The Ministry of Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation will convert the $50 food voucher system to cash.
During her maiden speech, Minister Lynda Tabuya highlighted that the system was monopolized.
Tabuya says the $50 food voucher can mostly be redeemed at Max Value Supermarket.
“Maxvalue Supermarket have since 2021 received nearly $14 million from the Government for this food voucher scheme. This has meant that social welfare recipients from the outer islands and rural areas have had to come into urban areas to shop at Max Value Supermarket. It means exactly that, they can no longer be able to go to the market to buy fruits and vegetables. That $50 food voucher can only be redeemed at Max Value.”
Tabuya says this will no longer be the case as people will have the freedom to choose where they shop and can spend their money at the market or other shops.
The Minister also revealed that the money assigned for rural pregnant mothers and pensions was used to pay for the Ministry’s staff overtime.
She a lot of the overtime had been accumulated in the months before the elections.
Tabuya adds the Social Pension Scheme had a shortfall of $3 million and these shortfalls carried on into bus fare programs.