How will Poverty Reduction Strategy help single mothers
March 25, 2002
Letters on economic concerns
Much has been said on the Guyana Poverty Reduction Strategy programmes held across the wide expanse of Guyana whereby Region # 3 was no exception.
I unfortunately did not attend any of the sessions. However, I was fortunate to read points of a report on the topic and was happy for the efforts made by some young persons to voice their opinions as well as to raise relevant issues.
It is my view that government funds are still being squandered in contractual works and purchases of goods by government agencies at inflated prices.
A single parent (mother) with three children - two at secondary level and the other at primary can spell out her expenses (a public servant whose earnings are $20,000.00 per month).
School expense: travelling - $6,000.00 - groceries per month, approx. - $10,000.00 basic commodities do not include, meat, fish, vegetables etc. Light bill - minimum $3,000 total $19,160.
The parent's travelling expense is: $1,760 per month, she sometimes walks or rides a bicycle. The total now becomes $20,920.
What about rentals at $5,000.00 per month if there is no place to live? Other expenses for children at secondary school each month to do photocopying and/or purchase of stationery, pens, file folders etc to complete assignments exceeds the limited cash available. Several other expenses are brought in by your child; sometimes the home management class requires the purchase of cloth, dye, fabric paint, embroidery threads etc to name a few.
How can that parent survive without stressing out? Where must the extra money come from? There is nothing to place in a savings account for an unexpected illness etc. How about clothing and footwear?
How about her wanting to purchase a house lot then building even a shack to raise her children?
The Poverty Reduction Strategy involves much talk and planning but how will it help us poor working mothers.
The focus should be on the wages and salaries being able to cover all expenses with a 'bit' to be saved to make a shelter for our heads.