Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, has announced a two-month extension of the Supporting Employees with the Transfer of Cash (SET Cash) and the Business Employee Support and Transfer of Cash (BEST Cash) components of the COVID Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme.
Dr. Clarke, in a statement to the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 7), said that the grants will continue up to August.
“The Government will be extending the SET Cash and BEST Cash grants for an additional two months for July and August. These beneficiaries… instead of receiving three monthly grants will now receive five monthly grants,” he noted.
The SET Cash grant is for persons earning $1.5 million or less, whose employment was terminated after March 10 as a result of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on economic activity.
The BEST Cash component provides temporary cash transfers to registered businesses operating within the tourism industry that are registered with the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo).
This will be based on the number of workers businesses keep employed, who are at or under the income tax threshold of $1.5 million per annum, as confirmed by Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ).
Dr. Clarke pointed out the decision to extend the components through July and August is based on the fact that while jobs are slowly being restored, recovery will take some time.
“The airports have reopened and the tourism sector is gradually reopening. Other sectors that have partially closed have also started reopening on a phased basis. In addition, the extension of the curfew hours is restoring the viability of other sectors. Jobs are slowly being restored. However, we have a long, long way to go towards recovery,” he said.
Dr. Clarke told the House that just under 50,000 Jamaicans will benefit from this extension of the SET Cash and BEST Cash grants.
The $10-billion CARE Programme aims to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on individuals and entities.
It forms part of the $25-billion relief package initiated by the Government to deal with the health crisis.