The Executive Council of Saba has granted 14 households financial assistance from the funds for Public Assistance. The Public Assistance program is a program that helps families with small house repairs if they can’t afford it themselves. Repairs that fall within the program are things like: leaking roofs, replacement of windows, shutters or doors, as well as plumbing or electrical work.
The main criterion for the program was that a household earns less than minimum wage, but exceptions were made for households where serious health or safety hazards exist. A total budget of $100,000 was available for the program, and this budget is fully depleted. The maximum amount allotted per household is $5,000, but some exceptions were made due to extenuating circumstances. The decisions by the Executive Council are based on advice from the Public Assistance Committee, consisting of representatives from the Saba Health Care Foundation, Centre for Youth and Family, RCN/Social Affairs and the Public Entity Saba.
The Executive Council is aiming to secure more funds for Public Assistance to be able to help more households later this year. The Council realizes that Public Assistance only, does not solve the problems of poverty on the island and pledges for a more comprehensive approach to poverty with Minister Plasterk of Kingdom Relations, as is stated in a recent letter to Plasterk, including raising the level of allowances, bringing down the cost of living and investing in economic development.
Saba Government Information Service.