The government may have to consider another stimulus package for the public if tourism doesn’t yield enough revenue to revive the economy soon after the December 1 reopening of the BVI’s borders.
This was posted by Social Security Minister Vincent Wheatley who discussed the state of the territory’s economy on the November 3 airing of the Honestly Speaking radio show.
“It’s like I told the Premier on Sunday, we got to figure out another round of stimulus in case the tourism is weaker than even I am anticipating,” Wheatley explained.
He said another stimulus package would be necessary especially for people in the Ninth and other districts where tourism is the main economic earner.
“We are going to need that intervention. If the tourism does not take off the way we expect, we cannot continue down this road for very long,” Wheatley stated.
During the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in the BVI earlier this year, the government took $40 million of the Social Security Board’s (SSB) funds to fuel its Economic Stimulus Plan.
After sections of the public questioned the sustainability of the SSB, Premier Fahie stated that an actuary study conducted by Canada-based firm Morneau Shepell Incorporated concluded that the $40 million grant would not affect the future sustainability of the scheme.
Of the $40 million allocated to the stimulus plan, $10 million was geared towards an Unemployment Relief Support initiative for persons who have been either laid off or placed on reduced working time because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another $6.5 million was used to assist businesses across the territory.
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