The Prime Minister has stepped in to end the controversy swirling around the abrupt cut of pension and invalidity payments, ordering that the policy be reversed.
Mottley told journalists she had been upset greatly by the length of time it had taken Government to return National Insurance pensions and invalidity benefits to those entitled.
Her comments followed a hastily summoned meeting of ministers and senior civil servants at the Parliament Buildings today, after the topic dominated the daily call-in programme, Down to Brass Tacks, on Starcom Network all week – and three months since the controversy surfaced.
An administration source said the Prime Minister met with Director of Finance and Economic Affairs Ian Carrington, Attorney General Dale Marshall and other officials.
The source told Barbados TODAY that the Prime Minister maintained her position that while she was aware of what the law stipulated, she was more interested in doing what was right.
She contended that people could not be unfairly disadvantaged by having their pensions slashed after years of relying on it as their main source of income.
The Prime Minister then instructed that those pensioners who were receiving both National Insurance invalidity and pension benefits from the Treasury should continue to do so, the source said.
Last month, Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn had promised that the outstanding money would be paid retroactively sometime in August.
This followed a promise by Minister of Labour and Social Relations Colin Jordan that the change would have been made at the end of July.
A visibly irate Prime Minister told reporters: “The Minister of Finance has addressed this issue already and the matters will be resolved.
“The fact that things have not continued in the manner or the pace at which I had wanted it to continue is a matter that has upset me greatly and I have dealt with it,” as she spoke at the opening of a specially commissioned villa to mark the 25th anniversary of Royal Westmoreland.
“I don’t speak, I do,” she added in her brief response.
On May 29, pensioner Janice Harris first brought the situation to light after her $628 pension was reduced to $47.51.
Harris, who admitted she also received an invalidity benefit of over $800, said the massive reduction had caused her undue stress.
She said she used the money from the pension to pay her utilities and buy food for her household, but complained she was now virtually empty-handed without warning.
It led to her staging a one-woman protest outside the Houses of Parliament, which caught the attention of St Michael South MP and Minister of Maritime Affairs Kirk Humphrey, as well as the president of the National Union of Public Workers Akanni McDowall.
Harris publicly rejoiced after Government revealed it would be reinstating those benefits, but her joy was short-lived as she is yet to receive any funds.
Please note that corrections have been made to this story.