NATION

$13 Million Allocated For Social Pension Scheme

The 2016 budget has increased funding for the Social Pension Scheme from $8 million to $13m. The new age criteria for the Social Pension Scheme (SPS) will come into effect
17 Nov 2015 09:26
$13 Million Allocated For Social Pension Scheme
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar (middle), with members of senior citizen home. Photo: Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation

The 2016 budget has increased funding for the Social Pension Scheme from $8 million to $13m.
The new age criteria for the Social Pension Scheme (SPS) will come into effect next July which will enable more senior citizens to benefit from the Scheme.
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar says the eligibility criteria for the Social Pension Scheme would be reduced to 66 years, next year.
“As of July next year, the eligibility age for SPS will be reduced from 68 years to 66 years.
“Currently a total of 15,707 senior citizens are assisted through the Social Pension Scheme. Of this, 3604 are senior citizens who have been assisted this year with the reduced age criteria to 68 years that came to effect as of July 2015. And with the new age eligibility criteria to 66 years next year, we expecting more senior citizens to benefit from the Scheme,” Minister Akbar said.
Ms Akbar elaborated that a new role for the Ministry next year would also include the management of age care homes in Fiji.
“The Ministry has also been allocated $901,500 in 2016 for the operations of the three senior citizens home in Labasa, Lautoka and Samabula.
“Senior citizens belong with their families and certainly not on the streets or the care institutions for that matter. When we take up the age care homes next year, the Ministry will ensure that it doesn’t become a dumping ground for the people who have aged.
The Ministry has also received an allocation of $200,000 for the National Council of Older Persons to widely support the empowerment programmes for senior citizens in Fiji.

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