Restore bonus on interest for senior
citizens immediately – Attanayake

Hitting vulnerable groups under the belt a grave crime

Grant salary increase to working class including teachers


by Zacki Jabbar


The UNP yesterday called on the government to immediately restore the 20 per cent bonus on interest, that was paid by Commercial Banks for deposits made by senior citizens, without heaping more burdens on them.

General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake told a news conference in Colombo that people over sixty years whom the government categorized as senior citizens, were a vulnerable group and hitting them below the belt at a time when the cost of living was skyrocketing, is a grave crime.

"In January this year, the Central Bank encouraged elderly persons to deposit their hard earned savings in Commercial Banks, promising them a 20 percent bonus on interest earned. But, with effect from June 30, the scheme has been scrapped. How does the government expect them to cope, when young able bodied persons are struggling to make ends meet, with the cost of living rising by the day."

The bonus on interest scheme was another one of those "Mahinda Chintana Bogeys," which was used to attract votes in the run up to the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. Having won the polls, even senior citizens have been abandoned, he said.

Attanayake said that the Rajapaksa government claimed it was the guardian of the poor and social welfare was its hallmark. But the treatment meted out to the elderly, the vast majority of whom are forced to survive on their meager savings acquired over a lifetime, was just another example of its policy of hoodwinking those it was said to represent.

Even teachers and university students who were promised the sun and the moon, have been left in the lurch by the government, he said.

Attanayake said the salary increase that was promised to the working class including teachers and better facilities for university students to complete their education, should be honoured without any further delay.

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