EIGHT WEEKS into the initial phase of Government’s retrenchment programme, the pressure has begun to build up at the Welfare Department, a key strand of the national social safety net.
Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett told the House of Assembly yesterday some victims of the attrition process started in January had been seen at the department which, despite criticisms of the staff and service, continued to be the first port of call for cushioning the impact of poverty and deprivation.
He noted that the department’s spending had been calculated on its exact needs given the current trend and also on Government’s planned redundancies.
“And persons from within the first group affected have already made contact with the department for assistance – those workers who were involved in the National Environment Enhancement Programme (NEEP), and some other retrenched workers, we are seeing them presenting to the Welfare Department,” he said.
“And because of that we have included $500 000 in this particular supplementary when they present to the department.”