The government’s senior programme is operating three days a week on a $398,008 budget for this year, but by September leaders hope to jump to five days per week as they work toward providing an annual allocation of nearly $1 million, Health and Social Development Minister Carvin Malone explained on Friday in the House of Assembly.
Day programmes for senior citizens, he added, were impacted by the 2017 hurricanes.
“Following the devastation, most of the meeting places [that] had previously housed the senior citizen programmes suffered significant damage,” he said. “The department needed time to identify alternative venues while repairs were being conducted.
“In the interim, most employees assigned to the programme were maintained and deployed where possible. The department’s ability to restore the programmes to full capacity was limited.”
Asked by opposition member Julian Fraser (R-D3) what it would cost to run the programme the way it was run prior to the cut-back, for five days per week instead of three, Mr. Malone said it would be an estimated $981,517 per year.
This cost represents $586,517 in employee compensation and $395,000 in operating costs for facilities in East End, Carrot Bay, Sea Cows Bay, Road Town and Virgin Gorda.
Mr. Malone added that the government hopes to get the programme back to a five-day schedule by September.
Mr. Fraser responded, “I think it’s money well spent, and I think it’s necessary. The seniors are being neglected.”
Senior Programme Funding, 2010-2019
- 2010 // $683,060
- 2011 // $705,496
- 2012 // $717,600
- 2013 // $761,351
- 2014 // $473,832
- 2015 // $584,400
- 2016 // $670,900
- 2017 // $682,017
- 2018 // $631,816
- 2019 // $398,008