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  • These funds are being made available through an allotment of $5.3 billion to the Social Protection Project II in the 2014/15 Estimates of Expenditure.
  • This follows a previous increment in August last year, which saw the elderly under PATH receiving a 67 per cent increase in benefits.
  • The increase in benefits is one of the anticipated targets for fiscal year 2014/15 under the Social Protection Project II.

Effective October this year, approximately 330,000 beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) are expected to receive an additional 15 per cent increase in payments.

These funds are being made available through an allotment of $5.3 billion to the Social Protection Project II in the 2014/15 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.

This follows a previous increment in August last year, which saw the elderly under PATH receiving a 67 per cent increase in benefits. All other categories of beneficiaries received an increase of 15 per cent.

The increase in benefits is one of the anticipated targets for fiscal year 2014/15 under the Social Protection Project II, which seeks to further improve the effectiveness of PATH, the Government’s flagship social protection initiative aimed at delivering benefits through the provision of cash transfers, and interventions geared toward developing human capital in the poorest and most vulnerable groups in the society.

It is also expected that following Cabinet’s approval, a Social Protection Strategy will be launched. This is in addition to the formulation of a Poverty Reduction Policy and Programme; enactment of legislation incorporating policy proposed in the White Paper on Public Sector Pension; and the formulation of a National Policy on Senior Citizens.

Other targets include the introduction and implementation of a graduation strategy for PATH families from a recertification exercise; introduction and implementation of a transportation allowance for non-compliant students to improve compliance rates; development and implementation of an Earnings Database for the Public Sector; design and implementation of the Steps-to-Work Management Information System (MIS) database; and undertaking a study on the transition and opportunity for the deaf in Jamaica.

The project sets out to enhance the work of PATH by providing benefits designed to motivate educational attainment and retention in secondary schools; developing a structured system to assist working age members of PATH households to seek and retain meaningful employment; enabling a comprehensive analysis/review of the public sector pensions, improving systems administration, and building capacity for public sector pensions reform; and developing a coherent social protection strategy.

Financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the Government, the initiative which is being implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, is scheduled to run from April 2014 to March 2018.