Ministry seeks cash conversion for bus vouchers

June 22, 2024 4:22 pm

The Ministry of Women, Children, and Social Protection has requested the government to convert bus fare voucher allocations to cash in the upcoming 2024–2025 national budget.

Minister Lynda Tabuya emphasized that converting bus fare vouchers to cash is a key priority, as the current system is impractical for rural and maritime communities that rely on various modes of transportation, not just buses.

Tabuya stated that the current system is based on utilization, where the $25 is topped up based on usage however she adds that the proposed change would revert to providing a flat $25 per month in cash for all disability recipients.

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She adds that the ministry is also looking at some portion for the elderly and pensioners.

“Because we found that we moved around the country, it’s actually quite impractical for people who live in rural areas and do not have bus services, and as well, those that live in maritime areas don’t have buses, so they can use that cash to be able to go on fiber and be able to use carriers and minivans, especially after hours when the bus services end, they’re unable to go to the hospital.”

Tabuya has also reaffirmed that the current social welfare assistance will be maintained.

Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad will deliver the 2024–2025 national budget next Friday.