The holiday season was made a bit lighter for some civil servants, who cashed in on a Government interest-free loan.
Hurricane relief loans at a maximum of $3,300 were approved for some 1,500 government workers – about half of the public workforce.
‘The civil servants have already all got their money,’ said Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson.
The amount received by public workers represents an increase because they were originally slated to receive only $1 million in hurricane relief benefits, but the demand was on owing to the telling effects of the hurricane.
‘The instant they said they could apply for the $4,000, almost all who could apply, applied,’ he said.
The Financial Secretary explained that this meant only a small portion of civil servants would benefit from the assistance programme.
‘We quickly realised that we were helping only 250 out of approximately 3,000 civil servants. That was going to be ridiculous.’
Government then applied to the civil servants’ credit union and that organisation answered the call.
‘The credit union deserves a lot of praise,’ Mr. Jefferson said.
Government accountants recalculated and found that the administration could afford to borrow $5 million. This meant the original $1 million could be used to pay the interest on the loan, while ensuring all borrowers got a meaningful amount, interest-free.