The below list breaks down the main initiatives proposed this week by the opposition as an economic stimulus package to help the territory weather the coronavirus pandemic.

1. UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

a. Legislative changes allowing the Social Security Board to fund short-term support of a temporary unemployment benefit programme for three months, using funding by government (25 percent) and SSB (75 percent) or just government

b. Income support for vulnerable populations

c. A work-for-pay initiative that would repair and maintain public spaces, prepare for hurricane season, and develop infrastructure between three to six months or until tourism and economy restarts, funded by reallocated money from less prioritised areas

d. Suspension or forgiveness of water and electricity bills

2. SMALL BUSINESSES

a. $5 million employment support facility providing grants up to $10,000 to be paid directly to eligible employers

b. $15 million loan funding capped at $100,000 for qualifying businesses

c. Waivers for payroll taxes for up to three months for businesses and employees d. Businesses must maintain at last 50 percent of their workforce

3. CONSTRUCTION

a. Fast-track projects under Caribbean Development Bank loan

b. Advance projects already under way

c. Continue development of public infrastructure

d. Establish an Investment Promotion Agency to fulfill objectives

4. FARMING AND FISHING

a. Forge alliances with other countries in the region

b. Allocate half an acre each of all government-owned agricultural lands on all main islands to farming

c. Assist farmers and fishers

d. Re-establish Fishing Complex and similar structures on sister islands

5. FINANCIAL SERVICES

a. Establish a liaison committee chaired by the financial secretary

b. Implement a strategy to obtain business in new geographical locations

c. Engage with stakeholders

d. Re-evaluate current global requirements

6. TOURISM

a. Re-open water-based and land-based overnight sectors by Sept.1, day trippers on Oct. 1

b. Establish the airport as single point of entry

c. Ensure travelers are virus-free before traveling, and make rapid testing and quarantine available here

d. Market the territory’s size, low density, and isolation on land and in the water

The full script of a three-part series can be accessed on Facebook via @LeaderoftheOpposition.


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