By ELIZABETH VUVU
NEW Ireland governor Sir Julius Chan has assured old and disabled citizens in the province that full and due pensions will still be paid before the end of this year.
Responding to questions on the old-aged and disabled payments, he explained that shortfall in revenues had delayed timely delivery of major policies of free and subsidised education and old and disabled pensions this year.
Sir Julius apologised for the delays and pledged to have all payments brought up to date by the end of this month saying he could understand the people’s anxiety and their rights to access these funds.
He said there had been discrepancies in the execution of both policies with hoax names of school children and senior citizens. However, the main cause was with the failure by the national government to honour its funding commitments to New Ireland which the provincial government was now fighting in court.
Sir Julius had been negotiating with the national government in the mediation process on outstanding commitments and said outstanding funds for education for the last quarter and the balance were being processed.
He had also given instructions for the first quarter subsidies for the new school year to be set aside to kick start 2011 in timely manner.
Pensions covering K180 for last year and K360 for this year totalling K540 will be paid.
Sir Julius also gave directions for the investigations, tourism, lands and liquor boards to be included in the priority of releases of funds stating that government acknowledged the problems but would correct and deliver as budgeted.