The Opposition leadership in Parliament is rooting for an increase of SAGE funds from the current monthly allowance of Shs 25,000 to 40,000. The opposition is also proposing the lowering of the cut-off age from the current 80 to 65 years.
The theme for this year is “Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal declaration on Human Rights for Older Persons”. This day is a great opportunity to acknowledge the contribution, wisdom, dignity and needs of our senior citizens and to rededicate efforts to ensure their wellbeing.
In a press conference led by Shadow Minister of Gender, labour, and Social Development, Hon. Rose Fortunate Nantongo called on the government to remove national ID requirements until errors on the would-be beneficiaries’ national IDS are rectified.
Nantongo called on the government to promote the dignity and welfare of the aged by ensuring that 43,559 eligible older persons are currently excluded due to errors on the National IDs. The government should clear all arrears under the SAGe program which is challenged by a funding gap of Shs 5.1billion.
“Statistics from the Ministry of Gender shows that 43,559 eligible older persons are excluded from the pay lists, because of errors on the national IDs,” said Nantongo.
The Shadow minister of Information and Anti-Corruption, Hon. Joyce Bagala added that the threshold of SAGE beneficiaries should be brought down gradually until all older persons who are 65 years and above are reached.
Nakaseke central MP, Hon. Allan Ssebunya added that they urge government to raise the money given to older persons from the current Shs 25,000 to at least Shs 40,000 to match up with the current high cost of living.
The Shadow minister of Arts and Culture, Hon. MP Hillary Kiyaga further noted that government should prioritize the welfare of all elderly individuals across the country, not a few selected ones. They are duty-bound to also ensure stringent measures for the welfare of the elderly, among others.
The MPs commended the Kabaka of Buganda for his efforts in providing housing for some elderly people and they called on the government to emulate his example.