NEWS

A-G: Govt Extends COVID-19 Benefit Scheme

“People, who are currently taking $220 per fortnight and have not obtained a new employment will continue to get this assistance.”
05 Mar 2021 12:18
A-G: Govt Extends COVID-19 Benefit Scheme
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Government has extended its COVID-19 unemployment benefit scheme assistance for another eight fortnights.

This was the confirmation made by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in an interview with FBC News from Singapore.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the assistance for unemployed individuals who were accessing $220 a fortnight would continue until June.

“It was going to end on March 16, but we’ve said that we’ll extend it again for another five sets of fortnightly payments, he said.

“People, who are currently taking $220 per fortnight and have not obtained a new employment will continue to get this assistance.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said most off those whose funds were dispersed through FNPF, had the funds paid by Government.

“But obviously, the news is that we are going to extend the unemployment benefit for another fortnightly payments around about June or so,” he said.

He urged members not to solely rely on this assistance but to explore opportunities of other employment.

 

Abusing benefits

He added that Government was gathering data from FNPF on members who could have been abusing the benefit.

“There are some people using the system, there’s this one particular family of four, where the mother, father and sister are all picking up $220 a fortnight,” he said.

“So they’re getting $880 a fortnight, which is you know if you do the sum it is in excess of $1600, a month and they are getting subsidised electricity, water etc.”

Government had allocated $100 million for the unemployment benefit scheme.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said phase three benefits for those working on reduced hours would continue.

“We also have phase three in the phase three we pay an amount of those people who actually have what we call reduced hours,” he said.

“So if, for example, you worked in a garment factory for five days a week and you’re now working four days a week. So there’s one day, short you get $44 per fortnight.

“So this will continue again into the next phase which is what we call round four of phase three.”

Feedbackinoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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