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Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 01, 2020 (SKNIS): The September disbursement of the COVID-19 stimulus payment was channelled to those persons who remain laid off or unemployed and as such would need it most.

Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said that the decision was largely made based on the government’s desire to assist those who are most vulnerable as reflected by information from the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board.

“When Social Security went through its data [it] reflected that the unemployment in some sectors had been significantly improved as more and more persons got into the job market,” Dr. Harris stated on the September 30, 2020, edition of Leadership Matters: Virtual Forum Series.

“… I want to emphasize that the intention of the policy is not to exclude any qualified person. Manufacturing is back out, retail and wholesale are back out, agriculture is back out, construction is back out, and the buses are back out full time. So if we look at it, the only sector that is left in a substantially closed way is the hotel and related sector so that is why they would become the most significant beneficiary group,” PM Harris said.

It was emphasized that the payment is only for the month of September. However, other stimulus initiatives have been extended for another three months for those who qualify. These include the waiver of payments for water bills and a reduction on corporation tax.

The prime minister noted that while revenues were reduced for the government as well as for social security it was important to assist in a prudent way. 

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