GIS - 14 June, 2019: The strengthening of social protection being the core focus of Government’s agenda, the Social Security Budget has been increased by 86 % over the last four years. Hence, with the aim of ensuring the well-being of citizens who are striving to face and escape the difficulties and vicissitudes of life, Budget 2019-2020 has earmarked Rs 27 billion for key social security policies.
One key policy is to provide financial support to the elderly to build up a steady and predictable stream of income in retirement years, hence a substantial increase of the Old Age Pension of Rs 500 as from January 2020, bringing the monthly pension to Rs 6,710. Moreover, Budget 2019-2020 makes provision for a major Governmental initiative, that is the issuance of two Silver Bonds offering an annual interest rate of 5.5 % to increase return on their savings and also to encourage savings towards retirement.
Other measures to enhance the life of the elderly comprise:
· an increase in the monthly carer’s allowance from Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,500 for some 23,000 bedridden pensioners;
· extending domiciliary visits of doctors to bedridden persons of 60 years and above;
· improving leisure and recreation facilities for which a grant of Rs 15 million for renovation works at the 3 Recreational Centres , the completion of a fourth Recreational Centre at Riambel, as well as free
· access to public swimming pools to promote greater participation in physical activities; and
· an increase in the annual grant to the Senior Citizens Council by Rs 500,000.
Furthermore, the Budget lays emphasis on Government’s determination to empower families under the Social Register of Mauritius. Measures to this end include: provision for the extension of the school premium to tertiary students who will benefit from a one-off grant of Rs 40,000 and the transition of the 5,000 families who are presently benefitting from Social Aid, to the Marshall Plan Social Contract Scheme, so that they benefit from substantially higher support under the SRM.
Additionally, Budget 2019-2020 makes provision for organisations which are involved in social work and help in the shaping and preserving of the social and moral fabric of the society. In this line, grants to religious bodies is increased by 10 % from Rs 85 million to Rs 93 million. The monthly grant for the maintenance of their buildings is being doubled in the same vein for Residential Care Homes eligible under the Social Aid Act. . As for NGOs , the grant-in-aid is increased by 10 %, and they will be classified as community based NGOs and NGO d’Utilité Publique to maximise their role and effectiveness.
Moreover, the National CSR Foundation (NCSRF) will be transformed into a National Social Inclusion Foundation with a new Charter and will identify National Programmes for better impact on poverty alleviation.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: email@example.com Website: http://gis.govmu.org Mobile App: Search Gov