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  • “It is clear that if we had the national system of identification, it would be far easier for the Government to provide this kind of individualised benefit,” the Prime Minister said. 
  • Mr. Holness emphasised that the system is really needed and “we are going to move as quickly as possible within the boundaries of the law and Constitution to ensure that every citizen of Jamaica has a unique identifier that will be able to ensure that whatever benefits that come from the Government will go directly to them.” 
  • Details of the assistance were provided by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke.

The Government has discussed the imperative of putting the National Identification System (NIDS) on a faster track for implementation, in light of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

This was stated by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, at a press conference at Jamaica House, on Friday (March 27).

With the Government implementing initiatives to financially support persons being negatively impacted by COVID-19, such as the: COVID Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme to assist workers and businesses during the emergency period; Business Employee Support and Transfer of Cash (BEST Cash); and Supporting Employees with Transfer (SET) Cash, if persons from the various sectors were a part of a system such as NIDS, then there would have been less need for verification before cash transfers and individual interventions are done, and the transfers could be done more efficiently.

“It is clear that if we had the national system of identification, it would be far easier for the Government to provide this kind of individualised benefit,” the Prime Minister said.

“The truth is, we now don’t have that system. We’re behind in its implementation. We still have a new legislation to bring to the Cabinet and to the Parliament,” he added.

Mr. Holness emphasised that the system is really needed and “we are going to move as quickly as possible within the boundaries of the law and Constitution to ensure that every citizen of Jamaica has a unique identifier that will be able to ensure that whatever benefits that come from the Government will go directly to them.”

Details of the assistance were provided by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke.

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