by Linda Straker
- 7,373 active beneficiaries of Conditional Cash Transfer programme
- Recertification exercise unearthed irregularities and inconsistencies
- 500 cases added to SEED programme in April 2023
The current number of people benefiting from the Support for Education Empowerment & Development or SEED programme in the Ministry of Social Development has surpassed the number the Government met in June 2022.
“To date, there are 7,373 active beneficiaries benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme that targets the poorest and most vulnerable households in Grenada,” Social Development Minister Philip Telesford disclosed to Parliament on Tuesday, 18 April 2023.
In June 2022, there were 7,107 people in the programme, and the Government announced that it would be engaging in recertifying recipients to ensure that they are qualified to receive the monthly financial support of a maximum payment of EC$450 per household.
Minister Telesford disclosed the new numbers during the Sitting of the Lower House in response to questions asked by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Mitchell. He also revealed that the Department of Audit is presently completing an audit of the programme.
“When the audit is completed, based on the findings, recommendations may be made for changes. The World Bank has approved a consultancy to review and upgrade the Targeting Tool (Proxy Means Test),” he replied to the question asked about future changes to the programme, which commenced under the period of the Tillman Thomas administration.
In response to reinstating the EC$150 deducted as of January 2023, Telesford said that this programme component ended in December 2022 and did not inform the Parliament of any future reinstating of the deduction.
In his written response, the minister stated, “The policy was for 6 months and was extended for a further 6 months. As of 31 December 2022, the programme ended.”
A news release from the Government Information Service (GIS) dated 13 April said the recertification exercise, which reviewed 2,268 households to date, has unearthed irregularities and inconsistencies in the programme, and the ministry is actively taking corrective measures to address them, to eliminate errors, reduce wastage, and ensure inclusiveness. “Initial reports on the current recertification process are already showing positive results, demonstrated by considerable cost savings to the programme. In light of the foregoing, the Ministry has taken the decision to add 500 cases to the SEED programme in April 2023.”
The release did not disclose the number of people removed from receiving the Government’s financial support.