Improve the elderly’s social safety nets – Portfolio Committee told

Bulawayo residents who attended the 2022 National Budget feedback meeting called on the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development and the Expanded Senate Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development to improve elderly persons’ social protection and safety nets citing that the rising inflation is forcing the elderly to live in extreme poverty.

One of the participants, Thandekile Moyo, shared her concern about the budget allocation that was made to the department of Social Welfare to reduce poverty and enhance self-reliance through the provision of social protection services to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in Zimbabwe.

“Social welfare grants that are given to the elderly in Zimbabwe should be increased due to the hyperinflation which continues to ravage our economy. Elderly persons should be given their grants timeously so that they can earn a living,” said Moyo as she cited that some elderly people in her community last received their grant money in December last year.

It is estimated that there are at least 760 000 and continue to experience fragile livelihoods, weak social security support, poor access to health and care services.

Another participant who did not disclose their name cited that the pension funds have been eroded by the rising inflation.

“I suggest that the pension should be indexed according to the rate of inflation so that the elderly people do not earn money that is not enough to sustain themselves. My suggestion is that pension funds should be indexed at 20 percent above the current inflation,” he said.

The feedback meeting was conducted in order to fulfil Parliament’s constitutional obligation to include the public in all of its activities, particularly when it comes to the drafting and reviewing of the National Budget.

During the hearings, representatives from the portfolio committee shared some of the budget allocations and progress which has been made since the adoption of the 2021 National budget in an effort to enhance transparent budget process.

 

 

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