Imbert refutes reports of poor access to salary relief grants

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Imbert refutes reports of poor access to salary relief grants

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has refuted a report which stated that a large number of people have been denied access to salary relief grants.

Instead, Imbert said a total of 16,254 people have been approved for the salary relief grant for 2021 thus far.

Claims of poor access were reported in a Newsday story on Thursday, which quoted Mark Edghill, President of the Coalition of Service Industries (TTCSI), who had made similar statements to the Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Social Services and Public Administration on Wednesday.

Imbert’s statement said: “The story reports that Mr Edgehill told the JSC that a number of people were denied salary relief grants (SRGs) because their last working day was April 29, and the qualifying date was May 1.

“However, in August 2021, four months ago, the Minister of Finance adjusted the eligibility date for SRGs to April 29. So, it is a falsehood to state that people have been denied grants because the eligibility date was May 1.”

“As of December 9, (some) 24,296 applications for the salary relief grant have been received for 2021. Of these, 16,254 applications have been deemed to be in order thus far and processed, and of that total, 14,445 grants have already been paid, at a cost of $44.2 million.

“This represents 67 per cent of the applications received for SRGs in 2021, not 10 per cent.

“The minister wishes to remind industry spokespersons that the relief grant came with compliance criteria that all applicants were required to satisfy in order to qualify and that the assistance and co-operation of employers is critical to ensure that all those eligible for the SRGs receive them.”