Sun | Jul 25, 2021

Letter of the Day | Use NHT surplus to boost paltry pensions

Published:Thursday | January 17, 2019 | 12:00 AM


Having watched the current debate on TVJ regarding the minimum wage vs liveable wage, permit me to add my two cents.

Most persons have come down on the side that the current $7,000 weekly minimum wage is not liveable. While this may be so, many persons have been placed in a position of having to hustle to supplement this sum.

However, while this is an avenue for some, others, by choice, have decided to settle for the paltry $7,000 and make do as best they can.

I, however, urge those involved with the implementation of the minimum wage to spare a thought for the poor pensioners.

True, they received an increase last year, but there are many who earn less than half the minimum wage ($3,500) per fortnight!

They, too, have to pay GCT on items purchased, just like all others.

Recently, at a Christmas treat for the elderly in Portmore, South St Catherine Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson declared his intention to take a bill to Parliament to assist with the plight of our senior citizens.

I would like to proffer the following suggestion for Mr Jackson's consideration in making his pitch.




Scores of senior citizens contributed to the National Housing Trust (NHT) and never benefited by way of owning a home.

Instead of using funds from the Trust to assist with Budget shortfalls and bailouts, as was the case with Outameni, why not do so to supplement the meagre fortnightly disbursement to our pensioners to a minimum of $5,000 fortnightly?

I am willing to bet this will be far less than the billions raided annually to make up the Budget shortfall.

With at least $10,000 monthly, our pensioners would be in a much better place than they are now.

After all, one of the ways by which a society is judged is how it takes care of its elderly.