$100m COVID relief
An additional $100 million is being allocated through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to ease the pressures vulnerable families are feeling because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Portfolio Minister Karl Samuda said that members of parliament (MPs) would be in charge of distributing the resources.
“On no account will a recommendation be accepted, unless it is coming over the signature of a member of parliament. This is a programme designed to enable members of parliament to have the flexibility to do the things that are necessary to bring relief to the suffering people within their constituency,” Samuda said on Tuesday while making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate.
Equally distributed, each of the 63 members of parliament would receive an allocation of $1.58 million.
“We have done a realignment because we recognise it is absolutely urgent. Time cannot be spent dilly-dallying about giving assistance to the poor and the needy,” Samuda said.
The labour and social security minister gave assurances that the programme would not cause any further expenditure from the public purse.
Samuda said that MPs will receive letters outlining the procedure to access the fund and the accountability they will face.
“As critical partners, we are expecting the fullest cooperation and oversight, as these resources are internally sourced through a process of realignment. So, we are relying on our partners within the political environment to safeguard these funds and to use them wisely,” the minister said.