NATION

Voucher Payment Changes: Akbar

The next collection of food vouchers will be done at all social welfare offices starting next Tuesday January 6, 2015. The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar
03 Jan 2015 11:11
Voucher Payment Changes: Akbar

The next collection of food vouchers will be done at all social welfare offices starting next Tuesday January 6, 2015.

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar said changes would be made to different social welfare allowances from this month.

Changes:

– Food voucher payment will increase from $30 to $50 as of January, 2015

– Poverty benefit scheme allowances particularly those receiving $60, their monthly allowances will be reduced by $10

– Monthly payment under the social pension scheme will also increase from $30 to $50 from January 2015.

“We are reminding clients to bring in their identification cards for the collection of the food vouchers,” said Ms Akbar.

Currently, Ms Akbar said they were assisting more than 18,000 people through the poverty benefit scheme allowances.

As part of Government’s reforms, the age eligibility for the scheme would be reduced from 70 to 68 from July 2015.

“This will provide pensions for persons aged 68 years and over who do not have any form of income or pension or who have never been beneficiaries of any superannuation schemes like Fiji National Provident Fund, After Care Fund and Ex-Servicemen,” said Ms Akbar.

She said they were assisting 11,615 senior citizens through the scheme.

“The three other major social welfare programs namely, the Care and Protection, Bus Fare Subsidy and the Welfare Graduation Programme will also continue in 2015.”

She said the disabled and elderly aged 60 years and above would also continue to be assisted with an allocation of $150,000 for the bus fare subsidies to ease the costs of travel.

“Currently 42,475 individuals continue to be assisted by this initiative.”

Ms Akbar said the Care and Protection Program had a budgetary allocation of $2 million.

“This allowance provides for the care and support of children of single mothers, prisoners, those cared for by family members or guardians and children in residential homes.”

She said it also catered for children living with disabilities.

“Currently, there are more than 5000 children benefiting from this programme and the ministry expects the number to increase as awareness spreads about the assistance that is available.”

Ms Akbar said the Fijian Government had also allocated $500,000 for the Welfare to Workfare Programme in the national 2015 Budget.

“The programme provides skills training opportunities and start-up capital to able-bodied social welfare recipients to venture into income-generating projects and small businesses.”

In 2014 alone, she said the lives of 200 families had been transformed by putting them on a path towards self-sufficiency.

“The 2015 budget aims to expand those opportunities to many more families,” she said.

Feedback: zafiya.shamim@fijisun.com.fj

 



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