THE Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation has refuted claims that some Social Welfare beneficiaries that are over 70 years of age are not receiving their welfare assistance.
Responding to questions sent by this newspaper about complaints made by some Nakorotubu villagers in Ra, Social Welfare Ministry spokesperson Anshoo Mala said welfare was being given to elderly who were over 70.
Namarai Village headman Sakiusa Yavala told the Constitution Commission team that Social Welfare beneficiaries over the age of 70 were being marginalised.
"All social welfare beneficiaries in this village no longer receive assistance when they reach the age of 70 years. We want the commission to look into this issue and have a provision in the new constitution that ensures the elderly receive assistance," Mr Yavala said.
Nabukadra Village headman Raivolita Malani also echoed similar sentiments.
"We want to know why the Social Welfare is not assisting those beneficiaries who are more than 70-years old," Mr Malani said.
"Most of the beneficiaries in my village are receiving the assistance and when they turn 70, they stop getting it," he said.
However, Ms Mala said assistance was being given to those who met the criteria.
"We have various categories for this scheme and we are still assisting elderly who are more than 70 years old.
"Assistance is only given to those where there is no financial support by those looking after the elderly. We are no longer assisting those that have financial support and this also applies to those over 70 years," she said.
Ms Mala said the ministry had advised the public that it was currently working on a reform agenda to streamline Social Welfare programs in the country.
"The Social Welfare permanent secretary Govind Sami has confirmed that the reform agenda is emanating from the review of Social Welfare programs by the World Bank Social Protection team in 2010.
"The reform agenda will eliminate the vulnerability categories such as elderly, disabled and chronically ill as a filter of eligibility and allow poverty benefit directed at the poor."