Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Waiting Game For Desperate Families: Govt Holds Off A Decision On Whether Aid Schemes Will Extend Into New Year

Public Services and National Insurance Minister Brensil Rolle.

Tribune Staff Reporter

THE government has not yet decided whether it will further extend its COVID-19 support initiatives – including the unemployment benefits programme – beyond the December deadline, according to Public Service Minister Brensil Rolle.

Mr. Rolle was asked whether there will be a continuation of the programmes, which are set to end this month.

“We’ve not evaluated that process as yet,” he told reporters. “You are aware the government had extended from June to December. At some point, we will take a look at what’s happening in the country and make the judgment.”

To assist with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnis administration in March launched its unemployment benefit programme, among other initiatives, for self-employed people directly connected to the tourism sector and later expanded it to include self-employed people outside of the industry.

The programme was initially extended to July and then to September.

However, recognising that thousands continued to be affected by the pandemic, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced in October that the assistance programmes will continue until December, with an additional $45 million allocated towards those initiatives.  Read more >>