Dominica pays up to $800,000 per month to make life for seniors over 70 more comfortable.
Dominica’s head of government says he is proud of what has been accomplished for the socially and economically vulnerable of the island.
In 2016, the sum was raised from $200 to $300.
Hon Skerrit is satisfied that under his leadership, these non-contributing pensioners can enjoy financial independence.
“Every month I say we spent $800,000 dollars providing this allowance to our people 70 and older and notwithstanding the challenges which we are facing we continue to make it available because we know how important it is to those who are receiving it.”
He added, “For years, for decades, we heard senior citizens complain, ‘I worked on the roads, I built schools, I built roads with pickaxes and we worked hard… [but] as a senior citizen I have no pension’.”
Hon Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was speaking specifically of the Senior’s Pension Programme launched in 2014 for individuals 70 years and over who do not qualify for state pensions.
“It took us, this government, to introduce a program that provides a monthly something to citizens who did not contribute to the Dominica Social Security or the Providence Fund to sufficiently to have a pension today.
“As small as the $300 may be to some people in this country, it can buy some groceries when the month comes, we can pay our top up on our lights (electricity bill) and we can pay our water bill and live decent and dignified lives.”