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Senior Minister Hon. Vance Amory

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 02, 2020 (SKNIS): Senior Minister and Minister with Responsibility for Labour and Social Security, Hon. Vance Amory, said there was no need for anyone to go to the Social Security Building on Friday April 3 to collect cheques from the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund because the process to do so has not yet been completed.

In denouncing a fake announcement circulating on social media instructing people to turn up at the Social Security Building for their cheques, Senior Minister Amory said “I have been made aware that there is an organized disinformation campaign being waged against the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board and by extension against the people of St. Kitts and Nevis by illicit actors on social media.”

“Their part aim is to sow public confusion and social unrest and also to endanger the health of our people during this global pandemic by seeking to encourage a crowd to assemble in front of the Social Security building tomorrow Friday April, 3, 2020, from 8am to collect their income assistance cheques,” Senior Minister Amory said.

He said that the Social Security Board will make a statement when it would be ready to disburse the funds.

“Let me advise that Social Security will issue when it is ready in the shortest possible time later this month, the times, dates when such payment will be made. And in the first instance because Social Security will not have all of the bank accounts for all of the workers so affected, I’m advising that the first tranche would be paid at Social Security but that information will be given by notice from the public relations officer at Social Security,” Senior Minister Amory said.

He explained that the “Emergency Relief Fund would be paid up to 1000 dollars monthly for three months in the first instance to persons whose income has been impacted by COVID-19.”

“Let me make it abundantly clear that the 1000 dollars is the maximum amount which would be paid to any person who has suffered a loss of income. Where any worker who receives part-time or reduced income would receive some payment, the Social Security Board will top up the amount which is received to make it 1000 dollars in total,” Senior Minister Amory said.

“Your Ministry of Labour and the Department of Labour is collecting all of the information and will process all of the application forms at the Department of Labour and those would be submitted to Social Security for final processing and payment,” he added.

He mentioned that the Department of Labour has written to all employers to collect data, which will include the names of all persons employed by them, who will be affected by “COVID-19 resulting in their being laid off, given reduced hours, in anything which reduces their income.”

“I make this statement because we are aware that there are those in the society who are calculated to create confusion and provide misinformation,” he highlighted.

“Let us stand together and let us not be fooled and misled by this destructive fake news, which is a creation of those persons, who have no interest but to create confusion in this country,” he said.

The Senior Minister said that “the workers of this Federation are dear to the heart of the Ministry of Labour and the Team Unity Government and we will do all in our power to make sure that the interests of the workers are properly looked after.”

He encouraged all citizens and residents to “be safe” and to “stay indoors when the curfew indicates.”

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