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Increase Cost of Living support


The Opposition New Democratic Party is calling on the Government to increase the Cost-of-Living Support (COLS) announced by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves recently.{{more}}

On Thursday, March 27, while addressing Parliament, the Prime Minister said that beginning the end of April 2008, five categories of persons will be paid an additional $20 per month to offset the rising cost of living.

According to the Prime Minister, the measure will affect over 12,000 persons made up of those on the government-funded monthly Public Assistance Programme, all National Insurance Service (NIS) non-contributory old-age pensioners, NIS contributory pensioners who are paid $75 or less weekly, persons who receive invalidity benefits at the NIS and certain lower-level daily-paid workers.

However, on Tuesday April 8, the NDP said that “the increase is too small and the impact will do nothing to help those poor and working among us to make their ends meet”. They called for the Government to give a

“proper increase” of not less than $50.

The release, from NDP PRO Vynette Frederick, claims that “The government has been overly generous to 9 people, paying them almost one million dollars for doing nothing, while the poor and working class continue to suffer.”

They propose that until administrative and operational waste and excesses are curbed, “the poor among us will never know relief.”