Video: Minister Jason Hayward Press Conference

September 24, 2020 | 8 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Labour Jason Hayward is holding a press conference this morning [Sept 24] updating Bermuda on Financial Assistance Reform & Work from Bermuda. We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 16-minute replay is below

Update 2.25pm: Minister Hayward’s remarks:

Good day to members of the media and the listening public. Thank you for your attendance and for watching this press conference.

The public will know that this Government is committed to improving the Financial Assistance system that currently helps those in the community who require financial support to meet their basic needs.

I am therefore pleased to inform the Bermuda public that this Government is moving forward with a comprehensive Financial Assistance Reform Strategy. The Strategy aims to chart a new course for Financial Assistance by changing it into a streamlined and efficient system that emphasizes giving those previously unable the opportunity to fully participate in the local economy and realize their potential.

The strategy has an even more ambitious goal of moving our able-bodied and able-disabled recipients into employment opportunities as soon as possible. This will help to avoid long-term dependency on the system. Furthermore, through active engagement in the workforce and participation in training and other support services, recipients will benefit greatly from a completely new and different approach.

And so we will move from what we now know as Financial Assistance to a system that motivates and empowers individuals to improve their financial situation. The reformed system will focus less on policing and the administration of rules to helping more individuals access the services and support available to help them. This approach will not only meet their basic needs, but also allow them to achieve a greater sense of personal and financial success.

The reform, consists of four [4] overarching aims and strives to:

  • 1. Increase sustainability of the Financial Assistance program;
  • 2. Strengthen the education, training, and employment services for Financial assistance recipients;
  • 3. Encourage individuals and families to become financially independent; and
  • 4. Improve the program to better support persons with disabilities.

To accomplish this, the reformed Financial Assistance program will:

  • Promote the financial stability of individuals and families by amending the asset and income criteria to allow those receiving financial aid to:
    • Hold or receive gifts up to $2,500, and
    • Hold savings or investments up to $5,000 in single adult households and $7,500 for households with two adults.
  • Institute Personal Employment Plans and strengthen employment support services to ensure all financial aid recipients not only have a plan to get employed but are also provided the collaborative support needed to help them achieve financial independence.
  • Amend the Childcare Support rules to allow FA recipients to retain 50% of child support received to help cover child-related expenses.
  • Improve access to affordable and suitable housing by working closely with BHC and landlords of rent-controlled properties.
  • Enhance the incentives to work program to help clients see a rise in their standard of living when they have a job or increase the number of hours they work.
  • Improve outcomes by ensuring public-facing services are sufficiently resourced with the appropriate staffing, support and services, and an appropriate performance framework, complaints, and dispute process.
  • Ensure that the level of employment services and support people receive will be proportional to their level of need so that people with disabilities and others who face multiple barriers to employment will not be left behind.
  • Revise a cross-governmental approach to effective social services, so it is better able to assist people to obtain and keep good, sustainable work. These social services will focus on supporting vulnerable populations, allowing them to maintain or develop independence and receive the necessary assistance.
  • Improve assistance for disabled people by ensuring access to the range of employment services available to those with disabilities as well as specialized disability-related support services.

The financial assistance reform will be comprehensive and result in a whole new experience for current and future financial aid recipients. The experience will be focused more on providing the necessary guidance and support for persons to gain and maintain their financial independence.

For this Government, the reformed FA system will be an investment in our people…and I am confident that the return on this investment will be tenfold.

Thank you.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “I am therefore pleased to inform the Bermuda public that this Government is moving forward with a comprehensive Financial Assistance Reform Strategy.”

    Dear Minister Hayward, how can the Government move forward with such a strategy when Parliament has been dissolved?

    • Ringmaster says:

      It is just another example of the contempt the PLP hold of the people of Bermuda. It’s why they have no desire to improve Education as it would mean they would lose a large part of their voter base.

  2. Mixer says:

    Can I borrow $800,000.00 til next year? Just put in an envelope. Thanks!

  3. Guy Carri says:

    In other countries, able bodied people on FA have to work for FA. They get put onto a “hustle truck” cleaning up, e.g. landscaping roadsides, parks and public grounds. If they don’t show, they get cut off. They build up skills, work for their money and prove they are willing to do so and help make their home better.

    • wahoo says:

      I suggested something like that a while back and got screamed on! We live in the land of something for nothing I guess. There is sooo much stuff that needs to be done around here but it is offensive to suggest actually working for money.

  4. kevin says:

    Please tell me where is the Money tree ..no we need an orchard …election is here promise the world the plp who have cost us 2.5 billion of debt have now promised another 500 million in borrowed funds. Bermuda WAKE UP we all owe this the Government isnt some corporation they are us and so all that is owed is what we owe ….yup the flock will vote green because they believe in Santa Clause the tooth fairy and that all bills and mortgages will disappear when the green monster is voted in
    WAKE UP

  5. Albie says:

    Actually the taxpayers in the future will pay this debt. Many seniors live with family or in rented units. Their contribution to the economy decreases over time but their cost to the island increases as they require more and more support. Time to get our act together and entice more high spending families to relocate to our blighted island home.

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