Government spends $934 million on COVID-19 so far

Story by CHESTER SAMBRANO

FINANCE MINISTER COLM IMBERT 12MAY2020
Finance Minister Colm Imbert at this morning’s COVID-19 update media conference.

The government of this country has spent $934 million so far, on treating with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Speaking at the COVID-19 news conference this morning, Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, said the bulk of the funding has come from his ministry through initiatives such as VAT refunds, salary relief grants, credit unions support, payment for face masks and funding for the THA.

He said there is also a loan programme for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the amount of $300 million, which is in its final stages, and a US$65 million loan to assist Caribbean Airlines.

The Ministry of Social Development has so far spent $98.1 million in social assistance; another $400 million is projected to be spent.

In terms of the Ministry of Health, it has spent $55 million but is expected to spend $137 million in total.

The Finance Minister added that a further $250 million will be made available in the event that it is needed.

“We are giving health every cent they need,” he said.

The other money spent was done through the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government, and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).