CHARLESTOWN, Nevis, Sept. 10.2018 – THE Nevis Island Administration has announced a one-day extension for residents registering for the federal government’s $500 per month poverty alleviation programme.
The programme, which is geared towards assisting households making less than EC$3000 per month, is a promise that the Team Unity administration made while in opposition in the run-up to the 2015 general elections.
In a press statement today, the NIA said the Social Services Department has extended registration on Nevis for the Federal Household Assistance Programme.
The registration period was scheduled to end today, but that has since been pushed back until tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m.
Though the assistance programme has been talked about for a number of years, the government has not given much information with regards to how the initiative will be rolled out.
Premier Mark Brantley at his recent month press conference gave a bit of insight into what may be on the horizon. He acknowledged that giving people a $500 cash payout may not be feasible as many will squander the money.
“I did mention a voucher, but I believe that the mechanics are still be worked on as how the payment will be effected. There are many in the public square who are saying just give the people $500 in their hand and let them do what they want.
“Certainly, my own view is that - and I shared that view with the prime minister – any assistance should be a more meaningful that that. What I mean by that is: that it should ensure that people are getting the essentials: so, food, utilities and the like...rather than a free for all”
He noted that the idea is for the people to use the money for the real purpose of ensuring that the people can ensure a better standard of living.
“So, the mechanics of it are still being worked out. There is some debate as to whether it is going to be like a card, a debit card or it is going to be an actual voucher; is it going to be something that is negotiable only at certain supermarkets and stores or will it be negotiable generally,” noted Brantley.