Budget 2019: Increase in value of food cards, disability grants
An increase in disability grants and the food card value are some of the “goodies” which were announced by Finance Minister Colm Imbert during his budget presentation on Monday.
Imbert said the increases are geared to bringing relief to the most vulnerable in society.
The food card value will be increased by $100 and will take effect from January 2019.
“I propose to increase the values of the food card for the most vulnerable in society. For households with 1-3 persons from $410 to $510 per month. For households with 4-5 persons from $550 a month to $650 dollars a month. For households with six or more persons from $700 a month to $800 a month,” the Finance Minister announced.
He said the increase in the value of the food card will cost $22.9 million.
Imbert noted that 18,000 persons were removed from the Food Card Programme for cheating.
The Minister added applicants are reviewed every six months to ensure they do not stay on the Food Card Programme longer than they have to.
This, he said has resulted in millions being saved by the government.
The Finance Minister also announced increases in the disability grants.
He said the age eligibility for the disability grant will be removed to allow disabled and special needs children under the age of 18 to access the grant.
“We propose to remove the age eligibility for the disability grant to allow children under the age of 18 to access the grant. Currently 1024 disabled and special needs children receive grants of $800 under the special child grant and $1150 under the public assistance grant. I propose to cease payments under these two other outdated grants and to bring these recipients under the disability grant with an increased monthly grant of $1500,” he revealed.
The Finance Minister also announced an increase in the disability grant to citizens 18 years and over from the current $1800 to $2000 a month.
The public assistance grant will also be increased by $150.
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