that is on her nice plastic immigration card and then he can deliver the NIB card to me at the same address.
I left the building, singing in my mind, the words of the Simon and Garfunkel hit song “My Little Town” ! and the very Poignant chorus - “Nothing but the Dead and Dying back in my little town.” X 2
BRUCE G. RAINE
January 22, 2018