Senator Fortuna Belrose, Saint Lucia’s Minister in the Ministry of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Culture and Creative Industries with responsibility for Culture and Creative Industries, believes that the money mothers receive from fathers for the maintenance of children is inadequate.
“I think the whole society needs to lobby, we need to advocate,” Belrose told reporters Thursday.
She asserted that the issue of minor sums being given for child maintenance is something that has affected the society for a number of years.
Just this week Minister for Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment, Lenard Montoute, announced that Saint Lucia will be reviewing the Child Maintenance Act as part of a planned overhaul of legislation that pertains to social services.
Senator Belrose for her part asserted that there is no way that maintaining a child with $250 a month is adequate.
“I think it is something we are looking at. I think the onus is on the government to continue to work towards avenues for employment for people because we still have a high level of unemployment,” she stated.
According to Belrose, Saint Lucia needs an environment where everyone is working and can afford to meet their obligations.
“I think in the past this has been an issue – it continues to be an issue and it will will always be an issue because one can never fully measure the cost of maintenance of a child; and given the environment that we are in as a society, in the past what we did have was a collective – the extended family providing that support,” she observed.
But she noted that increasingly people are moving into single family environments where they do not have the same level of support from the extended family.
Belrose noted that the government is concerned about the issue of child maintenance and is working steadily in ensuring that the economic situation of citizens improves so that they can maintain their families.