PM: Stimulus package is not a free handout

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Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the Stimulus package is not a free handout nor it is a package for new start-up businesses.

In his nationwide address today in the COVID-19 Updates, Sogavare says there’s a lot of debate on the issue in the media and he would like to make it clear.

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“I would like to make it very clear that the Stimulus package is not a free handout nor is it a package for new start-up businesses. I must reiterate that this package is intended to address the immediate negative economic impacts of COVID-19 and this is the highest priority. Therefore, the fiscal response require cash injections or other forms of assistance to support sectors, businesses and households directly affected by the crisis to sustain production and boost aggregate demand to keep the economy afloat,” he said in his statement.

Sogavare said he was reiterating this to clarify misperceptions that this package is a free handout. “No, it is not,” he said.

Meanwhile the Prime Minister is appealing to citizens especially in the rural areas to beware of opportunists who are going around selling stimulus package applications or documentations for that matter.

“Please report them to authorities if you come across such individuals. I am saying this because we have received information of scammers going around and taking advantage of our people in the rural areas during these trying times. This is not the time to take advantage of people’s ignorance. We should be working together, not taking advantage of people or the situation,” Sogavare said this afternoon.

The deadline for provincial applications have been extended to Friday 24 July 2020.

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