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  • The Government has increased the allocation for social protection programmes to $29 billion for the 2016/17 fiscal year, which is $2 billion more than the previous period.
  • Portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, said the increase is to ensure that the provisions made to assist the most vulnerable are not eroded by inflation.
  • “With this enabling framework, the Government will embrace every opportunity to move poor and vulnerable families from dependence to self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods."

The Government has increased the allocation for social protection programmes to $29 billion for the 2016/17 fiscal year, which is $2 billion more than the previous period.

Of this amount, $6.5 billion is for the provision of safety net initiatives through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, representing a nine per cent increase.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, said the increase is to ensure that the provisions made to assist the most vulnerable are not eroded by inflation.

“This will go a far way in consolidating the gains we have made so far in tackling poverty and advancing prosperity through social protection,” she said.

Mrs. Robinson was making her contribution to the 2016/17 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 28.

She informed the House that a Social Protection Floor is being developed through the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), which will establish a minimum guaranteed level of social provision for the poor and vulnerable.

Recommendations will be sent to Cabinet for approval by the end of the fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Robinson said that this year, the Ministry will be providing a package of social services for approximately 2,500 families on the Programme for Advancement through Health and Education (PATH).

“To achieve greater impact, financial assistance along with more targeted and streamlined interventions to get families out of poverty will be provided,” she told the House.

The package of social services will increase access to housing solutions in collaboration with Food For The Poor; tertiary education, continuing education and skills development; career counselling,  job-readiness preparation and employment opportunities; business development training and appropriate financial assistance for viable ventures.

 

“With this enabling framework, the Government will embrace every opportunity to move poor and vulnerable families from dependence to self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods. We will build the resilience of poor families and we will truly break the intergenerational cycle of poverty,” the Minister said.