Help is on the way! That’s the word from Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke, who Tuesday announced a raft of relief measures to benefit citizens and businesses which will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the short term measures to alleviate the crisis are cash transfers for hotel workers who have been laid off and grants for qualifying small businesses. Speaking in parliament the Finance Minister introduced the Business Employee Support and Transfer of Cash, the BEST Cash program for licensed tourism businesses.
Meantime, the Finance Minister announced that workers who have been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a grant of 9 thousand dollars per fortnight, starting in April, and running until the end of June under the SET Cash program.
Employees will be eligible to receive a total of 54 thousand dollars during the period.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister has also announced a 1 point 1 billion dollar allocation to increase support to persons on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education, PATH.
Dr. Clarke noted that the number of cash grants payable under the programme will be increased from 2 to 3 in May.
As it relates to informal workers in sectors such as tourism, the government will be seeking to set up verification systems to provide assistance for them. Dr. Clarke noted that an additional 1 billion dollars will be made available to provide assistance for tour operators, craft vendors and others in informal sectors.