The pensions of hundreds of retired police officers in Sharjah have been increased from Dh10,000 to Dh17,500.
The amount paid to 453 retirees will go up after it was approved by Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah.
The 43 per cent increase was announced by the Ruler on the emirate’s local radio channel on Tuesday.
It will be paid on a pro-rata basis from January 2018 and will cost the government an additional Dh40 million.
The increase came after a study was conducted to assess earnings and living standards of retired officers in the emirate.
“After studying their situation, we found the amounts they receive were not enough. We can’t leave them in these low standards of living,” Sheikh Dr Sultan said on Sharjah Radio.
“Policemen work amid many dangers, and are exposed to many accidents that may lead to death in the line of duty, such as the incident of the late Lt Saif bin Rashid Al Tunaiji, who was shot dead during a raid.”
He said financial aid provided by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to policemen was not enough.
“Sometimes the aid would be stopped if the retired person started a small project that may be considered a source of income. I told them [DSS] that this is a living God gave to him, so why do you cut off the amount you were giving him?” Sheikh Dr Sultan said.
“I give to my children without favour, and I say to those who gave us their youth and energy – we apologise for the delay.”
He said the government will also look into the financial difficulties or debts the retirees have suffered in the past years.
"We will also compensate them for the material suffering they went through during the last period. I will deal with their problems and debts, and this file is in front of me now and I will start working on it,” he said.
Chief of Sharjah Police Maj Gen Saif Al Shamsi expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the Ruler of Sharjah.
“His Highness regularly keeps in touch with us – maybe five or six times daily – asking about things and data,” Maj Gen Al Shamsi said.
“The decision has warmed our hearts and would directly reflect on the lives of the retirees, especially families of deceased retirees who devoted their lives to police work.”
In August, Sheikh Dr Sultan also announced scholarships and bursaries for hundreds of Emirati youths to study at the University of Sharjah and the American University of Sharjah.