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SOCIAL MEASURES

Aim: To improve the quality of life for people in need.

Measures:

Capital Means Test

Currently: Means test for entitlement to non-contributory Old Age Pension:

  • Single persons: Lm6,000

  • Married couple: Lm10,000

Measure: Extension of above means test to entitlement to:

  • Social Assistance,

  • Medical Assistance, and

  • Social Security Pension.

Increase in Supplementary Allowance

Aim: To provide for those with less income.

Measure: Increase in & extension of the Supplementary Allowance scheme.

Income eligible for Supplementary Allowance:

  • Married couple: Lm4,200 (increased)

  • Single: Lm3,270 (unchanged)

Ceiling on which benefit is calculated remains unchanged:

  • Married couple: Lm10,270

  • Single person: Lm8,270

Increase in percentage rates applicable on the difference between the existing levels and the income of the beneficiary:

  • Married couple: 1.75% (increased)

  • Single person: 1.25%.

Threshold for income applicable for these calculations remains unchanged: Lm2,220 for all beneficiaries.

Payment for maintenance of children in cases of personal separation

Currently: Under the Income Tax Act, maintenance paid is taxable in the hands of both the paying & the receiving spouse.

Measure: Children's maintenance allowance is not to be taxed in the hands of the receiving spouse.

Increase in Children’s Allowance for those with three children and more

Measure: Increase in rates on which Children’s Allowance is calculated for persons with three or more children:

  • 3 children: 12%

  • 4 children: 14%

  • > 4 children: +2% (not 1.5%)

New procedures in working of tax calculations on arrears of pensions

Aim: To spread tax arrears arising out of revisions of pensions on the respective years of income on which the pension arrears were due.

Measure: applicable:

  • on all arrears paid on 1/1/2003, provided that these do not go back to prior 1999: arrears due before that year will be added on to the income of 1999 for tax purposes;

  • on all arrears paid 1999 - 2002, provided they are due to erroneous calculations on pensions made by some Government Department.

Increase in the cost of living for pensioners

Aim: To adopt the workings of a new Cost of Living Index that would justly reflect the expenditure patterns of pensioners.

Measure: A weekly increase in costs of living Lm1.27c, calculating the Price Index in accordance with the expenditure patterns of pensioner-households, applicable to:

  • Two-Thirds Pension rate,

  • and the Survivors’ Pension,

  • the Retirement Pension,

  • the Invalidity Pension,

  • the Widows Pension,

  • single persons' National Minimum Pension, and

  • single persons' Old Age Pension.

Justice with Casual Social Assistants

Measure: Casual Social Assistants (635), who provide services to our elderly, will no longer be considered as self-employed but as part-time with all the pertinent rights under labour legislation.

Financial assistance for parents with children under two years who attend Child Day Care Centres

Aim: Increasing female participation in the creation of wealth both for her own sake and for that of the country.

Measure:

  • Subsidy of payments for day care service for small children - projected for working women with children under 3 years of age who are left at a licensed Child Day Care Centre - means tested;

  • A regulatory framework to ensure that the service given by these Child Day Care Centres will be of the desired standards.

Back to Budget 2003 Index

 

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