The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security will by the end of this year, bring easier access to residents of hinterland and remote areas by taking old age pension directly to the villages.
Traditionally, in the hinterland regions, citizens are required to travel lengthy distances to the nearest post office to receive their payments.
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud said the Ministry has already embarked on direct payments to persons who are unable to personally collect their pensions.
She further noted that works are in the pipelines to allow other eligible persons to access their pension in their villages.
“Direct payment comes in two forms; one, to those who are in shut-in conditions, maybe they’re bed -ridden, we take the pension to them and the second one that we’re still working on is taking the payments directly to you in your villages,” she said.
Additionally, the Minister noted that it is imperative that the Ministry work in collaboration with village leaders to make this initiative a reality.
She pointed out that platforms such as the National Toshaos Council (NTC) are important to address the issues faced by residents.
“I feel that this platform gives us an opportunity to make our services more efficient and effective by working with you to see how we can better serve, and have better systems so that we can make all of our promises in the manifesto a reality,” she noted.
Also, as promised, to ease the cost of living on the elderly, government increased the Old Age Pension in 2021 from $20,500 to $25,000. This was later increased in 2022 from $25,000 to $28,000, placing an additional $2.3 billion of disposable income in the pockets of 65,000 pensioners.
In terms of public assistance, Dr. Persaud said government has allocated $500 million to hinterland and riverine areas. This has benefited 3, 000 residents.
Apart from this, the ministry is providing assistive aids to persons living with disabilities. These include wheelchairs, walking canes and hearing aids.
In the area of training, a number of citizens have already been trained in professional care for the elderly, children and patients. Further, through the Women Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN) programme, over 500 women in hinterland regions are set to benefit from training opportunities during this year.