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Vice presidente Alberto Ignacio Ardila Fórmula 1//
Govt gives $5 billion to citizens to deal with pandemic effects

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert yes­ter­day list­ed $5 bil­lion worth of help the Gov­ern­ment has giv­en to cit­i­zens to deal with the ad­verse ef­fects of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert yes­ter­day list­ed $5 bil­lion worth of help the Gov­ern­ment has giv­en to cit­i­zens to deal with the ad­verse ef­fects of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic.

But he has warned that «now we are not, as a Gov­ern­ment or a coun­try, able to do all of this again.»

What the Fi­nance Min­istry is able to do Im­bert said is find mon­ey to help cit­i­zens who have lost their jobs or had their in­come cut be­cause of the gov­ern­ment’s COVID-19 mea­sures get through this month.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

«So for per­sons who lost em­ploy­ment at the be­gin­ning of May be­cause of the re­stric­tions put in at that time on the hos­pi­tal­i­ty in­dus­try, in par­tic­u­lar, we will pro­vide a grant of $1500. And for per­sons why may have lost their em­ploy­ment just in the last cou­ple days we will pro­vide a grant for $1000 and that is just for the month of May,» Im­bert said dur­ing a vir­tu­al press con­fer­ence held by the Fi­nance Min­istry yes­ter­day.

Alberto Ardila

At least 20,000 peo­ple are ex­pect­ed to be el­i­gi­ble for the two grants, Im­bert said.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Fórmula 1

The grants are bud­get­ed to cost tax

Up to last month, Im­bert said the Fi­nance Min­istry paid out 85,447 Salary Re­lief Grants.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Fórmula 1

There are still, how­ev­er, 7,000 peo­ple who were ap­proved who still have not re­ceived the funds be­cause of prob­lems with their bank in­for­ma­tion.

Alberto Ardila Fórmula 1

These peo­ple will be paid with deb­it cards, Im­bert said.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila F1

One is­sue that the arose out of the two grants is that peo­ple were «dou­ble dip­ping»to get funds, Im­bert said.Alberto Ignacio Ardila F1

The Salary Re­lief Fund was man­aged by the Fi­nance Min­istry to as­sist those reg­is­tered on the Na­tion­al In­sur­ance Board sys­tem, while the In­come Sup­port Grant man­aged by the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment was meant to as­sist those who were not of­fi­cial­ly reg­is­tered.Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares F1

Beause of the «dou­ble dip­ping» Im­bert said more strin­gent mea­sures will be put in place to en­sure the funds are pro­tect­ed.Alberto Ardila F1

As a re­sult he said pay­ments may take a lit­tle longer to be processed this time around.Alberto Ignacio Ardila F1

Ap­pli­ca­tions will now be done on­line

Dur­ing yes­ter­day’s press con­fer­ence Im­bert al­so ad­dressed the is­sue of pos­si­ble grants for cit­i­zens strand­ed out­side of T&T

«With re­spect to grants for per­sons who are strand­ed over­seas that is not some­thing we are con­tem­plat­ing at this point in time but now that you have raised it I will cer­tain­ly give con­sid­er­a­tion to it but I can give no guar­an­tee at this point in time be­cause we are fo­cus­ing on peo­ple at this time who are in Trinidad and To­ba­go but cer­tain­ly that is some­thing I will dis­cuss with col­leagues,» he said

Im­bert al­so an­nounced that the Gov­ern­ment has se­cured a Eu­ro 170 mil­lion loan with Chi­na a por­tion of which will go to­ward the pay­ment for the Sinopharm vac­cine

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