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Door-buster turn out at Treasury Office for Stimulus cheques exposes financial need in TCI

#TurksandCaicos, March 30, 2021 – The government explained there was no need to crowd the Public Treasury, but tell that to people who are financially starving amidst the coronavirus pandemic and are approved for the ‘free’ one-thousand dollars cash. 

On Friday, the crowd was far more than anyone had bargained for and the make-up of those who turned out, was an eye-opener about the level of financial need among citizens of the British territory. 

“Please, I am urging the public not to crowd the collection venues if you do not fit the criteria for stimulus collection at this time. We must allow the elderly populationto collect their stimulus cheques safely and swiftly; and we must be mindful and adhere to the COVID-19 protocols and health measures while doing so. 

The Ministry of Finance is working to swiftly process and issue all Citizen Relief Stimulus applications and cheques and we need the full cooperation and compliance of the general public,” admonished the Premier, C. Washington Misick, who issued the statement from his office in Grand Turk after hearing about the crushing crowd. 

Royal TCI Police were called in to help with physical distancing.  It brought some order, but not much. 

The potential popularity of day one of the cheque distribution was crystal clear, many said, by the overwhelming number of people who applied for the cash.  Ministry of Finance confirmed 15,210 people applied and 13,214 were approved. 

It is a citizen’s relief measure announced seven days after the Washington Misick-led PNP Government took office on February 20 and residents, once they got in to Treasury and out, were thankful.  While others looking on labelled the first day of cheque distribution a potential Covid-19 super spreader event.

“I would like to assure the public that applicant will receive an email with an update on the status of their application. Additionally, a list of all approved and cleared to print applicants will be published on the Turks and Caicos Islands Government portal (www.gov.tc) along with information of the date, time and venue for collection of Citizen Relief Stimulus cheques. Each applicant will be given 30 days to collect,” encouraged the country’s leader who on Monday March 22 managed to secure the additional funding through Parliament to pass the full cost of the stimulus funding. 

The physically disabled were allowed in ahead of others congregated at the office and some entered and exited, sadly reporting that they would have to come back as their cheques were not yet ready. 

Distribution of the cheques began on Friday March 26 in Providenciales and Grand Turk in an application and qualifying system which was more simplified and empathetic of the need of indigenous people than had been offered by the previous government administration.

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