British Virgin Islands

Friday, Sep 18, 2020

'Be honest' when applying for COVID-19 relief funds - Hon Penn

Opposition Leader assures residents that COVID-19 financial relief is on the way

Leader of the Opposition, Hon Marlon A. Penn has given the assurance that COVID-19 financial relief is on the way for the people of the Territory, even as he had questioned the legality of the US $40M grant from the Social Security Board (SSB) towards the Fahie administration's economic stimulus plan.

Now, with access to the funds in the hands of the Government having been signed over on July 3, 2020, Hon Penn speaking at the July 7, 2020, House of Assembly (HoA) sitting said the hard work of those who made it possible will soon materialise into relief funds.

'Hang in there' - Hon Penn

"COVID-19 has been a very difficult period for many of us in this Territory, I know that we are working hard to get some relief to the people of this Territory and I want to say to the people of this Territory, to hang in there as we go through this very difficult time."

The check signing and presentation was done in the presence of Premier Andrew A. Fahie, Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, with responsibility for Social Security, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley; Financial Secretary, Glenroy A. Forbes; Social Security Board Director, Antoinette Skelton and Chairman of the SSB, Ian S. Smith, among others.

The handover of the money come after Premier Fahie had been threatening to call names of persons who have been trying to block or delay the money since it was promised to Government by Social Security Board.

'Be honest' - Hon Penn

The $40M SSB Grant was highly criticised by the Opposition Leader as part of the $62.9M Phase 2 Economic Stimulus Plan of the VIP administration.

However, Hon Penn said with the monies now in the Government's hands to start the distribution process, he warned those applying for relief funding to be honest with their declarations.

"I know we should have access to the funds... to help persons within our community. We have some restrictions with that fund and I want to ask persons to be honest in their declarations so at least we can get help to as many persons as possible."


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