August 8th, 2023
As the leader of the Opposition, I am always appreciative when the Government takes the advice of my colleagues and myself on the Opposition benches.
On several occasions this year, we have asked Premier Panton and the Government to increase the Ex-gratia payment of $950 per month to $1,500. Most of those receiving the assistance are elderly with little income and rely on this help to survive each month.
During the Progressives’ tenure in Government, the payment was raised from $500 to $950. This assistance needed to increase further due to the dramatic increases in food and everyday costs. I repeated that request in a letter I wrote to the Premier on July 13th.
The announcement that the Government has now, at last, agreed to increase the assistance to some of our most needy from $950 to $1,250 per month is a very good start.
I am grateful that the Government has listened and agreed that an increase was warranted. Our elderly and needy will undoubtedly welcome the added help.
I pray that at the budget session in Parliament, the Government will provide for a further increase to at least $1,500. We, in the Opposition, will certainly be calling for it.