Executive Council approved a change to the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) that is used to determine the rates for Income Related Benefits (IRB) and Basic Island Pension (BIP) on Tuesday, 7 August 2018.
The approved Social Security (Amendment) Regulations, 2018, will come into effect from Friday, 10 August 2018.
The rate for BIP for those with 30 qualifying years or more will increase from Pound 67.30 to Pound 70.20.
The rate for IRB for a single person household will increase from Pound 65.10 to Pound 67.90.
In addition, the rate for IRB for an additional adult in the household will increase from Pound 38.00 to Pound 38.90.
Individuals receiving BIP and households receiving IRB will shortly receive a letter from the Social Security Office detailing how the change in IRB and BIP rates will affect them.
The MIS has been revised as a result of the six-monthly price check performed by the SHG Statistics Office on the predetermined basket of goods and services. This price collection (referred to as the 'shopping basket') was performed at the end of the last financial year but due to the delay in the Government Budget being approved could not be implemented earlier.
Executive Council noted that in line with the policy to review prices every six months, another price collection will take place in September 2018 and any changes that are necessary to the MIS will come into effect from October 2018.
Executive Council also noted that this uplift took account of the recent increases to water and telecommunications tariffs by Connect Saint Helena Ltd and Sure South Atlantic Ltd.
Executive Council also agreed that an ex-gratia payment be made to households and individuals in receipt of IRB and BIP. The payment recognises the time lapse since the approval of the 2018/19 Government Budget and the approval to uplift the MIS on Tuesday and is equivalent to the increase that would have been received in that week. This payment, along with the uplift, will be made through the current payment mechanism on Thursday, 16, & Friday, 17 August 2018.
The detailed Executive Council Memorandum that accompanied the Regulations can be found on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/councils/executive-council/.
Members of the community who would like further information about eligibility for both BIP and IRB can contact the Social Security Office at the Post Office Building, Jamestown, in person by appointment or on telephone no. 22605 during normal working hours.
Source: St Helena Government