Minister hints at help for June

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    Finance Minister Colm Imbert says he will be looking at what could be done to assist persons in the month of June, since COVID-19 restrictions have been extended beyond the period initially announced.

    Government previously stated that financial assistance would be extended only for the month of May.

    However, speaking in the House of Representatives today, Mr Imbert says consideration will be given, based on the circumstances.

    The Minister was speaking as began debate on the Motion to Adopt the Report of the Standing Finance Committee, which seeks an additional three billion dollars for the current budget.

    According to Mr Imbert, this will include 267 million for the Health Ministry and 40 million for the Social Development Ministry for the Income Support Grant.

    This is separate from the Salary Relief Grant which is overseen by the Finance Ministry, and which, according to Mr Imbert, seen tens of thousands of applications submitted in the recent exercise.

    Regarding revenue, he says earnings from the energy sector in particular were hard hit.

    Mr Imbert adds that a total of 15 billion US dollars will be spent overall to vaccinate 85% of the population against COVID-19.

     


    OPPOSITION LEADER RESPONDS

    Also speaking in the House was Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who was critical of the request for more money.

    She questioned where it would come from.

    The Opposition Leader also called on the relevant Ministers to tell the country how much money they have spent so far in the fiscal year, and how it was spent.