The revised National Policy for Senior Citizens, to provide adequate social safety net protection, is to be tabled as a White Paper in the Houses of Parliament, following approval by Cabinet.
A White Paper is an official document outlining the Government’s policy on a matter to be brought before Parliament. It expresses a clear Government policy framework or intent by the Government to pass a law.
Speaking at Wednesday’s (July 7) virtual post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, said that the revision of the policy is in keeping with the commitment of the Government to implement a comprehensive Social Protection Strategy, including adequate safety nets and a social protection floor that mitigates the risks to economic and social development”.
She pointed out that in Jamaica, the cohort of persons 60 years and over is growing and is projected to account for 16 per cent of the population by 2030 and 22 per cent by 2050.
“Persons in this cohort demand greater levels of goods and services, specifically from the Government,” she said.
Mrs. Williams further noted that given the significant informality in the labour market and the fact that many older persons would not have contributed to a pension scheme, there is a high prevalence of poverty within this group.
She pointed out that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will be studying the existing legislation, global best practices and an analysis of the local situation with a view to developing legislation for the care and protection of the elderly.
The policy will be implemented over a period of 10 years and the National Council for Senior Citizens will be responsible for monitoring its execution and associated programmes.