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Statement on Seamen Payment

Hon Michael T Adam, MLA

Statement by Minister of Community Affairs and Housing,

the Hon. Mike Adam, MBE

on the Seamen's, Ex-Servicemen and Financial Assistance Extraordinary Christmas Payment

The Ministry of Community Affairs and Housing has received numerous queries from the recipients of the seamen, ex-servicemen and financial assistance benefits regarding the granting of an extraordinary Christmas Payment.

The Premier, the Honourable McKeeva Bush, Minister of Finance, has stated that the performance of the budget is being closely monitored and a report will be forthcoming in January, of the first six months of the financial year 2009/10. This will form a crucial element of the briefing package for the new Governor.

Hon. Mike Adam, MBE, advises the public that the former Government Administration granted an Extra-ordinary Christmas Payment in 2007 and 2008 through a supplementary request for funding - meaning that it was not included in the budget for those years. Similarly, this year, an Extraordinary Christmas Payment for the recipients of these benefits was not included in the Ministry's 2009/2010 budget.

However, the present Government has dug extremely deep and is able to offer an Extraordinary Christmas Payment of $100.00 for each recipient of the Seafarers Ex-gratia Benefits, the Ex-servicemen Benefits and the Financial Assistance Benefits. It should be noted that each person will only receive $100 as an Extraordinary Christmas Payment. This payment will be made in the first week of January 2010 and will go directly to each recipient's bank account.

Regretfully, the wasteful and reckless expenditures of the last Government and the downturn in the economy mean that the Government cannot provide any more at this time.

We would like to assure all the recipients of these benefits that the Government has their best interests at heart, and is committed to those in need.

The Minister of Community Affairs and Housing, the Hon. Mike Adam, wishes all the recipients and their families a Merry Christmas and a joyful and prosperous New Year.

May God bless us all.