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Sunday 21 April 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Change old age payment system

THE EDITOR: Anyone who visits a bank branch (and I mean of any bank) on the first working day of the month (or a few days later) would be appalled at the treatment and indignities to which old age pensioners and recipients of disability grants are made to suffer.

Thus, while some banks may provide some measure of seating, nevertheless this is not the norm and invariably, notwithstanding even this modicum of comfort, these citizens are made to stand in long lines or to wait for hours on end, before being able to reach a cashier.

In any event, one senses that bank personnel, by their attitude and body language, perhaps out of frustration and “pressure” by dint of the numbers alone, seem to convey the impression that a favour is being rendered.

I am suggesting that this occurrence does not convey the impression that “there is a government that cares.”

I am wondering what has become of the announcement by the Minister of Social Development, some months ago, that payment of old age pensions and disability grants were to be made by direct credit to bank accounts.

Also, I am wondering how difficult is it, as an interim measure, to bring relief to all concerned (recipients as well as bank personnel) by avoiding the “first of the month” syndrome. Of course, this could be done by staggering payment dates. May I suggest that payment by “name alphabet” be considered.



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