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Griffin Warns Of Poverty Rise

photo

Melanie Griffin

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

SOCIAL Services Minister Melanie Griffin has revealed an alarming rise in poverty in the Bahamas.

Just two weeks into the new academic year, the minister told The Tribune there has been a substantial increase in reliance on government assistance to feed and equip children for school.

So far, 1,606 families have requested uniform assistance for just over 3,500 children.

Mrs Griffin added that there is also a higher demand for emergency food stamps – a relief system that is growing.

The minister explained that the situation is a direct result of the current state of the economy.

“With all that I have just said, we still have requests coming in. And from what we could see definitely we are about 200 over what we had last year in terms of uniform assistance,” she said.

“There is still a lot of need out there and we are doing our best.

“No government can do it all by themselves and the situation has been quite intense, so there is a lot of need.”

More and more schools have also said that there was an increase in the need to provide not only lunch, but now also breakfast for students.

Last year, there were 1,200 students on the government’s lunch programme in New Providence alone.

“We had to get further funding of just over $5 million, just alone for food, and that’s not even lunch,” Mrs Griffin said. 

“In the summer, emergency food stamps are becoming more and more prevalent. The recovery is there, but it is pretty slow.

“We have also learned that while the government provides a lunch programme, more and more educators are indicating that there is a need for breakfast for children.”

On Wednesday, three guidance counsellors from the TG Glover, Albury Sayles and Woodcock Primary Schools estimated that this school year had seen the highest number of students needing assistance than ever before.

At each of their schools, they described children as threadbare, in need of school supplies and not having enough food.

They appealed to corporate Bahamas and private citizens to partner with the government to assist children who are in need.

Comments

HarryWyckoff 7 years ago

Now add 15% to every item of food that these families need to survive.

Throw in a dramatic rise in unemployment when business have to close to to massive rises in costs due to VAT and business license increases....

What Ms Griffin is seeing now is the calm before the storm....

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banker 7 years ago

The connection is this:
1) Rise in poverty 2) Rise in crime 3) Rise in government debt 4) Rise in unemployment 5) Rise in flight of capital from Bahamas

Bad moon is rising.

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My5Cents 7 years ago

subsidize vasectomies heavily..these people need to stop having children they can't take care of..one or two by accident is okay but when you have 5 children and didn't have no job from the first one something wrong

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tonymontana 7 years ago

As a father of 1 with a degree in /engineering , this struggle is real , just the other day i was tempted to apply for unemployment which i believe is due me for my many contributions to the NIB system. Pride and pride alone stopped me at the door , thank you lord for a fishing line and some sustenance farming i have going on . things are tough out their and unless this thing turns around , some ( not me ) may have to turn to other means to make it right for their families , /these government guys have free gas , free car , and a meal allowance , why cant they give back or let some thing go . i would love to see every one in the government that get these perks give them up and have it sent to social service, ear marked just to feeding the poor , I say again the poor will only look in your bread window for oh so long then , then when the hunger pains set in beware the pang .

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TalRussell 7 years ago

Do we really want to develop a Bahamaland where its citizens are dependant on the political party in power to "give" them financial assistance. Comrades there's a real danger for a nation whose social services are a financial assistance package, offered for life? Hubert gave the largest financial "handout" of any government in Bahamaland's long history. But they singled out the civil service workers and left the poor stranded. The truth is that the only time the politicians seem willing to hand over cash to the poor, is when they keep trying to buy their votes at election time. And, don't even go there, that the reds are above buying votes OK.

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banker 7 years ago

Look below for the real man in the Bahamas.

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banker 7 years ago

This is for TalRussell

Supermanhttp://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b31..." title="Superman" />

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concernedcitizen 7 years ago

@Banker ,,oh boy you get set off Tals OCD again ..One of the features of his OCD is relentless bashing of politicians that no longer hold offices.

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TalRussell 7 years ago

Comrades believe me when I say to you that there's absolutely nothing bouncy or humorous when it comes to the drastic rise in the tens of thousands of families who have moved down over the past 5 years from the middle classes to join the ranks of the poor. I really don't care a damn, if you're a Hubert as PM or a PM Christie. When both of these PM's meet St. Peter at the gold-plated gateway to Heaven, what will they tell him when he asks each of them; "what did you do for the poor when you were Bahamaland's PM's?" It will do them no good to talk about how each of them had encouraged the Chinese to open Baha Mar, or to have allowed the nation's shipping capitalists to relocated to Arawak Cay, or attempts to turn the numbers rackets into legitimate web shops. Do you really think St. Peter is not go'in to ask both former PM's, about the roles they each played in licensing for the drilling for sludge oil in Bahamaland's waters?

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John 7 years ago

Close to 2000 persons who were employed on government's capital development projects this time last year are no longer employed as these projects have been completed. Several more hundred persons who had a little government job here or there have been laid off or let go becaues there is no money to pay them. Private sector has layed off workers or let some go because there is another downturn in the economy that started as early as February. Many private companies have jitters about what the VAT will do not only to their bottom line but to the survivorability of their business Of the several thousand students that finished high school, more than half are still unemployed. What is the solution to this blooming economic and social crisis?...your (PLP) government would love to know. How to create sustainable jobs.

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SP 7 years ago

Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin seems surprised of the fast growing reliance on government assistance.

This is a direct result of the Idiotic, dumb FNM policy of selling $40M in work permits to over 25,000 foreign blue collar workers.

Blue collar workers are the backbone of an economy base on the sheer volume of them, whose "spend trickles up" through an economy.

Remove indigenous blue collar workers or displace them with foreign workers that "do not spend locally" and the economy crumble from the bottom up, as we are now experiencing.

The double whammy that will very soon become undeniably evident, is these foreign blue collar workers not only do not spend in the local economy, they also repatriate most of their earning to home countries in U.S. currency, putting extreme pressure on foreign reserves.

No wonder the IMF, S&P and Moody’s' branded Hubert Ingraham as the "worse leader in the region".

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concernedcitizen 7 years ago

@SP ,,25,000 IN WORK PERMITS ,PURE HYPERBOLE ,,ALSO PERMITS ARE ONLY FOR A YEAR THE FNM HAS BEEN OUT OF OFFICE 1 AND 1/2 YEARS ..FIND THE ARTICLE WHERE MOODYS SAID HAI WAS THE "WORST LEADER IN THE REGION " ALSO I,M SURE MOODYS DIDN,T SAY WORSE AS THE CORRECT WORD IS WORST ...DON,T LET EMOTION GET IN THE WAY OF FACTS .

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banker 7 years ago

they also repatriate most of their earning to home countries in U.S. currency, putting extreme pressure on foreign reserves.

According to the Central Bank, the extreme pressure on the reserve is not from remittances from foreign workers. It is from the foreign companies operating in the Bahamas, who are jittery about the state of the Bahamian dollar, and are repatriating the profits they have made in the Bahamas. Big business is scared of the current economic circumstances in the Bahamas. Many small and medium sized business men as well are diversifying their Bahamian dollar holdings via Florida flow-through companies where they skim 15-20 percent and keep the funds in US dollars. The amount of remittances is a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of millions that is leaving the country this year.

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John 7 years ago

Well the Us economy is just on as much shaky ground as the Bahamas and if their is a collapse in either currency the other will follow shortly after. The world has been operating on false or artificially driven economies and now these balloons are bursting one after the other. Credit to persons who do not qualify, mortages that are overstated have all contributes to the downslide that may even get worse first quarter 2014. Many companies here in New Providence are already reporting sales declines of 30-50 % and profit reductions of over 60%..so hold on to your seatbelts as the economy takes another nose dive.

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