Premier, minister meet seniors to discuss the Budget
Cost of living, pensions and healthcare were among the topics David Burt discussed with seniors during a recent budget outreach meeting.
The Premier was accompanied by Tinee Furbert, the Minister for Social Development and Seniors, at the meeting with members of Age Concern on Thursday.
The meeting, which was closed to the media, included discussions on environmental protection, health insurance and digital literacy.
Mr Burt told the meeting: “Your government is here to support you.
“The Government is acutely aware that there is still more work to be done and that we must continue to provide support to you, our valued seniors, as the global economy contends with record inflation.
“In the 2023/24 budget we have announced new measures such as increased social insurance benefits, increased funding for care homes, and further investments to improve the quality of life for you and for all Bermudians.”
• Increased pensions at or above the rate of inflation in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021.
• Amended the Residential Care Homes and Nursing Homes Act to provide for better standards in our care homes. Enacted a Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for seniors.
• Expanded the home health and seniors care benefit under FutureCare and HIP to provide additional income to families while reducing costs to our healthcare system.
• Increased FutureCare prescription drug benefit from $2,000 to $3,000 a year and introduced a prescription drug benefit under HIP for the first time.
• Introduced a National Drug Formulary to set maximum prices for common medications and to reduce costs to consumers.
• Established the Ageing Well Committee to drive forward policies and laws that will ensure that the issues of our seniors are always front and centre; and
• Introduced interest-free home improvement loans of up to $15,000 for families who need help modifying their home or that of their senior loved one.
Ms Furbert added: “It was gratifying to spend some time discussing critical matters with our seniors. We heard their concerns and we recognise that it’s important to be sensitive to their needs.
“We are eager to ensure that we provide as much support and guidance as possible for our seniors who are trying to navigate through some challenging times.
“Our ministry’s budget has increased by 8 per cent and the funding covers support for Ageing and Disability Services.”
She added that government’s financial support for Age Concern would continue.
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