GIS – 20 June, 2018: One of Government’s priorities is to work towards further reducing the gap between the rich and the poor and incentivise people to work. Budget 2018-2019 makes a total provision of Rs 760 million for poverty alleviation and empowerment of the poor and vulnerable groups as sustainable economic growth and economic development cannot be achieved without the integration of the population, social justice and economic empowerment.
In order to improve outcomes from the funds utilised to combat poverty and alleviate social problems, a coordinated approach with regard to disbursement of funds to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) will be introduced. The National Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Foundation will be the central body to receive and allocate public funds to NGOs.
As regards the CSR, private firms will have to remit, as from January 2019, 75 percent of their CSR contribution to the Mauritius Revenue Authority, as announced two years ago. However, for CSR programmes which have already started and which are in accordance with the guidelines set by the National CSR Foundation, firms will be allowed, upon approval by the Foundation, to retain an additional amount of up to 25 percent.
The Budget also makes provision for reinforcing the Case Management Approach under the Empowerment Support Scheme in the Marshall Plan as follows:
- the number of social field workers will be doubled to sixty
- the unemployed who are benefiting from training and placement opportunities will henceforth be offered start-up tool kits to enable them to practice and work on their own and to start a business
- a housing unit will be constructed for some 200 families who have land but not the means to build a house
It is recalled that a monthly subsistence allowance is granted to some 6 400 individuals who are on the Social Register of Mauritius so as to completely eradicate absolute poverty in the country.
Furthermore, the Negative Income Tax regime was introduced last year for all working individuals earning less than Rs 9 900 monthly. This measure is supporting some 75 000 working individuals. Government also implemented the National Minimum Wage to ensure that no individual is paid a meagre salary for the work he/she is performing.
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