The Government of Montserrat through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MOFEM), is now accepting applications for financial assistance from businesses across all sectors, as part of the fiscal stimulus package in response to COVID-19.
This package, which offers direct financial support to employees, will be for a period of three (3) months in the first instance, to any eligible businesses that are suffering financial hardship and facing the inevitability of having to lay off workers due to COVID-19.
This package will provide a direct cash injection into businesses to allow for the continued payment and employment of full-time workers at a maximum of 80% of their gross salary, with a ceiling of no more than $3200 (80% of $4000) per employee. This will be based on the previous six months’ salary level. Therefore, if an individual was paid $3,000 per month for the past six months, that individual would receive $2400 (80% of $3000). Income Tax would still be payable but at the new tax rates.
$3,200 is the maximum amount payable under this scheme to each person, but will depend on the level of salary that person has received in the past six months. It could be less than $3,200.
Employers are asked to note that this financial support must be passed onto the employee. The MoFEM is cautioning that any payments made that are not passed on to the employees will be reclaimed.
To apply, individuals must complete the ‘COVID-Related Financial Support: SALARY SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYEES. The form can be completed and submitted online on google docs at the following link: https://forms.gle/PLczb6ivQBbk29RCA or download and complete the excel version of the form available on the Government website at the following link: http://www.gov.ms/pubs/ministry-of-finance/
The completed form should be submitted via email to MoFem.Gom@gmail.com and addressed to Colin Owen, Financial Secretary.
Applications can ONLY be made using the forms specified above and must be submitted electronically.
The deadline for forms to be submitted is Friday May 8, 2020.
The following information is required in order to process the application.
• Name of the business
• Name of registered owner
• Tax registration number
• Name and address of each employee you are claiming for, and proof of salary.
• Confirmation of business account number into which the funds should be transferred.
The MOFEM is also informing applicants that their applications will be assessed using existing tax and other records including checking to Social Security Payments, and employers may be asked for further supporting information to complement their claim.
The application will be processed and payment made within ten business days to your business bank account. The bank account details must be provided as no cash payments will be made. Payments will be made directly to the employers’ Bank Account to allow them to continue to make salary payments and keep staff employed during the crisis; as the business is now closed or has ceased to operate due directly to the COVID-19.
The Government of Montserrat formulated this package of support understanding the increasingly difficult financial situation facing many businesses on the island due to the ever growing COVID-19 crisis globally. GoM is aware that businesses and individuals will face difficulty in maintaining operations.