The Minister of Health, Molwyn Joseph, has reported that the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) anticipates that its revenue will decline by $22 million dollars because of the decline in employment triggered by the Covid-19 global coronavirus crisis.
With the recent closure of a number of hotels on the island, the income of hotel workers and of other workers connected to tourism sector has declined precipitously; the payments to the Medical Benefits Scheme reflect the decline.
According to chief of staff Lionel Hurst, one hotel manager reported that workers who are laid-off will receive EC$150 weekly, until the crisis passes. All hotels have agreed to allow their senior workers to access 50% of the Thrift Fund which include the amounts contributed by the employer.
The Social Security System has reported also that its revenue has declined as incomes for workers who have been laid-off come to a halt or reduced significantly. The Government’s revenue has also declined significantly as several sources, including tourism receipts, decline.
However, Hurst has assured the public that salaries and wages and pensions for the month of March 2020 will be paid by March 31, 2020.
The challenge to meet salaries and wages in full will come on April 30, 2020.