Social Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said Government has been transparent in the way they have been financially dealing with the covid 19 pandemic, in its bid to assist those who were in need.
She was responding to a question by Caroni MP Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie regarding Government spending related to the covid 19 Pandemic Social Support, Social Development Ministry. In a release on Monday, the minister Government has provided a range of assistance for the most vulnerable in society, including those who were already with the social safety net and those who would not normally be within the social services system, but now must be catered for.
Robinson-Regis said the issue was explained by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in both the Parliament and the Senate, where he spoke about the emergency situation in which TT, like the rest of the world, have found ourselves during this pandemic, and the need to access to funds saved in the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund.
The minister said steps had been taken to keep the people apprised through news conferences where ministers responded to questions by the media. She said Government is assisting the business community by assuring payment of outstanding bills for services already rendered to Government which remained outstanding. She said 8,077 families with children who were within the School feeding programme have been given food cards of $1,530 representing three months support, a total of $12,357, 810. Families who were already in the system with food cards have all received their usual amount of $510 or $700 which have been topped up with $150 for families between one to three people, $300 for families of four or five, and $450 for families of six or more. This is a total of $17,144,100.
For those in receipt of a public assistance grant and receive $1,300 for one person, the top up $150; $1,550 for up to three people, the top up is $350; $1,750 for four people, top up is $450; and $1,900 for five people and more, top up is $500. The total cost for the 17,834 people is $11,438,100.
Recipients with disability assistance grants who receive $2,000 and $1,500 for adults and children respectively, will receive a top up of $150. The total $11,082,150. Disaster Management Units at municipal corporations have received 100 hampers at $350 each, an expenditure of $490,000.