(BVI NEWS) – Government is being encouraged to implement an interim policy that would prevent landlords from evicting tenants who are not able to meet their rent obligations because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has left several persons unemployed in the BVI.
This was one of multiple recommendations that former legislator Myron Walwyn proposed in a commentary posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday, April 1.
While noting that he takes “no credit” for the suggestions, the former legislator also proposed that a three-month moratorium be placed on Customs duties for essential businesses, “with the proviso that the cost savings be passed to the consumer”.
Incentive to discourage lay-offs
Walwyn also advocated for the creation of other incentives “to encourage businesses not to lay off their workers”, and for government to consider offering a Social Security Board ‘unemployment stipend’ for at least three months.
“Interest-free or very low-interest loans for existing micro and small businesses should be established. This could be done through the National Bank of the Virgin Islands with the requisite stipulations,” Walwyn said.
Commendations to government
Continuing on the subject of banks, the former legislator added: “A loan payment moratorium (personal and business) should be put in place for a minimum period of three months and I commend some banks in the BVI who have already committed to deferring loans.”
Walwyn also commended the VIP government for promising to establish an economic stimulus package to assist vulnerable residents.