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Unemployment benefits extended


GOVERNMENT has approved the temporary extension of unemployment benefits to Barbados, moving it from 26 weeks to 40 weeks.

In making the announcement during the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) 55th Annual Conference yesterday, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Freundel Stuart, stated that the Cabinet last week had given the approval to an additional 14 weeks which would be paid at an adjusted rate and would assist out-of-work Barbadians to survive while the effort to find employment continued.

“This facility remains in place in the first instance until the year 2011. This measure is designed to alleviate the distress of those who would have lost their jobs and have been experiencing difficulty in securing other employment,” he said.

This, he maintained, was coupled with efforts by the Government to make serious changes to the way in which things are done in this country. Stating that the DLP was committed to creating policies which help all Barbadians, the Acting Prime Minister pointed out that when Parliament resumes major pieces of legislation will be up for debate.

“When Parliament resumes in October, the Office of Attorney General should have ready for debate a Prevention of Corruption Bill; a Transnational Organised Crime Bill; a Money Laundering Bill; an International Trust Service Providers Bill; Amendments to the Companies Act; and a Land Titles Proceedings Bill. Ready for introduction also will be the Financial Services Commission Bill,” Stuart noted.

Notice was also given of major labour legislation, which should soon come up for debate in Parliament.

“Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo continues her work on the modernisation of our labour laws, so amendments to the Shops Act and settlement of the details of the new Employment Rights Bill have already passed the Governance Committee of the Cabinet,” he pointed out.

The Acting Prime Minister also stated that the issue of CLICO will be dealt with once and for all. Lamenting the continued way in which the Opposition, in his view, has dealt with the issue of the company, Stuart made it clear that it will come to an end shortly.

“The Government, through the lips of the Prime Minister and through my own lips, has assured policyholders that our policy is to ensure that Barbadians who invested in CLICO would not lose the principal they invested. The Oversight Committee, established by the Government, has reported and made recommendations which are being evaluated by the Ministry of Finance and will very soon be carried to the Cabinet before the way forward is discussed with Barbadians. The way forward, whatever else it involves, will ensure that the Government’s commitment to individual investors in CLICO is not compromised. CLICO’s football status will come to an end,” he contended. (DB)

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