*iStock photo
*iStock photo

We at the Progressive Labour Party are very concerned by the remarks in the House of Assembly yesterday from Health Minister Trevor Moniz that the Standard Health Benefit will be reduced causing even further cuts  to Seniors.  Seniors from age 65-74 will be cut by 10 percent to 70 percent and those over 75 by 10 percent to 80 percent. 

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. Prior to the Budget, we appealed to the OBA government to not make the Seniors the scapegoats.  It appears that they have done just that. 

To make matters worse, seniors were given no increase in pension payments, which makes it now four consecutive years that they have had no increase. Fortunately, the Progressive Labour Party government had made it our mission to vastly increase their pension payouts in the early part of this century in order to make pensions somewhat respectable and to provide some financial security for our seniors.

We ask that Minister Moniz, Minister Richards and the OBA Cabinet have a meeting of the minds on this and a rethink of the reduction of this benefit.  Surely, cost savings could be obtained in a variety of other ways.  We have heard of the excessive travel costs of Premier Cannonier.  We know about the heavily salaried political advisors working for Premier Cannonier.  

We find it very hard to rationalize cutting the benefits to Bermuda's seniors while others are showing little to no sacrifice in this economic climate.