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Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says that a review of the National Policy for Senior Citizens is among the key responses that must be undertaken by the administration to ensure that adequate provisions are made for the nation’s elderly.

Making his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Tuesday, June 4, Mr. Kellier pointed out that the 2011 population census, conducted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), showed that Jamaica’s population is ageing rapidly.

“Data from the census indicates that there are 305,163 persons aged 60 years and older, in Jamaica. This represents approximately 11.3 per cent of the total population of almost 2.7 million. It is projected that by the year 2050, the elderly population will reach 25 per cent of the total population,” the Minister informed.

He advised that the Ministry has been monitoring these “demographic variations” for “some time”, and has been constantly reviewing and adapting the relevant programmes and services to mitigate the impact of the ageing population on the country’s ability to provide effective social protection for the citizens.

He noted that the current policy was tabled by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller in 1997, when she had responsibility for the labour portfolio, and it is “critical” for it to be reviewed at this time.

“The review of the policy will also ensure that the laws of Jamaica are consistent with the conventions and instruments that are currently being crafted in the international arena, and is a strategic action in keeping with the medium term framework of the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan,” Mr. Kellier added.

Contact: Douglas McIntosh