Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Allen Chastanet has announced that the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) has paid out over eight million dollars to Saint Lucians as part of the Income Support Programme for NIC contributors.
In a statement this week, Prime Minister Chastanet, noted the concerns of the public over the amounts received by some and the processing of the applications.
“This is the first time the NIC has had to undertake such a programme and they have received over 18,000 applications. Over the last few weeks, I’ve received reports of persons being paid less than the $500 minimum as part of the Economic Relief Programme (ERP) managed by the National Insurance Corporation (NIC), which I announced during the COVID-19 Social Stabilization Plan and I therefore requested an update from the NIC as to the reasons for this, an update on the total paid out thus far, how many persons who have benefited and the average pay-out amount,” said the Prime Minister.
“The NIC informed me that so far they have paid out 9,816 claims out of the over 18,000 which they have so far received. The average amount received by individuals is $824.90. Under the Economic Relief Programme a total amount of $8,097,206.05 million dollars has been paid out by NIC so far.”
Prime Minister Chastanet noted that combined with the Economic Relief Programme, the Government of Saint Lucia has also opened the application process to provide income support for non-NIC contributors. They will receive $500.00 monthly for three months.
“We anticipate that payments will begin being paid very soon and encourage persons who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 to apply via the government website. Another aspect of our comprehensive Stabilization Plan is our National Feeding Programme which began in April and has been ongoing for the past several Sundays where we have delivered over 18,000 hot meals to those in need. The next phase of our feeding programme begins this week where we will deliver food packages to needy families across the island. These packages will include locally grown food, fruits and vegetables, local fish or chicken and eggs all procured from our local farmers as additional support to the Agricultural sector.”
The Prime Minister went on: “I assure Saint Lucians that we are continuing to work on providing relief to as many Saint Lucians whose livelihoods have been negatively affected by COVID-19. This includes the ongoing development of a strategic and comprehensive economic recovery plan that benefits all including both the private and public sector. Let us continue to be our brother’s keeper and stay safe.”
To apply for income support if you do not qualify for NIC please visit: govt.lc/.