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Tuesday 20 August 2019
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Proof of life

Minister of the People and Social Development Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh yesterday revealed his plans to abolish the ministry’s current system of the life certificate exercise.

The exercise requires elderly persons, 65 and older, to visit social welfare offices to sign a certificate to prove they are alive so they can receive their pension.

Describing the system as “repulsive” Ramadharsingh, at Direct Effect launch at Spree Simon Relief Centre in John John, Laventille said the legal unit in the ministry is assisting in removing the system.

“The days of a life certificate are numbered, we will get social welfare officers to go to the homes of the elderly and get their fingerprint.

“You are a human being, you must not be persecuted because you have reached a ripe old age. To prove you are alive to get your pension is repulsive. How could governments preside over that? You can measure a government by the way it treats the children, the sick and the elderly and we will abolish the life certificate with laws,” Ramadharsingh said.

He added that the ministry will also make every social welfare office accessible to persons in wheelchairs.

At the launch, the minister presented families with housing repair grants, food cards and wheelchairs.

He said when he visited the area a few weeks ago, he saw some of the most “horrific scenes” within the community.

“We saw a home with seven children, none of them going to school, the mother was unable to put food on the table. Today, we have brought wheelchairs, food cards, grants and empowerment tools for the people of John John to chip away the obstacles that have confronted you,” he said.

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