Release cash for elderly

The freeze of the bi-monthly stipend to persons above 70 years is unacceptable and must be lifted without further delay. The senior citizens had factored in the Sh2, 000 monthly pay to their budgets after last year’s implementation of the cash transfer, which was a key plank of the Jubilee election campaign promises.Now, the elderly have gone for six months without the stipend, and the long wait must be brought to an end.The government is linking the delay to an upgrade of the payment system, but there is talk that budgetary issues could have stalled the stipend.Better health care has seen life expectancy in the country rise even as the elderly lack pension plans, making an urgent case for the stipend. It gets worse given that most older people are increasingly living in urban areas where inflation is unforgiving in a period when the social setup of relying on relatives is collapsing.This makes it a State responsibility in ensuring that the country’s senior citizens do not slide into extreme poverty, hunger and consequent premature death. Therefore, we call on the Treasury to provide cash for the transfer and conclude the continual upgrade of the payment system.

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