by Zena Henry
The government has increased old age pension by $4000, while public assistance has grown by $600. This revelation came during the 2015 Budget speech.
He said that, From September 1, every pensioner will benefit equally from a monthly pension of $17,000, a 30 percent increase on the present amount of $13,125. “Every pensioner, whether he resides in Morawhanna Village in the North or Waiwoi Village in the South, whether in Kawa Valley in the North Pakaraimas or right here in Hadfield Street, in Georgetown, or resident in the Palms Home for Elderly in Brickdam, each will receive $17,000 monthly to assist in meeting their basic needs.”
He went on to say that, “We have not forgotten those in difficult circumstances. They will see a 10 percent increase in their public assistance, rising from $5,900 to $6,500 monthly, effective September 1, 2015.”
The minister informed that over 9,360 men and women who are disabled or economically and medically disadvantaged will benefit.
As it stands, 42,397 persons are over 65 years old. He said in determining the quantum of the increase, “we were cognizant of the need to end the current discriminatory approach to accessing old age pension benefits.”
He mentioned that currently, only 30 percent of pensioners benefit from an electricity subsidy which commenced under the old administration. This requires either proof of ownership of property or registered tenancy of property. “A similar discriminatory practice is in the provision of the subsidy for water services; where only 62 percent of the registered pensioners benefit to the exclusion of over 16,000 pensioners.”
“This must end!” Jordan exclaimed, stating that “all of our pensioners must benefit equally from whatever is being shared.” In response to the numerous requests by our senior citizens for an improvement in their pensions, he said these changes were made.