Categorized | Local, News

Montserratians in the UK (Benefits Change)

by Vernon “AUK” Jeffers

Come April, Montserratians who fled to Britain to escape the ravages of an unforgiving volcano would have to decide between heating and eating. To me, it is like moving from the frying pan into the fire.

What bother me most however, is the seemingly lack of concern expressed by Premier Meade and his Deputy Minister. Can someone help me say that we are a people who through no fault of ours just want a chance to live and demand leadership.

DAVID CAMERON’S NEW BRITISH POLICIES:

  • From April 2013, household benefits capped so out-of-work families do not receive more than the average household weekly income.
  • Limit set at £26,000 a year – equivalent to household wage of £500 a week after tax
  • Includes Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit
  • The new rules will also affect housing benefit, which is paid to less well-off tenants to help with rent. Typically claimants receive between £50 and £100 a week.
  • From next month, families deemed to have too much living space by their local authorities will receive a reduced payment.
  • Under the government’s so-called “size criteria” or “Bedroom Tax”, families will be assessed for the number of bedrooms they actually need.
  • If tenants are deemed to have one spare room, the amount of rent eligible for housing benefit will be cut by 14%. If they have two or more spare rooms, the cut will be 25%.

WHAT THEN SHOULD BE PREMIER MEADE’S INITIATIVE?

A good Leader may consider proposing to the UK Government a system where Montserratians wishing to return home be grant the opportunity to carry with them part of the benefits they now receive. Say £15,000 a year to be administered by the Montserrat Government. This move will not only reduce the cost to the British Government, but will undoubtedly enhance economic activity on Montserrat. Recipients of this move will enjoy more housing construction, better living conditions, no heating bills and bitter cold weather, less deaths and an opportunity to start the process of redeeming Montserrat’s place as the Land of tranquility, longevity and beauty.

But then, this idea or proposed remedy may fall on the deaf ears of nincompoops. You see, in these critical times and while we wait for nature to run its course, the main focus of Government should be to engender real economic activity, a sound social policy and proper infrastructural lanes and let the private-sector do the rest.

 

Vernon “AUK” Jeffers <knnwhi@aol.com>

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Vernon “AUK” Jeffers

Come April, Montserratians who fled to Britain to escape the ravages of an unforgiving volcano would have to decide between heating and eating. To me, it is like moving from the frying pan into the fire.

What bother me most however, is the seemingly lack of concern expressed by Premier Meade and his Deputy Minister. Can someone help me say that we are a people who through no fault of ours just want a chance to live and demand leadership.

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DAVID CAMERON’S NEW BRITISH POLICIES:

WHAT THEN SHOULD BE PREMIER MEADE’S INITIATIVE?

A good Leader may consider proposing to the UK Government a system where Montserratians wishing to return home be grant the opportunity to carry with them part of the benefits they now receive. Say £15,000 a year to be administered by the Montserrat Government. This move will not only reduce the cost to the British Government, but will undoubtedly enhance economic activity on Montserrat. Recipients of this move will enjoy more housing construction, better living conditions, no heating bills and bitter cold weather, less deaths and an opportunity to start the process of redeeming Montserrat’s place as the Land of tranquility, longevity and beauty.

But then, this idea or proposed remedy may fall on the deaf ears of nincompoops. You see, in these critical times and while we wait for nature to run its course, the main focus of Government should be to engender real economic activity, a sound social policy and proper infrastructural lanes and let the private-sector do the rest.

 

Vernon “AUK” Jeffers <knnwhi@aol.com>