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Manickchand Lashes Out At AFC member Sheila Holder

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Human Services Minister Priya Manickchand yesterday lashed out at AFC Member of Parliament Sheila Holder as she defended the administration’s 2011 budget in the national assembly.

Manickchand  called on Holder to apologize  or possibly resign from  being a parliamentarian as she took offence to a study brought to the house by holder a few days ago, accusing the administration of diverting funds through the pension scheme.

The Human services minister believed that the AFC member deliberately produced a study which misrepresented the current state of the old age pension Programme.

Holder on Tuesday during her debate presentation  drew the house’s attention to a study conducted by her which stated that there has been a sharp increase in the number of old age pensioners and a consequent increase in government’s expenditure in this area. She added that there are more than 1700 “phantom pensioners” and alleged that the monthly hemorrhage of the pension funds is over $1.3 B annually.  However she was not in the national assembly at the time of the minister’s presentation last evening.

As Manickchand continued to fire off at the study, she noted that the arguments put forward by holder were illogical since there are several good reasons to explain why there has been an increase in the number of old age pensioners over the years.

The Human services minister said that in 2006, there was a change in the ministry’s system, which has made it easier for more pensioners to receive their monies. In addition to this, she said that the pension sum went up by 62% the following year and this encouraged more people to register, thus the increase.

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