The government will give the monies earned from the on-going auction sale of the contents of the former Buccament Bay Resort to persons who were on staff when it closed in December 2016.
Last year, the government acquired the resort then sold it to Sandals Resorts, which says it will convert it to a Beaches Resort, under the Sandals brand.
Speaking on WE FM on Sunday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said he had accepted a proposal by Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves, that funds from the auction sale be shared among the persons who were on staff when the resort closed.
“He tells me that we might collect in the region of, a projected number up to $400,000,” the prime minister said.
“If that happens, he is recommending, and I have accepted his recommendation … to see if we can divide that money among the workers who were — I mean, there is no obligation on the part of the state but in this period, for those people who were working at the time, toward the end, at the time when Buccama closed, to provide something for the workers out of that money; divide it among them. Because we have to do several things to hold people together.”
Gonsalves said that despite the difficulties that government revenue is facing, the government will assist workers in the general population who are substantially laid off or who lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
He noted that the government has been doing this since last April, including for seafarers.
The prime minister said that it looks as though the government would have to extend the assistance, which was initially planned to expire at the end of March.
“So we are trying in every way while we are pushing the issue of the jobs through the public sector programme, through agriculture and fisheries and the yachting area,” he said.
“Because a lot of the money that we are spending on the public sector projects are monies which we have gotten either as grants or soft loans, … that money is coming from outside, it helps, because it reduces the extent of the strain on the local finances except we have to find money for local counterpart funding and the like.
“So we are doing all of those things,” the prime minister said.