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Cabinet has approved an increase of EC$5 for Public Assistance recipients who receive EC$275 monthly.
The additional amount is to ensure that they are not disadvantaged when using the newly implemented reloadable automated teller machines (ATM) cards, acting Prime Minister Montgomery Daniel said. 

Daniel announced at a press conference on Friday.

He said the switch by the Ministry of National Mobilisation, from cash payments to the reloadable ATM card payments will allow recipients to withdraw all of their money, if they so wish.

This is in light of the fact that ATMs only issue 20, 50 and 100-dollar notes.

The cash method of payment cost the state EC$22,290 monthly or EC$267,480 per year, Daniel said. 

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He said the approval by Cabinet seeks to sustain the new payment method that will save the government EC$833 monthly or an average of EC$10,000 annually. 

“It’s important to note that this is indeed a savings to the government. Therefore, the Ministry of Social Development will be looking at a smoother transition to the reloadable card payments for public assistance beneficiaries which is necessary to reduce the operating expenses and risks associated with the cash method,” Daniel said.

The acting prime minister said the new payment method will be cost effective and will also provide financial freedom opportunities for the beneficiaries. 

He said the government is offering a safer way for the beneficiaries of Public Assistance to receive the pay-outs monthly . 

Daniel also thanked Minister of Social Development, Orando Brewster and his ministry officials for the work they have been doing in meeting the social needs of the disadvantaged, as well as the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines for being a part of the new service delivery. 

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