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$7.5m Allocatd For Social Safety Net Reform

By CELESTE NIXON

Tribune Staff Reporter

cnixon@tribunemedia.net

THE government will allocate $7.5 million towards necessary social safety net reform, Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin announced.

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Melanie Griffin

During a speech in the House of Assembly, Mrs Griffin said the government will table a resolution to borrow $7.5 million for the Inter-American Development Bank for the sole purpose of developing a Social Service Safety Net Project intended to strengthen and modernise social services in the Bahamas.

She said: “I rise to make my communication with regard to Social Safety Net Reform and I wish to declare that a new day is dawning on the delivery of social services.

“We are on the verge of a real breakthrough in our social safety net system which we believe will bring social services into the 21st century and as noted in our Charter of Governance, see a country where all citizens are economically empowered to provide for themselves and their families and have equal opportunity to access services that will enhance the basic quality of life for all.”

Following an assessment of the current social safety net, Mrs Griffin said it was found that rationalisation of existing programmes and improved co-ordination is needed.

Currently, programmes rely on inefficient targeting mechanisms, delivery is inconsistent, information and monitoring systems are weak, policies and procedures are not properly documented, National Insurance reform is needed and the safety net is not helping those who need it most, she said.

“The findings clearly showed the need for social safety net reform,” she said. “The current delivery of social assistance is labour intensive and highly subjective.”

According to Mrs Griffin, the social safety net reform will include consolidation of social services programmes, improved targeting and the introduction of a Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme.

Mrs Griffin said CCT is an integral part of the project which “targets the poor, provides a cash grant and requires households to comply with health and education conditions primarily on part of children in the household.”

Institutional analysis and strengthening of the Department of Social Services will also take place, she said. 

With many families on welfare from one generation to another, Mrs Griffin said, “along with the introduction of the Conditional Cash Transfer this has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of social services and break the cycle of poverty for so many struggling families in our country”.

Comments

concernedcitizen 9 years, 4 months ago

so now we are going to pay no good niks,mostly supporters , to make sure their kids go to school to get a cert of completion ,,greece here we come

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Concerned 9 years, 4 months ago

Minister Melanie Griffin, how can you just give poor people a truck load of money and then say that they will be held accountable for how it is spent. Just what.... most poor people are poor because they can't manage the money they have. This is by far one of the most stupid ideas I have heard this government come up with. First we clearing overgrown yards of supporters and promising to rebuild them a brand new one and now when we're done we will throw a bag of money at them. I bet Urban Renewal will be given the overall responsibility of identifying and disbursing the money.

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Shirley 9 years, 3 months ago

While giving away free money the good minister should encourage the poor to use birth control and stop having children they cannot afford to take care of. They should also be motivated to help themselves and not sit back and wait for government hand-outs. This culture of dependency must be done away with.

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concernedcitizen 9 years, 3 months ago

this is like welfare in the states ,where they pay women to basically have children out of wedlock ..what you end up with is generations of political supporters paid for from the treasury ..

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