Thousands of Vincentians benefit from COVID-19 income support

By Demion McTair. Updated 8:48 p.m., Monday, June 22, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – More than 2,500 Vincentians have benefited from COVID-19 income support from the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), through two programs since June 12.

The Government announced its COVID-19 economic stimulus support measures in March, 2020 and approved its supplementary budget in Parliament on April 7, 2020 to fund its COVID-19 stimulus response.

Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonslaves said in Parliament today (June 22), that as of June 12, 2020, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has paid Displacement Supplementary Income to 1,496 Vincentians.

These persons were affected by closures int he hospitality sector.

Each person was paid EC$300 per month, a total of EC$1.02 million dollars.

Gonsalves also said that as of the 12th of June, an additional 1,100 Vincentians have received a similar EC$300 per month through the Unemployment Benefit offered by the National Insurance Services (NIS).

The Unemployment Benefit Program has paid just over EC$600,000 to date.

A total of 2,596 Vincentians are currently receiving income support through either the Displacement Supplementary Income or the Unemployment Benefit Program.

The 2,596 represents some 82 percent of the 3,164 claims that have been filed to date, he said.

Many of the unpaid claims are awaiting additional documentation, while others have been rejected on various grounds.

Some 60 percent of the beneficiaries are women and 66 percent of the beneficiaries are under the age of 44.

Gonsalves said the two programs account for about 30 percent of benefits paid.

Some of the other beneficiaries of other stimulus programs include minibus operators, contributory and non-contributory pensioners, and persons in the informal sector.

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