20 per cent concession for those on social welfare

THE Government’s bus fare and taxi concession scheme has enabled 61, 441 people who are being assisted to move freely around the country.

Out of the 61,441 figure given by the Department of Social Welfare, 58,195 were senior citizens while 3246 where people living with disability.

Suva holds the highest figure for those being assisted, with 8010 senior citizens being registered for the concession scheme and 910 registered for people living with disability.

On further breakdown of figures Lautoka registered 7179 senior citizens and 515 people living with disability while Labasa registered 7163 senior citizens and 193 people living with disability that are being assisted under the scheme.

Department of Social Welfare permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta said the scheme enabled free movement of senior citizens and people living with disability when visiting relatives and friends around the main islands without having to be a burden on households, who may be struggling to make ends meet.

“With the feedback we are receiving from the beneficiaries, majority of them are happy with the program, however, most of the complaints that were coming in were on the service delivery by the transport providers. For example, the refusals of bus drivers to accept the card or the taxi drivers refusing to implement the concession,” he said.

“When these complaints are received the Ministry continues to liaise with the service providers to address it.

“This is not condoned and therefore the Ministry takes this seriously and highlights it with the service providers. It is on the part of the service providers to remind their drivers with members to honour the agreement and to ensure that their employees and members are fully aware of the conditions.

He said the card should only be used by those assisted under the concession and not the family or carer.

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