Stevian Simmonds reports

UWI Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Densil Williams, says the government must provide more cash grants to people and increase consumption in the local economy if it wants to speed up economic recovery.

He was reacting to Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke’s Budget presentation.

Professor Williams says he’d give the Finance Minister a B-Plus for the plans he outlined.

Professor Williams says the government’s 2021/22 Budget is a good building block.

But he says it does not go far enough.

According to Professor Williams, for the economy to recover quickly from the COVID 19 pandemic, the government must focus on increasing consumption, as several other countries have done.

He says he accepts the Finance Minister’s position on guarding the economy against unpredictable shocks.

Professor Williams says the government must also intervene and help banks forced to grant extended moratoriums on loans for businesses affected by the pandemic.

He also wants the government to double the 10-thousand dollars it’s offering to some elderly persons taking the COVID 19 vaccine.

In the meantime, several families are lamenting the adverse effects the Covid-19 pandemic has had on their households and businesses.

The topic was a part of a discussion on Nationwide @5 yesterday with the family members explaining how they’ve pivoted during the early stages of the out break last March.

Mother of three and bar operator, Andrea who hails from St. Mary, told our News centre that she had to cut back on her spending to sustain the family.

Andrea, mother of three in St. Mary

A new mom and owner of a pastry business in Montego Bay, Toni-Ann Gayle, says her family worked assiduously to find new sources of income.

Toni-Ann Gayle, Owner of Tek ‘A’ Bite pastries

And, poultry farmer in Portland, Marcia, has expressed that the pandemic has significantly affected her livelihood.

This has further exacerbated her ability to provide for her family weekly.

Marcia, a Poultry Farmer in Portland.