Aim: To improve the quality of life for people in need.
- Capital Means Test
- Increase in Supplementary Allowance
- Payment for maintenance of children in cases of marriage separations
- Increase in Childrens Allowance for those with three children and more
- New procedures in working of tax calculations on arrears of pensions
- Increase in the cost of living for pensioners
- Justice with Casual Social Assistants
- Financial assistance for parents with children under 2 years who attend Child Day Care Centres
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.
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.
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.
Measure: Increase in rates on which Childrens Allowance is calculated for persons with three or more children:
- 3 children: 12%
- 4 children: 14%
- > 4 children: +2% (not 1.5%)
Aim: To spread tax arrears arising out of revisions of pensions on the respective years of income on which the pension arrears were due.
- 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.
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.
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.
Aim: Increasing female participation in the creation of wealth both for her own sake and for that of the country.
- 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.