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Many Jamaicans Could Run Out Of Savings By Next Month, Says Poll

With COVID-19 already affecting the incomes of many Jamaicans, 42 per cent of respondents to a new poll say they will run out of savings by next month.

If things continue, that number could increase to 78 per cent by June.

The poll commissioned by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) found that only nine per cent of respondents would have savings to rely on beyond six months, while 16 per cent have no savings at all.

In the meantime, 46 per cent of those who responded to the poll said they have already had a reduction in their household income.

In light of this, many are already cutting back, with entertainment, personal care, phone credit and transportation being the first items on the budget to go.

Eleven per cent said they have cut back on spending on groceries, while 10 per cent reduced spending on debt payments, five per cent on utilities and three per cent on rent or mortgage.

Many, Jamaicans have already been laid off as a result of COVID-19, particularly in the tourist industry.

Persons who lose their jobs as a result of the economic fallout from COVID-19 are to receive $54,000 from the government over the next three months.

They will receive the cash in fortnightly installments of $9,000.

Tourism employers will also be paid cash based on the number of low-income employees they retain for the next three months.

Benefits have also been announced for persons in the informal sector and small businesses.