Press Release by the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights and by the Ministry for Senior Citizens and Active Ageing
Reference Number: PR211209
This month, over 5,000 older persons residing in public and private residential homes shall receive the €100 euro voucher as a direct contribution through an investment of over €500,000.
On Saturday 26th June, older persons residing in homes for the elderly shall receive the €100 Government voucher as a direct contribution. This was announced by Silvio Schembri, Minister for the Economy and Industry who explained how this scheme would be implemented. He was accompanied by Michael Falzon, Minister for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights and Michael Farrugia, Minister for Senior Citizens and Active Ageing.
“5,518 older persons shall receive the direct contribution of €100, in this way we shall be assisting the needs of these persons with over half a million euro. After further consultations about the vouchers and following the response we received, we decided on this method rather than give vouchers to older persons living in residential homes. This because these residents have their own particular needs and also taking into consideration current restrictions. Thus, these persons who may not have been able to utilise the vouchers which are being distributed to all those who by 21st April were aged 16 and over, shall receive the €100 in the same way they receive their pensions. That is, directly in their bank account or through a cheque sent by post and both payment methods shall be listed as Government Voucher” said Minister Schembri.
Minister Schembri also gave an update on the vouchers’ usage. “The use of the vouchers has increased, so much so that until today approximately €3 million have been spent. Meanwhile the distribution of the vouchers sent by registered mail is well underway, in fact by today over 140,000 persons in Malta and Gozo would have had their vouchers delivered.” The Minister thanked the coordination carried out by the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights and particularly the Social Care Standards Authority since these older persons living in Government and private residential care shall be receiving a direct contribution.
Minister Michael Falzon stated that this is another exercise that confirms the social ethos of this Government. He added that the Government took the decision to provide a separate hundred-euro payment to those residing in an older persons’ institution and that this payment would be sent on the 26th of June. The payment would be made into the same account in which the persons receives their pension and those not in possession of an IBAN would receive a separate cheque. According to data collected by the end of May- this being the cut-off date- there shall be 5,086 persons who shall be receiving this payment with payments reaching the sum of €508,600.
4,530 persons shall be paid by direct credit while 556 shall be paid by cheque. Some older persons who were going to fall under this category had already downloaded the vouchers app. In total 84 persons had downloaded the app and therefore they shall be using the voucher and shall not be receiving a separate payment.
In turn, Minister Michael Farrugia said that thanks to the decisions taken during the pandemic whereby older persons were the first to receive the vaccinations, today we are getting closer to a situation of normality.
“We have managed to vaccinate older persons in half the projected timeframe. By the first week of March, all older persons and staff in all residential homes as well as Saint Vincent De Paule had been vaccinated” said the Minister. He announced that if the situation remains the same, by mid-July all the restrictions in place at residential homes would be removed.
Eight weeks without a case demonstrate that the steps we took were well thought and we can now also announce the steps which shall follow” added the Minister. He said that 96% of staff and over 99% of older persons residing at Saint Vincent De Paule are vaccinated while in Government, Church, and private residential homes, almost 98% of older persons and 94% of staff have been vaccinated.”