BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, March 25, 2020 (MMS-SKN) -- Prime Minister and Minister of People Empowerment, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, while updating the nation about the measures government is taking to support workers, homeowners, businesses, and farmers as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, thanked the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Board for establishing a special fund to assist those who will be impacted.
“Employees who contract the virus and for whom contributions were made would be eligible for Social Security benefits,” said Prime Minister Harris at his monthly press conference held on Tuesday March 24 at the Ocean Terrace Inn’s conference room under the topic COVID-19 - Economic Response.
“The Social Security Board in this regard will establish a special fund of about $15 million to assist with income support up to a maximum of $1,000 per month for workers whose income would have been impacted by COVID-19.”
Registered self-employed persons who can show that they have been impacted would also qualify for this support, advised Dr Harris. The fund will take into consideration persons who are part of the registered self-employed category workers by the Social Security Board.
On behalf of the country, Prime Minister Harris thanked the Board of Directors of Social Security for being part of the plan to create a package of support to mitigate the negative social and economic impact of the pandemic.
“Under your Government’s leadership, the Social Security Board has responded in a very responsible way, and I must thank my Senior Minister and Minister of Social Security, the Hon Vance Amory, who in fact would have intervened with the Board to ensure this timely response,” said Prime Minister Harris.
“He (Amory) has already highlighted the benefits and in particular the intervention of Social Security which was intended to ensure that no worker at this time of difficulty should receive an income of less than $1,000,” added Prime Minister Harris. “And where, if for example, you are only receiving $500 per month, the Social Security will top it up by another $500 to ensure that your income is at a minimum $1,000.”
Senior Minister Amory was present at the press conference, as was the Director of the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, Mr Antonio Maynard.
The Social Scrutiny Board was set up largely to support the workers or their beneficiaries in the times of greatest need, and such times include times of sickness, maternity, employment injury, infirmity and death. Dr Harris noted that during a pandemic like the current COVID-19, the country’s workers are most vulnerable and they suffer significant loss in income.
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