Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis has announced a $50 million stimulus package to support struggling Tobagonians and business owners as well as to enhance the island's tourism sector.
Dennis made the revelation at Wednesday's post-Executive Council briefing in Scarborough – three weeks away from the December 6 THA election.
The PNM candidate for Buccoo/Mt Pleasant said $20 million will go towards workers displaced by the pandemic; $15 million will be for the accommodation sector; $5 million for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and $10 million to the Tobago Tourism Agency Ltd to assist in the digitisation of businesses in that sector.
Dennis denied it was an election gimmick, noting that the money was allocated in the October budget presented by Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
"This Chief Secretary will not wait until after any election to begin treating with the needs of Tobagonians at this point in time," he said.
Dennis said employers will be asked to give a list of workers affected by the pandemic, who will receive a one-time $5,000 grant.
He added property owners will be given a "flexible" grant, with large properties able to access up to $300,000.
On the $5 million for SMEs, Dennis said the "use of funding will be up to those individual businesses – it will be flexible."