Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has announced that every elected member in the House of Assembly (HoA) will receive an additional $300,000 to help persons in the Territory facing hardships brought on by the Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Dubbed the ‘Special COVID-19 allocation,’ it will be in addition to the regular assistance grants called the District Fund. The Premier said it would enable members to “respond to needy cases, directly and swiftly.”
“Your Government has been hearing the feedback from the ground. We have also heard the concerns of the Opposition and let me assure you that COVID-19 is a time for unity and to have all hands on deck, where we put politics behind and the needs of the people and the Territory in front,” Hon Fahie noted.
No member disadvantaged
He continued: “This allocation has been divided equally. No Member is advantaged, and none are disadvantaged. All are enabled to help you the people, especially when it comes to some of the simpler, less complicated issues,” he remarked on Thursday, May 28, 2020, during a live broadcast to present his government’s $62.9 million economic response plan.
“And, just as these funds are allocated without favouritism, we expect that favouritism and political allegiances will be put aside. It matters not who you voted for; if you have a need and can justify it during this COVID-19 era, please contact your district representative, and of course, check out the other programmes that were announced this evening.”
The Premier said the total sum allotted for this initiative is $3.9 million, and it is in addition to the other assistance that persons in need can access.
“So, if you live in District 1, then you contact me, Andrew Alturo Fahie, and I will be setting up a special contact number for this initiative. If you live in District 2, then you contact Honourable Melvin 'Mitch' Turnbull. If you live in District 3, then you contact Honourable Julian Fraser. If you live in District 4, then you contact Honourable Mark Vanterpool. If you live in District 5, then you contact Honourable Kye Rymer. If you live in District 6, then you contact Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines. If you live in District 7, then you contact Honourable Natalio Wheatley. If you live in District 8, then you contact Honourable Marlon Penn. If you live in District 9, then you contact Honourable Vincent Wheatley.”
He said persons could also reach out to the four At Large Representatives, Honourables Sharie B. DeCastro, Carvin Malone, Shereen L. Flax-Charles and Neville A. Smith.
$$ to be audited
In the meantime, Premier Fahie said, these funds will not go unaudited.
“Please note that transparency and accountability still apply to these special funds. The funds will be audited monthly by the internal auditor,” he stated.