Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

SSB conducts third unemployment insurance review in two years

SSB conducts third unemployment insurance review in two years

The BVI is expected to embark on its third unemployment insurance review in less than three years.

This is according to a report issued by the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) following budget deliberations for 2022 which were held late last year.

Social Security Board (SSB) Director Jeanette Boynes-Scatliffe told the SFC that unemployment insurance was being reviewed, and said a report from NHI would reveal ongoing plans for a comprehensive review which includes unemployment insurance.

The director then expounded to say that the SSB has conducted two studies in the past two years, and the current review is the third, after which it should reveal a clear way forward on how it can be administered.

The disclosure was made after a requested update by Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley.

Over 3,000 SSB COVID-19 grants disallowed


Meanwhile, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education Dr Natalio Wheatley thanked the SSB team and congratulated the director for maintaining the success of the SSB.

He also thanked the SSB for the grant given during COVID, which he said kept the economy buoyant during a difficult time.

Scatliffe Boynes said the SSB received a grant of $10 million to aid in funding the government’s underemployment/unemployment programme.

The SSB received a total of 8,236 applications, and of the total, 5,063 persons received a grant for a cumulative amount of $5,578,510.73 and 31,73 claims were disallowed.

The director told the SFC that, as requested by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the SSB returned the unexpended sum of $4,108,256.56 at the end of 2020.

She said a further $197,826.97 remained, enabling the SSB to process late applications.

According to the Scatliffe-Boynes, the reconciliation process of benefits paid was finalised with a balance of $149,229.94 and was returned to the MOF, as requested.

Dr Wheatley said he was looking forward to the underemployment/unemployment initiative by the SSB as there currently exists a challenge with unemployment and the revision of benefits as the cost of living increases continually.

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