Finance Minister Colm Imbert

Joel Julien

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The Ministry of Finance has so far paid out 74,549 Salary Relief Grants with a total value of $112 million, Finance Minister Colm Imbert stated in a tweet yesterday.

Those payments comprised 28,948 for April, 24836 for May, and 20,765 for June, Imbert stated.

In March Imbert announced the establishment of a Salary Relief Grant of $1,500 a month for three months to help cushion the economic impact of the stringent action being taken by the government to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imbert said the SRG was established to help those whose employment would have been affected by the pandemic and the restrictions put in place.

He said that the grant would be expected to help over 80,000 citizens and estimated that it would cost taxpayers around $400 million.

The Salary Relief Grant was eligible for people registered in the National Insurance System.

Speaking in the Parliament in June, Imbert revealed that out of the 51,000 applications that were received for the Salary Relief Grant not all of the applications were valid.

“I would say that based on the information that I have received approximately 20 per cent of the applications received are not valid for one reason or another. These would be persons who may have been out of employment long before the March 19 publication of the first public health restrictions or persons who are not within the NIS system, or persons who are not citizens of Trinidad and Tobago,” Imbert said.

Imbert said the process of dealing with the queries related to the Salary Relief Grant is ongoing.

“Resolution of queried SRG applications continues and applications will soon be re-invited from recently affected sectors,” Imbert tweeted.