Pensioners happy with the increase



“WE are grateful to the Government for increasing our monthly pensions, for it has helped us to live independently without being in a state of poverty.”

This was the testimony from 78-year-old Maata Katia of Qalikarua Village in Matuku who lives alone with her elderly husband on the island.

In the 2023-2024 National Budget, the Government has announced the increment in the pensioners’ scheme by 15 per cent, whereby senior citizens who are 70 years and above now receive $125 monthly.

This has benefitted senior citizens across the country, including Mrs Katia and her husband, as their children have left the island for greener pastures.

“We have always encouraged our children to get an education so that they can raise their own families, and we are proud of what they have made of themselves,” the mother of two said.

“When they had left, we were left to our own devices and for so many years we were able to meet our needs from farming, fishing and other small activities to earn a living.

“As we continue to age, we realise that we cannot do what we used to so we cannot provide for ourselves.”

Mrs Katia said that this was where the pension has come into good use and through the increment in pension, it was enough to cater for their needs for the duration of the month.

“The increment was much needed because of the high cost of living, and for this we are grateful to the Coalition Government for also prioritising the welfare of senior citizens,” a teary Mrs Maata said.