Welfare spike

In the last year of Barbados’ two-year battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, those needing welfare assistance have nearly doubled, moving from about 3 500 to 6 500 people.

This staggering statistic was revealed yesterday by Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Kirk Humphrey, who also disclosed that the frequency of assistance had also increased, resulting in a 900 per cent increase in cost of social service provided to the public.

Humphrey explained that last year, the Welfare Department provided around $100 000 per month, but that had now grown to a hundred thousand dollars shy of a million per month.

“We have moved from about 3 500 persons to about 6 500 persons, so there has almost been a doubling of the persons. There has also been an increase in the frequency with which these persons would want help. It is no longer a case of one-offs, people are going to keep coming back, so that there has been that additional pressure on the system. We have looked at a number of areas that we would like to strengthen in terms of the gaps,” said Humphrey, who was responding to questions from the media during a press conference following a courtesy call from a European Union delegation. (CLM)

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