Scrap metal workers eligible for food aid

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In this file photo, scrap dealers protest against the six-month ban on exporting scrap metal in Claxton Bay. -Marvin Hamilton

Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox rejected claims by Chaguanas East MP Vandana Mohit that those displaced by the scrap metal export ban were not eligible for government grants. State.

On Thursday, Mohit slammed Cox for saying workers affected by the government’s decision to ban scrap metal exports for six months could apply for subsidies from his ministry.

“Once again, the PNM government engages in deception and aims to mislead the people through its public statements.”

Mohit claimed that none of those affected by the six-month industry shutdown would be “eligible for subsidies”. She said such help would not come in time before the school reopens next month.

“The government must immediately develop a mechanism to help struggling families affected by this unjustified closure, in order to send their children to school and feed them.”

In a second statement, also released on Thursday, Mohit questioned whether Cox was trying to find scapegoats when she spoke of a “parenting crisis” at the recent launch of her ministry’s parenting workshop. Claxton Bay district scrap dealers block roads and burn debris to demand the government reverse its decision. The Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association also opposed the decision and threatened legal action.

Responding to Mohit’s claims on Saturday, Cox said, “Scrap dealers can apply for any of the grants once they qualify.”

Any member of the public can apply for the grants offered by the ministry.

“The Ministry has the responsibility to plan and determine the adequacy of its allocation each year. It is for this reason that the Ministry approached Parliament for an additional allocation, in the middle of the year and received this additional allocation to meet its planned expenses for the 2022 financial year.

Cox said: “The Food Support Grant is available to all eligible citizens and legal residents of TT. Scrap dealers in need of food can apply in the event they need food.”

Applicants must pass the standard resources test to be eligible for this grant.

Qualification criteria include that applicants be citizens or legal residents of TT and pass a standard means test to show that net household income must be at or below the household poverty line of $1,439.

Rejecting Mohit’s claims that the government is responsible for a parenting crisis in TT, Cox said, “There is empirical evidence since 2011 that supports the need for parenting programs in TT. As of 2014, she said that the government was running parenting workshops across TT.

Cox reminded Mohit that “the development of the parenting policy identifying parenting and parental support as an essential part of family life, forms the basis of the 2014 draft parenting policy”.

This work in 2014 was incorporated into government policy as part of the NIP and tabled as a Green Paper in Parliament in 2017.

“Data about children gravitating towards a life of crime can come from the police department and juvenile court.”

Joel C. Hicks