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  • Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says since taking office, the Government has significantly increased its support for the poor and vulnerable.
  • He informed that the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) budget has been increased by 47 per cent, with the programme’s budget now at $11.7 billion.

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says since taking office, the Government has significantly increased its support for the poor and vulnerable.

Closing the 2017/18 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 22, Mr. Shaw said his views are supported by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI), a well-respected Think Tank.

“The protection of the poor will continue to be a priority of the Government. It is a conscious policy track while we also improve the environment for businesses to grow and to create jobs. It is not just a passive declared love for the poor that is needed. You must also demonstrate by actions, as we are doing, that you can help change their lives for the better,” Mr. Shaw said.

He informed that the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) budget has been increased by 47 per cent, with the programme’s budget now at $11.7 billion.

The PATH school-feeding programme is also being expanded by increasing the expenditure and the number of days on which lunch is provided to student beneficiaries.

Mr. Shaw indicated during his opening Budget presentation on March 9 that the allocation for the programme has increased by $1.75 billion to $4.75 billion.

Other improvements in the social safety net benefits include an additional $1.9 billion for the PATH Conditional Cash Grants, representing a 40 per cent increase.

This additional sum will enable the Labour and Social Security Ministry to increase grants to beneficiaries by 30 per cent, effective April 1.