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PLP calls for rethink on cuts

A rethink on cuts in hospital benefits for older people has been called for by Shadow Health Minister Zane DeSilva.

Mr DeSilva said: “These type of cuts are affecting a segment of society that is often the most vulnerable financially.

“These are the people who have spent most of their life paying into Government systems and working to build the infrastructure of our island.”

Mr DeSilva was speaking after Health Minister Trevor Moniz told the House of Assembly earlier this week that subsidies for the Standard Health Benefit (SHB) — the minimum cover in any health insurance policy sold in Bermuda — were to be reduced.

For those aged 65-74, the subsidy will be cut by ten percent to 70 percent and for those aged 75 and over by ten percent to 80 percent.

Mr DeSilva added that seniors have not had an increase in their pension payments for four years.

And he called on Mr Moniz, Finance Minister Bob Richards and the OBA Cabinet to have “a meeting of the minds” and axe the changes.

Mr DeSilva said: “Surely cost savings could be obtained in a variety of other ways.”

He branded Premier Craig Cannonier's travel costs “excessive” and pointed to “heavily-salaried political advisers” on the payroll at Cabinet Office.

Mr DeSilva added: “We find it very hard to rationalise cutting the benefits to Bermuda's seniors while others are showing little to no sacrifice in this economic climate.”

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Published March 05, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated March 04, 2014 at 10:05 pm)

PLP calls for rethink on cuts

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