Cabinet recently approved the payment of a state pension to well-known historian Sr Mary Noel Menezes, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said yesterday, while announcing that there will be an increase in the maximum annual rate currently being paid.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing, Harmon said Cabinet saw Menezes, Professor Emeritus, University of Guyana (UG), as “most deserving” of a state pension.
He informed that Cabinet also considered and approved a submission by the Finance Minister for an increase in the maximum annual rate of state pension from $120,000 to $360,000. He defended the increase, saying that based on Menezes’ experience and the quality of service she has given, the sum that was being paid was “very inadequate to at least maintain her in a decent state of life in her latter days.”
Menezes, who last year launched a new book, entitled ‘Guyana and the Wider World,’ which features a collection of her essays and addresses, is in her late 80s.
When asked what qualifies a person for a state pension, Harmon referred reporters to the State Pension Act, while saying that the details were not immediately available to him.
The Act states, in part, that the president makes the determination, having considered the nature and quality of service rendered to the state.