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2020-21 National Budget: What’s In It For The Unemployed

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “Following our representations to the FNPF Board, they will now soon allow withdrawals from those who have been unemployed for six months who, to-date, have not been allowed to withdraw.”
18 Jul 2020 14:57
2020-21 National Budget: What’s In It For The Unemployed

The difference-maker for any successful relief effort is a reliable delivery system, says Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

While announcing unemployment relief last night as part of the 2020-2021 national budget address, he said:

“Creating a new one from scratch would be costly, complex, and time-consuming. In times of crisis, we need precisely the opposite of that.

“We chose the Fiji National Provident Fund as the distribution mechanism for our COVID-19 assistance because it’s fast, familiar and accessible, and its database is among the most reliable.

“If your job has been lost, the last thing you need is for your relief assistance to trickle down through a bog of bureaucracy. Our people need a fast-acting nationwide distribution network at their disposal –– the FNPF is exactly that.

“Keeping FNPF as our distributor-of-choice, this budget provides life-sustaining unemployment benefits to even more affected Fijians.

In total, the Government has made $100 million available to make sure every unemployed Fijian is able to access their full relief payments.

Within that allocation, $5 million is dedicated to upskilling or reskilling workers whose old jobs have been lost, but for whom new opportunities await.

Assistance consists of :

  1. $220 per fortnight fully unemployed Fijians due to COVID-19.
  2. $44 per fortnight Those whose working days or hours have been reduced. This is for every day they are no longer working.
    Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “So, if you are now only working three days a week, you will receive $88 every two weeks; if you’re down to working only one day a week, you will receive $176 every two weeks.”
  3. $1100 one-off assistance payment from FNPF General Account for Fijians whose salaries have been reduced can also access unemployment benefits.
  4. $500 one-off assistance payment for those whose salaries have been reduced by less than half. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “Government again stepping into top-up those with insufficient funds.”

 

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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