An increasing number of working Barbadians are turning to charities for financial and material assistance, raising fears by at least one such organization that the recent budgetary measures announced by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mia Mottley will cause further hardship for low-income families.
“Increasingly, we are seeing that working people are coming to us as well, it is not just employed people . . . .We are seeing more and more people who cannot make ends meet,” Executive Director of Variety the Children’s Charity Donnah Russell told Barbados Today on the fringes of a cheque presentation from the Chefette Fun Run.
The charity, founded by the now deceased Olga Lopes Seales, currently provides for over 400 families, with the number of cases steadily increasing.
“The effect of the budgetary measures will be a little slower than we would hope for, but in the interim electricity will likely go up. We hope that bus fares don’t go up, but the slightest increase in the cost of living really affects the families that we serve,” Russell said.
“We do expect . . . come September there will be parents who are unable to send their children back to school and we expect that there will be some increase. Already we are getting new requests from new applicants,” she added.
Russell said there was a growing number of requests from parents for clothing and shoes, as well as financial assistance to purchase books and help pay bills.
“Things that [the] Welfare [Department] would normally do, we are getting a spillover. The less that welfare can help the more we will get those requests,” she said.