(July 13th, 2022)The future of the PAP programme has sparked much attention and debate during the early weeks of this election campaign.
Much of this discussion has centred around Labour Leader Terrance Drew’s admission that his party would scrap the existing PAP programme.
Here we take an in-depth look at five public comments Dr Drew has made about the PAP and see how closely they resemble the facts of the matter.
Claim #1: Drew claims that “we [St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party] started the PAP programme” 4th July 2022
FACT: The first PAP cheques were handed out on Christmas Eve 2018 by the PLP-led Government of Dr Timothy Harris as a means of providing monthly $500 payments to the poorest in our society to support them with paying their bills and prevent them falling into poverty.
Claim #2: On the first day that PAP cheques were handed out, Dr Drew described it as a “sad day for our country”. 24th December 2018
FACT: Far from being a sad day, for many PAP recipients this was a day of relief. Media at the time described it as “a sea of humanity” because the PAP provides a lifeline for many families. It provides parents with the means to put food in their children’s mouths, and the ability to pay their electricity bill so they didn’t fear being cut off.
Claim #3: In a recent Labour press release, Dr Drew made comments that suggested that many PAP recipients aren’t deserving of their $500 monthly payments. 4th July 2022
FACT: Drew’s comments are divisive and many recipients will be upset to read them. The PAP is a programme to support the most vulnerable in society; and is available to all who meet the criteria. To support recipients with rising prices, the monthly payments will be increased from September 1st.
Claim #4: Dr Drew said to PAP recipients that “your situation will be evaluated”. 5th July 2022
FACT: Labour’s plans could see inspectors snooping on the poor, elderly and most vulnerable in society to determine if they’re deserving of a welfare payment. Drew’s plans to end the existing PAP programme will put thousands of people at risk of losing their monthly payments.
Claim #5: Dr Drew said that Labour will “mend the PAP”. 4th July 2022
FACT: Dr Drew and Labour’s plans are tantamount to ending the PAP in its existing form. Many residents will now be at risk of losing their monthly $500 payments – which will cause worry and concern, while stripping many people of the means to buy food or pay essential bills.
From our investigations, it appears there are a series of differences between Dr Drew’s recent claims on PAP and the facts of the matter.
Many readers may now question whether Dr Drew is a credible candidate to be our country’s next Prime Minister.