NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 24, 2020) — The St. Christopher & Nevis Social Security Board has paid out more than $1million to self-employed contributors on Nevis whose income had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Antonio Maynard, Director of Social Security, made the disclosure at a symposium hosted by the Board in Nevis at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, on August 19, 2020, for self-employed persons whose lives have been displaced by the economic downtown caused by the pandemic.
“I am pleased to take this opportunity to announce that during this period of disruption to business on Nevis in particular, the Social Security Board from its branch office paid out $1,000 on an average, per month for three months, to approximately 2343 workers who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Three hundred and ninety-two self-employed persons benefitted from this pay-out, receiving in total over $1 million over that three-month period, which is one-fifth of the total disbursed on Nevis alone,” he said.
Mr. Maynard further informed that as of August 18, 2020, a total of just over $20 million had been paid out to affected workers throughout St. Kitts and Nevis, and approximately $5 million of that amount was authorized for Nevis.
“Of course, these figures correlate with the quantum of workers registered with the Social Security Board on both islands, 20,000 being on St. Kitts and 6,000 registered as working on Nevis,” he said.
Expressing empathy for those who have lost their livelihoods and jobs completely due to the pandemic, the director assured that the Social Security Board is standing with them.
Mr. Maynard pointed out that given the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the local economy, and in particular on the self-employed constituency, the people are fortunate to have the financial buffer created by the government through a robust Social Security Scheme.
“Social Security continues to be the single most important social programme designed by the government to assist its people. Luckily for us, Social Security continues to be the single most important social programme designed by the government in striving for economic justice for its people.
“This is of course driven by the wisdom that when hardship is visited upon us, especially unexpectedly, wages can be easily replaced. This is exemplified in what is obtained during the pandemic,” he said.
Mr. Maynard encouraged self-employed persons already contributing to the fund, to engage their peers to register with the Social Security and pay their contributions as a means of protection in times of difficulty.
“COVID-19 has been the most powerful example of why all self-employed persons must ensure that they are fully registered, and are paying their contribution consistently,” he said.