COVID-19 cash grant strengthening economy – Teixeira
The $4.5 billion set aside by the Government for COVID-19 relief cash grant distribution is finding its way back into the economy.
This is according to Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Minister Gail Teixeira, who, according to a Department of Public Information (DPI) report, stated that while the Government’s initiative was bringing relief to the most vulnerable, it was also strengthening the economy.
“Every time a person gets money, they will spend it. Instead of giving the business community the money, we give the people the money. The people decide how to spend it and that money circulates in the economy, it allows the spending power of the people to be improved, business people to open up and buy more and rehire workers sent off because of COVID,” she told residents of Mahaica Creek, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) on Friday.
The Government started the distribution of the $25,000 per family cash grant back in September to assist people adversely affected by the pandemic. Minister Teixeira said between March and August of this year, more than 5000 people lost their jobs owing to the slowing of the economy.
While many countries around the world have provided support to their citizens, Guyana is among the few, especially within the Caribbean Region, to offer financial assistance.
“We have finished 99 per cent in Region Seven, all the mountainous and riverine areas. We have finished Region Nine and Region One and Eight, so we are moving on to the coast now, with Region Three and Region Five,” Teixeira is quoted by the DPI as saying.
The Minister explained that the Government started the distribution exercise in the interior regions, since the vastness of the hinterland adds to the challenges there. There are instances, she said, where the closest shop is miles away.
The grant is, however, making a significant impact in people’s lives. In Georgetown, a family may use it to pay an electricity bill, while in a farming community like those in Region Five, persons may choose to buy things like seeds and pesticide.
Meanwhile, earlier in the month, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said the cash grant distribution was moving smoothly, with residents in most of the far-flung regions already receiving their monies.