Misinformation about Salary Relief Grant (SRG) in Trinidad Express story 30-04-20

The Ministry of Finance notes consistent inaccuracies in a story entitled “Bureaucracy to Blame for Grant Delay” in the Trinidad Express’ publication of April 30th, 2020 that references the Salary Relief Grant. 

The story states that a CSR at one of our local banks indicated that the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) was causing a delay in the bureaucratic process. The Ministry wishes to correct the CSR’s misconception. The CBTT plays no role whatsoever in the disbursement of funds from the Treasury to commercial banks on behalf of any Ministry for any payments. 

The article reports that one interviewee in the story stated that she applied at the “Social Development Ministry” for the Salary Relief Grant. The Salary Relief Grant is administered by the Ministry of Finance. Application forms are available at TTPS stations nationwide and online at www.nibtt.net, not at the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services. 

The story also indicated that an individual first applied “on April 17th” and then “reapplied on March 31st.” Editorial and date inconsistencies notwithstanding, application for the SRG began on April 9th, so a March application was impossible either online or in person. 

The story consistently references grants and services available at the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services and appears to be conflating them with the Salary Relief Grant provided by the Ministry of Finance. The story also seems to be unaware of the application process and requirements of the SRG. As of Friday April 24, 2020, 30,300 applications for Salary Relief Grants have been received. Of this total, 11,452 were hand delivered applications from TTPost locations and 18,758 applications were received online by email. Two weeks have elapsed since we began to receive applications. As of

Monday April 27th, we have processed and authorized more than 2000 salary relief grants and will continue to process and issue payments daily. 

The Ministry hopes that more stringent research and vetting of stories will prevail so as not to misguide the public about how it can access support services during this very tense time.

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