The Arima Business Association has proposed additional measures to lessen the burden on businesses and employees affected by restrictions imposed during the covid19 pandemic.
The first proposal is for the reduction of all commercial rates to residential/personal rates, as, the body said, commercial entities pay higher utilities, rates and services. The association said this would go a long way in assisting businesses which have experienced declining sales and/or income over the last weeks while fixed overhead costs remain the same.
It said while the present deferrals are appreciated, the accumulated payment is extended over time at the higher commercial rate rather than at a lower rate which takes into consideration the lower economic activity that has occurred since the first case of covid19 was announced. It said this would also apply to credit card debt. The association said citizens, businesses and government needed to be cautious with spending, deferring payments and make certain there is not a deeper financial crisis after the pandemic than existed before.
In its second suggestion, the association said business entities had paid two-thirds of the employee contributions to the NIS to date, although it is aware that the entity is far behind updating employee records and contribution. It proposed that employees affected by reduced hours and business closures should be able to access these contributions to assist with their expenses until the business activity within TT returns to normal.
The association’s final suggestion is that fuel prices be reduced in line with international prices. It said this will assist in alleviating the cost of living and inflation. It said while people were exercising social distancing, families who are limited to personal excursions in their private vehicles or those in the transportation industry that may be unable to operate at full capacity bear additional costs of sanitising their vehicles as recommended by various bodies.
The association urged people to be responsible in their actions and heed the recommendations and guidance provided by the Ministry of Health.