Minister of Finance Dr. Nigel Clarke, in closing the Budget Debate yesterday, announced several measures to help Jamaicans recover from losses being suffered as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The categories of people to be assisted include beneficiaries of the government’s Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), which targets the most needy and vulnerable in the society.
The minister disclosed that PATH beneficiaries will get an extra payment, which will be made in the month of May. It will be the same amount ordinarily collected every other month.
The minister told parliament: “We will be channeling $1.1 billion in additional funding to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to be used to increase PATH Cash Grants paid during the period April – June…
“PATH Beneficiaries will ordinarily receive a payment in April and a similar payment in June. In response to the economic effects of the COVID pandemic, the government will make an additional payment of a similar amount in May… To be clear, the amount received per payment remains the same, but the frequency will increase over this period..”
The finance minister, in the meantime, announced several other financial incentives that will be available for Jamaicans.
He disclosed the following:
• $1.0 billion to support COVID grants for the informally employed who are affected
• $800 million for COVID grants to support micro and small business across Jamaica
• $1.2 billion in COVID tourism grants to support smaller operators in the tourism and related sectors
• $200 million in COVID compassionate grants from the Constituency Development Fund to be distributed through Constituency Offices
• $150 million in support to the Ministry of Local Government to attend to the needs of the elderly not on PATH, the infirmed and the homeless
• $200 million to support small farmers
To read the finance minister’s full closing budget presentation, CLICK HERE.
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