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Sen. Carlos James interacts with senior citizens at the luncheon.
Sen. Carlos James interacts with senior citizens at the luncheon.
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Government Senator, Carlos James has called for greater focus to be placed on the elderly.

James made the call while addressing a ceremony to honour senior citizens in the North Leeward constituency at the Cumberland recreational site last Sunday.

James, while lauding the government’s efforts in increasing Public Assistance and implementing initiatives such as the Lives to Live programme, said that the country must double its efforts in providing the necessary support for seniors, particularly in rural communities.

He said the government spends over EC$18 million annually on varying forms of public assistance, but a number of seniors are still not able to benefit as the welfare programme is open to abuse.

“Close to 6,000 Vincentians receive Public Assistance and while that figure is appalling it is even more appalling that quite a number of those persons may not necessarily meet the criteria for the very assistance they receive or there are cases of double-dipping, and while we grapple with this we can indentify eligible persons who are having difficulty getting assistance,” James said.

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Seniors luncheon1
Persons interact at the luncheon.

James further noted that the flagship Lives to Live programme is one of the most important social programmes the government must find resources to continue.

“We have experienced vastly improved living standards and naturally we are going to see a growing ageing population. Our social development planners are now pressed to do more to grapple with these changes as the dynamics are very much different from decades ago,” he said.

James noted that despite people living longer and healthier lives due to significantly reduce levels of indigence there are still pockets of indigence particularly in rural communities.

“In the year 2017, there are still seniors using outside bathrooms. We must double our efforts and find the resources to resolve these inconveniences. We have to properly provide for our seniors because as a society we are measured by how we treat our most vulnerable,” the senator said.

The senior citizens Christmas luncheon saw over two dozen persons being recognised for their service and contribution to their respective communities in North Leeward.

“You have served your communities well and this luncheon symbolises our appreciation and love for you. We appreciate your contribution towards building stronger communities in North Leeward,” James said.

3 replies on “Deputy Speaker calls for greater focus on the elderly”

  1. Rafael Stefania says:

    You may think that I criticize the language in the SVG newspapers while I make spelling mistakes in my comments. The point that I am trying to make is that you, are a bonafide news outlet and should be more professional. How else do you expect people (outside your bubble) to respect you?

    But the remarks of the minister, (“James further noted that the flagship Lives to Live programme is one of the most important social programmes the government must find resources to continue.”) is what I want to comment on.

    I hope that he means that the government should include this in their budget. But this sounds to me like he is telling the people that the government does have the money or that they don’t have the will. Frankly, it sounds as if the government doesn’t have their affairs in order.

    There is much to be done there in SVG and fast. We need a compulsory education law soon. Otherwise, our future will be in limbo.

  2. Ricardo Francis says:

    Carlos James’ and the ULP’s integrity and ethics can be found in the rubbish heap of arrogance. I will never give credence to anything that they say without questioning the history, purpose, and ultimate agenda to be executed and satisfied. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a country full of moral, ethical and social bankruptcy.

    There is the dictator who is the writer, the editor, the producer and the financier of any and all activities, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the name of Ralph Gonsalves.

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a young democracy, that is still trying to find maturity internally and externally. We have men and women on either side of the political fence manipulating the public to advance their own personal agendas, to unjustly enrich themselves at the public purse.

    I ask those who are consumed with grammatical constructs to refrain from editing my contributions on this blog. I take the high road in the mist of adversity and political roadblocks manufactured to destabilize and demobilize me.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making.

  3. Roland Matthews says:

    Talk about hypocrisy. The elderly persons in Pito who were/are on the “lives to live program” are still waiting for their toilets to be completed, after two years.

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