LETTER: Concerns Raised Over Misuse of Social Welfare Vouchers: Are They Reaching Those in Genuine Need?

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
Shopping cart of food

Dear Editor,

Good day. I was recently at a supermarket in town where the vouchers given out to citizens in need were being accepted.

The lady who used the voucher to make the payment for her items did not appear to be in need. She picked up a few things clearly meant for a lunch for two people.

Her bill came up short by $1.10, and when the cashier told her, she started cussing, saying that she only has this problem at that specific establishment when she uses the voucher.

After she left, I asked myself if that’s what the vouchers are intended for and if it’s fair that those who really need the vouchers are not receiving them.

I applied for the voucher last year and stated that I was working, earning minimum wage, had school fees to pay, groceries to buy, and was a single mother.

The next day, after submitting the application, I was denied because I am working.

I asked the person on the other end if the voucher was not meant for people who are struggling and really need the help.

He said no, it is meant for those who are not working. I remembered telling him that many of those who fill out the forms lie, and there is no proper check to verify the information on the form.

How can someone be young and using the voucher for years? There should be a specific age group allowed to receive the voucher for a limited time because there is work available.

Go find work and give someone else who really needs it a chance.

I do not think the Social Protection Board is doing its job properly, and it shows when you see the number of people using the vouchers and what they are using them for.

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