‘People should have been screened’

Thousands of Nadi residents waiting outside of Prince Charles Park for their chance to apply for the HOMES-CARE assistance May 15. Picture: FT FILE

SOME HOMES-CARE recipients in Lautoka have returned their M-PAISA cards just hours after they were given the assistance yesterday.Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa confirmed this after being asked about reports that some individuals who were double dipping had been identified by the audit team accompanying the HOMES-CARE team.

She said she was pleased that people were honest enough to return the cards.

“We have had calls from people wanting to return the cards and as stated in our government statement that has been issued they can come to any welfare office to give back the cards within the two-week grace
period that has been issued,” she said.

“I think it’s good to give people an opportunity to give back the cards or the money that we had given them because as you can see there has been a lot of excitement surrounding this assistance.\

“A lot of them has been based on misinformation and the intention to defraud in other cases.

“But it’s good for people to be given this chance to redeem themselves. “I know there are honest people.

“If they know that they have lied to get the assistance then do the right thing.”

As of 5pm yesterday a total of $2,428,900 worth of assistance was distributed to 2351 applicants.