Gov’t awaits sign-off of funding for tourism worker stipend

The government’s Finance Committee is expected to approve funding next week for a three-month extension of a $1,000-a-month stipend for tourism workers who lost their jobs because of COVID-19.

Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said in the Legislative Assembly on Friday morning that his ministry required the Finance Committee to sign off on $9 million in supplementary funding for the stipend payments, which will continue until the end of this year.

Premier Alden McLaughlin in September announced the plan to extend the stipend until December.

Kirkconnell said the government regretted the delay in effecting the payments to stipend recipients this month, but added, “we also have a duty to ensure that the ministry remains in compliance with the Public Management and Finance Law”.

Kirkconnell said 2,627 people had been receiving the monthly stipends.

The Finance Committee is expected to consider the additional funding request on Monday, and approved recipients should expect to get the stipend on Wednesday, 28 Oct.

Following the closure of Cayman’s borders in March and the collapse of the tourism industry, government initially gave a $600 one-off payment to displaced workers in the sector. In April, government launched the $1,000-a-month stipend for three months, which was then extended for a further three months, up until September.

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