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Welfare grants going up


CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Welfare grants going up

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The rising cost of living, among other things, has prompted Government to increase its welfare grants to the less fortunate.
The grant for children will move from $35 to $45 per week leading to overall additional cost of $982 800 a year.  In addition there was an increase in the amount for food vouchers.                    
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler said the Welfare Department felt that the increase two years ago and the decrease in the number of children on the roll, did not merit an increase in the welfare grant for children.
“However bearing in mind the proposed increase in the VAT, rising cost of living and the concerns regarding nutritional needs and given the link between childhood obesity and chronic diseases in adulthood, a small increase could be useful,” he said.
The department had also noted an increase in requests for food vouchers. The amount expended at November 11, 2010 was $155 525 while the last financial year total expenditure on food vouchers was $206 456.
“Given the indication that the recession will be protracted and also bearing in mind the consequential effects of Disasters such as Hurricane Tomas, resulting in increased requests for food vouchers, an additional provision of $200,000 for food vouchers for the financial year should assist in this regard,” he said. (AC)
 

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