Thu | Aug 13, 2020

Gov't extends BEST Cash and SET Cash programmes until August

Published:Tuesday | July 7, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Clarke ... The extension of the programme will benefit just under 50,000 workers who were earning up to $1.5 million a year.

Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke has announced a two-month extension for two elements of the Government’s COVID assistance programme.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Clarke said SET Cash and BEST Cash grants will be extended to August 2020.

They were expected to end in June.

BEST Cash is for tourism employees and SET Cash for other workers laid off because of the COVID pandemic.

The extension of the programmes will benefit just under 50,000 workers who were earning up to $1.5 million a year.

Clarke said the grants of $18,000 a month would help many people with loans and other obligations.

He also said with Jamaica now approaching 120 days since some businesses were forced to close because of COVID-19, there is the potential for employees to initiative redundancy requests.

However, Clarke said the government does not want to precipitate this and so the extension of the grant programme while the economy recovers could be helpful.

In the meantime, Opposition Spokesman on Finance Mark Golding said he was disappointed that there was no extension to the CARE programme that benefited the largest number of people.

"For the most vulnerable in the society, there is no good news for them," said Golding.

Just under 400,000 people had applied under the CARE programme for the one-off $10,000 grant.

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