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$1.3m paid to businesses affected by Covid 19

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 19/05/2020

About $1.3million pa’anga has been paid by the Government to businesses affected due to the restrictions from COVID-19. These are businesses that were affected in the first three months of the year especially in March since the restrictions were imposed.

In a press conference with the Ministry of Finance yesterday, the CEO – Balwyn Fa’otusia says, the Government paid $535 pa’anga to every business employee that was affected since the lockdown.

The assistance was paid directly to the businesses owners or the employers and from them, to their staff.

The $535 pa’anga assistance was estimated due to a survey usually carried out by the Statistics Department known as “household income and expenditure survey” which identifies the average spending of a person in a fortnight.

The Ministry received over 600 applications from businesses requesting for monetary assistance where only more than 400 have been paid for by the government whereas the remaining more than 200 business employees are yet to finalize and complete their applications before they could receive similar assistance.

Last month the government announced a $60million economic and stimulus package to assist those suffering from the impacts of Covid 19.

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