ASP chief executive Brenda Morin and Mr Palit, director general for economic planning (Photo: Louis Toussaint)
ASP chief executive Brenda Morin and Mr Palit, director general for economic planning (Photo: Louis Toussaint)

Welfare assistance increases to R5,224 as of May 1

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As of May 1, 2022 welfare recipients will benefit from a rise of 32 percent in their assistance allowance which will increase from R3,945 to R5,224.

This is an increase of R1,279 compared to the previous amount which was based on a household budget survey dated 2013.

The decision to increase the assistance came after the Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal to increase the welfare weights that had been in use for the last 10 years, all in consideration of ways to assist citizens in vulnerable situations.

The proposal was made by the welfare weights working group (WWWG), a special committee set up in March to analyse the efficiency and sustainability of welfare assistance, based on the ongoing economical climate due to recent conflicts, especially the Russia-Ukraine conflict which is directly impacting on the global cost of living, without excluding Seychelles.

According to the chief executive of the Agency for Social Protection (ASP) Brenda Morin, the body mandated to provide social welfare assistance to persons qualifying for state financial assistance will maintain transparency in its evaluations of requests prior to offering assistance.

She explained that as part of the application, applicants will need to provide several documentations, including national identity cards of all members of the household, salary slips, utility (water and electricity) bills, proof of housing payment, part-rental documents, housing loan receipts, proof of documents from the Family Tribunal and also bank statements.

She added that discussion with banks to obtain statements of applicants so they will not have to go and get them from their respective banks is well in progress.

“Personal loans will not be included when calculating welfare,” Ms Morin stated.

She is encouraging everyone to have better budget management, based on their household income and also advised them to live within their means.

As for Lenny Palit, director general for economic planning within the Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Trade, he said based on information from the ASP, the demand for welfare assistance has reduced since 2020, and on an economic point of view, this could have resulted from the re-opening of Seychelles’ borders to travellers, increase in employment and labour productivity, as well as cut down on unsustainable financial support made available during the peak period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Palit also noted that other parameters within the local welfare structure have been adjusted to match the actual situation as well as ongoing developments affecting the cost of living.

As for the weights system to assist children up to 17 years old, it has been increased with the aim of absorbing and helping more children.

‘’Analysis of the welfare assistance level should be a continuous process, while being carried out in accordance with existing structures and measures to minimise the risk of abuse and at the same time in accordance to the country’s economic, social, budgetary and financial situation,” Mr Palit remarked.

Roland Duval