Articles

Fri 26th Nov 2010

Under a Green government every man and woman will get a monthly state pension of $500 for life from aged 60

A Green government will abolish poor relief and bring in legislation to create a $500 monthly state pension for life, to every man and woman from aged 60, regardless of their economic position.

The $500 monthly pension will provide a good standard of living to all older citizens of SVG aged over 60. The monthly pension will guarantee a fair distribution of our beloved country's wealth to older people.

A Green government will tax the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan and amend the SVG Fish Act 2001 to create a joint venture fishing and fish processing industry. This will create new annual revenue of hundreds of millions of dollars for the SVG Treasury to fund the new pension scheme and other Green policies.

One wonders if the ULP government actually value older people or simply regard older people as a burden to our society. Older people are not a burden to our society, they are a blessing to our society. It is older people who built our society, and we should thank them for gaining our independence from the colonial British. Older people should be respected.

What kind of society are we living in, where older people who have given their lifetime to warmly build our country, must beg to get poor relief, whereas immorally, both the ULP and NDP have given blanket tax and customs exemptions, mounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, who are here to coldly profit from our country? Is this fair?

A Green government will introduce a decent pension of $500 a month so older people can plan their finances and not worry about bills they need to pay. This $500 monthly pension will help eradicate poverty in SVG amongst older people. Begging will no longer have to be a way of life for disadvantaged senior citizens.

Old age need not be considered a period of inactivity. Under the ULP, older people have been one of the greatest untapped resources of our society, possibly because this ULP government has viewed them as a burden, rather than seeing them as able to contribute to society as citizens, consumers and individuals.

In the UK, the over 50s are important consumers, owning up to 80% of national wealth. They also provide vital support across generations: if the unpaid care of grandparents in the UK was provided by paid child-minders, it would cost around £3.9 billion every year. Likewise, here in SVG, older people play a significant role in caring for grandchildren.

An SVG Green Party government will: assist elderly people to continue to live in their own home when they are unable to cope on their own; provide free electricity and water to elderly households; ensure protection from loneliness, malnutrition, and chronic diseases; and provide free health care and medicines to maintain their independence, mobility and ability to be active citizens.

We call for elderly people to work with a Green government and be involved in planning the policies and services which affect them. We must combat the age discrimination that has persisted under the ULP regime. SVG needs a new direction and social change to create equality.

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