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Government to pay out $2.1 million in bonuses

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Government will pay out $2.1 million in Christmas bonuses this year, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Ralph Gonsalves has announced.{{more}}

Government employees will receive a bonus of $250. Dr Gonsalves explained that central government employees who worked in excess of 150 days this year will receive the full amount of the tax free bonus, while those worked up to 150 days with a minimum of 100 days will receive $125.

He made the announcement as he delivered the 2009 budget address in Parliament last Monday, December 1.

He said that the payment is expected to cost the government in excess of $1.5 million.

People who receive monthly stipends in public assistance, including children or students, or those who receive the

non-contributory aged pension and disabled pensioners under the National Insurance Service, will also receive a Christmas bonus of $75. This bonus, Dr Gonsalves said, will cost $600,000.

“I fully expect the State enterprises and the private sector would follow-suit with Christmas bonuses for their employees,” he said.

Banana and other farmers are also expected to benefit this Christmas, the Prime Minister said.

Six thousand 100-pound sacks of fertilizer, courtesy the Venezuelan government, through the Petro Caribe agreement, are expected soon. Recipients of the fertilizer will be required to pay a very small handling charge, the prime Minister said.

He said that the gift of the fertilizer is worth $780,000.