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Bahamas: Finance ministry defends NIB payments

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government’s position on National Insurance Board (NIB) payments is that any employee receiving ex gratia payments from their employer will only receive unemployment benefits to make up a minimum of $100 in income support, according to a Ministry of Finance statement issued last night.

The statement comes as numerous Baha Mar employees claimed they have not received NIB unemployment benefits in a number of weeks.

“The Ministry of Finance would like to bring clarity to public discourse around payments to the government extended unemployment benefit programme based on inaccurate suggestions that payments have been unfairly held up to certain individuals,” the statement read.

It added, “With limited available resources, the government took the policy position that persons in the special unemployment benefit programme would receive income or income support of no less than $100 per week.

“The difference in this iteration is that persons who work part-time, or who receive ex gratia or other payments from the employer would only receive payments from the programme to bring them up to a minimum of $100 in income and or income support. This approach was taken to ensure that in an environment of scarce public resources, as many people as possible would obtain some measure of assistance.”

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