The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has asked Members of Parliament to give Government time to sort out pending queries regarding the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE).
This followed a statement by State Minister of Finance in-charge of Planning, Hon. David Bahati, on funding for SAGE that was intended to be rolled out in the 2017/2018 financial year.
The minister explained to legislators that there would be differences in the amounts required to cater for the elderly in different age brackets.
“If we provide for the elderly aged 65 years and above, we will require shs373.3 billion every year. If we provide for those aged 80 years and above, we will require shs142 billion every year,” said Bahati.
Dokolo Woman MP, Hon. Cecilia Ogwal, asked the minister to clarify the age bracket that will be considered for the SAGE fund, noting the short life expectancy of the elderly in rural areas.
“Very few people reach 80 years in rural areas; so to be fair, we need to consider the elderly from the age of 65 years and above,” Ogwal said.
Bahati requested the Speaker to give Government more time to discuss the issue and agree on how to handle it.
“I request that you give us more time to look at different scenarios and come with a statement as Government,” Bahati said.
Minister for Gender and Culture Affairs, Hon. Peace Mutuuzo called on Government to avail shs15.3 billion from the supplementary budget under the 2017/2018 financial year for arrears.
Kadaga urged the House to allow Cabinet to determine the age bracket to be considered for the SAGE fund in the 2018/2019 financial year, saying, “We shall let them come back to us on Tuesday morning with that report”.