LIFT Programme Applications Open With Enhanced Transparency And Efficiency Measures

PS Clarke said a person on the PAP for six years has received $36,000.
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Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Livelihood Improvement for Family Transformation (LIFT) programme will open to new applicants on Monday, June 17, 2024, under an improved management system that promotes transparency, increases efficiency and builds sustainability so that it can achieve the objective of reducing poverty.

PS Clarke said a person on the PAP for six years has received $36,000.

Minister of State of Social Development and Gender Affairs, the Honourable Isalean Phillip, noted that the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP), which preceded the introduction of LIFT, suffered from many abnormalities. The PAP was a cash transfer programme that provided $500 to households earning less than $3,000 per month. Official statistics indicate that there were some 7,400 PAP registrants, which equated to approximately $3.7 million spent by the government every month.

At a press conference on Thursday, June 13, 2024, Permanent Secretary Azilla Clarke, broke down some startling statistics in relation to the PAP.

PAP was launched in December 2017 through to December 2023. That is six years. A person who has been on PAP for any year received $6,000 in direct cash investment to their home. A person who has been on PAP for the last six years has received a grand total of $36,000 invested into their household. Our challenge is identifying the individual and national indicators that show that the funds have been used to change circumstances,” she expressed.

Beneficiaries of the LIFT programme earning less than $2,500 per family, will receive up to $600 per month. Minister of State Phillip said that technical expertise from local and regional sources helped to inform the threshold.

We are seeking to target persons who are more vulnerable, so those who earn the least. We have to bring the threshold in line with what the new minimum wage is expected and set to be which is $2,000 after the second increase next year,” she said, noting the need to promote equity. “As St. Kitts and Nevis has the highest minimum wage in the region, we are working towards ensuring that persons who earn minimum wage are able to meet their basic needs.”

The minister of state added that the government will continue to pursue initiatives that boost agricultural production, and lower energy production costs, which will factor into reducing the cost of living and improving the quality of life. Persons who do not qualify for the LIFT programme are encouraged to apply for support through other government social programmes that offer medical assistance, educational support, food vouchers, shelter services and burial assistance.

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