Rethinking Social Welfare Support

The government alone is not responsible for financially supporting social welfare recipients, according to Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection Lynda Tabuya. Addressing Parliament yesterday, Minister Tabuya responded to criticisms over whether current social welfare allowances are adequate given the high cost of living.

“It is not the sole responsibility of government to financially sustain our social welfare recipients,” she asserted.

Speaking passionately in the iTaukei language, she emphasized: “E sega ni tavi ni matanitu me qarava vakatabakidua vakailavo na qase, o ira e ra sega ni tu vinaka na tuvaki ni yagodra, kei na dravudravua.” She translated this to mean, “It is first and foremost the responsibility of the family. The government only provides assistance to supplement what should primarily be the family’s duty.”

Minister Tabuya further clarified that the government’s role is to supplement family support, especially recognizing the contributions of senior citizens, vulnerable individuals, children, and those with physical or mental impairments.

She also highlighted that in cases where individuals are abandoned by their families and are in dire need, the government evaluates the need for support on a case-by-case basis.

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