Since taking office, the Government has prioritised solving the problems of its citizens and rebooting the economy in the COVID-19 environment. Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo made this statement during an interview about the Administration’s achievements during its first 100 days in office.
One of the Government’s priorities, Jagdeo told the National Communications Network in an interview, was getting assistance to citizens, which saw the provision of the $25,000 per household COVID-19 relief cash grant, and according to him, this initiative has been well received countrywide and has been helpful to thousands.
“Of the 110,000 packages delivered so far, we have had 11,000 pink slips (query form) filled out, which is about 10 per cent more, and we have not completed all the regions,” Jagdeo is quoted as saying by the Department of Public Information.
The query form, or pink slip, will ensure that households with multiple families benefit from the grant.
Grant distribution started in the farthest regions September month-end and continues countrywide. The exercise began in Region Five on Sunday and will soon start in Region Four.
Jagdeo said the Government is proactive by ensuring that those most in need get the necessary help soonest.
“We are programming some reimbursements through our retroactive financing, some reimbursement for early expenditure and we are already trying to target help for households and vulnerable families,” the Vice President said.
According to the Vice President, Government is also focusing on getting its quota of the COVID-19 vaccine early when it becomes available. It is encouraged by the announcement of US company Moderna, that its vaccine has shown that it offers almost 95 per cent protection from the disease.
Jagdeo noted that the Government measures, through the 2020 emergency budget, will help to cushion the financial blow of the pandemic.
The $5000 increase in old-age pension will put close to $4 billion more in the pockets of pensioners. An additional $400 million will be returned to the pockets of parents with the 100 per cent increase in the school uniform voucher. Further, the $10,000 school grant per students has also been increased to $15,000.
“We are hoping by giving this out, we are putting billions of dollars in the pockets of families that have children, and they spend the money back in the economy so you will see more economic activities,” the Vice President is quoted as saying.
Other measures include the removal of value-added tax (VAT) on water and electricity, free water for pensioners, the removal of corporate tax on education and health and the removal of VAT on medical supplies.