Another 50,000 Jamaicans are to benefit from cash grants under the Government’s COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme, which will continue with a further allotment of $3 billion in the 2021/22 budget.
This was noted by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Aubyn Hill.
The money is to be provided through the $60 billion Social and Economic Recovery and Vaccine Programme for Jamaica (SERVE), which is to provide the foundation for the country’s economic recovery in the upcoming fiscal year.
“The SERVE programme (will facilitate) the continuation of the CARE programme (specifically), the Supporting Employees with the Transfer of Cash (SET Cash) unemployment grants that support those who earn below the income tax threshold and have been unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic from all sectors; and the Business Employee Support and Transfer of Cash (BEST Cash) grants that support tourism employees for the quarter April to June 2021,”
Implemented in April last year, the CARE Programme forms part of the Government’s $25 billion stimulus, in response to the global health crisis. It provides temporary cash transfers to individuals and businesses to cushion the economic fallout from the pandemic.
Approximately 435,000 Jamaicans have benefited under the overall CARE Programme, which also provided compassionate and general grants.
Hill pointed out that the CARE programme is the largest social programme in Jamaica’s history, noting that Jamaica was the first in the Caribbean region and one of the first in the world to launch a fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know that other countries…launched huge trillion dollar Bills to help their economies recover, but as good as they are, and as big as they are, we were first,” Senator Hill emphasised.
In the meantime, the Appropriations Bill was passed in the Senate, giving its approval for the Government’s estimated expenditure of $830.8 billion for the financial year 2021/22.