Prime Minister Mia Mottley this evening outlined Government’s plan to cushion the blow of the debt restructuring exercise on the island’s pensioners.
Speaking at a Barbados Labour Party branch meeting of the Christ Church South constituency this evening she declared, “To the pensioners of Barbados, I got your back, hold tight, I got your back.”
There has been a strong public outcry from the nation’s pensioners who now stand to receive a haircut on interest payments and payments over a longer period for their Government papers
Scores have publicly complained that were relying on their investments for retirement income and they would now be forced to live on reduced income.
The Prime Minister told the gathering she could not address the concerns raised by pensioners earlier because of legal advice.
“The lawyers advised me from early that you cannot do much to be able to deal with the pensioners prior to the close of the debt exchange. Well the debt exchange closed on Friday, it is now my turn to help the pensioners of Barbados,” she said to loud applause.
Mottley, who said she had received letters of concern from senior citizens as old as 90 years, said her Government would look to assist those pensioners most vulnerable.
“We accept that for persons who are 75 or 80 or 85 that they can’t see easily that they are going to live another 15 years and therefore what we will do is to work over the next few weeks to seek out those persons who are particularly in that position.
That elderly age who need cash in the short term that can be assisted, while those who don’t need cash in the short term but are happy to get it in the medium term can hold the instruments.
She said her office was now going through the process “to be able to see the numbers and make the judgement as to what we can afford and to make sure that those persons who are at the end of the days of their lives can live it out in dignity,” Mottley said.