Old age pension increases to $20,500

─   Public assistance also increased

─   Tax exemptions for persons with disabilities

DPI, Guyana, Monday, November 26, 2018

Old age pension will be increased from $19,500 to $20,500, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan said during his presentation of the 2019 National Budget in the National Assembly today.

The increase will take effect January 1, 2019.

This is the fourth increase in the old age pension under the APNU+AFC administration since 2015. In 2015, old age pension was $13,125 and has been steadily increased over the last four budgets by 55 percent.

“The Government will continue to increase the Old Age Pensions, within the limits of its available resources,” Minister Jordan said.

In 2019, the government will also move to table the Pensions Bill in the National Assembly with the aim of securing workers’ retirement even as it continues to reform the National Insurance Scheme to ensure timely and adequate services are provided to pensioners.

The government’s investment in the elderly will also see the preparation of a National Policy on Aging to facilitate societal integration and allow for their participation in the country’s development.

The government will also establish an Elderly Welfare Services Section at the Ministry of Social Protection to monitor the operations of senior residential care facilities and investigate any complaints. The Minimum Standards of Care for the Elderly will be completed during the first quarter of 2019, Minister Jordan noted.

Meanwhile, the government will also increase Public Assistance from $8,000 to $9,000, Minister Jordan said. It is expected that persons benefiting from old age pension and public assistance will be taking home an additional $800 Million in 2019.

He added that the government will also exempt Excise Duty and VAT on vehicles for use by persons with a disability. The government will also examine the feasibility of granting tax rebate on handsets with accessibility features for persons living with disabilities.

“These two initiatives solidify government ‘s commitment to equity and inclusion for all its citizens through the use of ICT,” Minister Jordan said.

Tiffny Rhodius.

Image: Department of Public Information.