With No Congressional Solution in Sight, Pennsylvania Applies for Federal Lost Wages Assistance Funds August 21, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Economy, National Issues, Press Release Governor Tom Wolf directed the Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) to submit an application today for President Trump’s temporary Lost Wages Assistance grant funds to provide an additional $300 per week in supplemental payments to some Pennsylvanians receiving unemployment benefits.“By failing to put out of work Americans first and extending the extra $600 per week federal benefit that ended in July, Congressional Republicans are forcing our hand to apply for these funds,” said Governor Wolf. “The president’s convoluted, short-term program, which will likely only provide payments for five or six weeks, will pay those who are eligible only half as much as before and will make 30,000 Pennsylvanians ineligible to continue receiving an additional weekly benefit.“There is still time for Congressional Republicans to pass a good and practical solution that simply extends the extra weekly benefit, and I urge them to act now. As I have said before and will continue to say, the extra $600 per week was the lifeline Pennsylvania families needed to get by. They deserve better.”Last week, the Governor sent a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation reaffirming his support for an extension of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. With Senate Republicans failing to pass a bill continuing FPUC, President Trump on August 8 authorized the Lost Wages Assistance plan.The president’s plan is not a true unemployment insurance program and is, instead, funded by $44 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that is intended for storm disaster relief. Because of this very important distinction, payments to eligible workers will be delayed while states, including Pennsylvania, create a new computer system.If approved, L&I will use this grant funding to provide an additional $300 per week in assistance payments to people receiving unemployment compensation benefits due to COVID-19-related impacts.In order to qualify for the extra $300, eligible individuals must receive at least $100 per week in regular Unemployment Compensation (UC); Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC); Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA); Extended Benefits (EB); Short-Time Compensation (STC) or Shared Work; and Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) and must self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.Payments will be made to eligible claimants retroactively from August 1, 2020. The payment could end in a matter of weeks if FEMA funding is exhausted or the federal government enacts a new law or extends FPUC to replace the Lost Wages Assistance payment. It will end no later than December 27, 2020.The FPUC program, funded entirely by the federal government, ended on July 25. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to continue the benefit, but the Senate has yet to approve its extension.Ver esta página en español.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Trinidad-based Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS) has upgraded the regional scale local currency rating of the Barbados government from CariD (Default) to CariBB, with a stable outlook.“We however maintain the regional scale foreign currency rating of CariD (Default) on the country’s foreign currency denominated debt,” it said in a statement, noting that the rating indicates that the level of creditworthiness of the Barbados government, adjudged in relation to other rated obligors in the Caribbean, is below average.“Our decision to upgrade the rating on the local currency debt is driven by the closure of the exchange offer for domestic (Barbados dollar-denominated) debt. This marks the successful completion of the restructuring of BDS$11.9 billion (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents0 in Barbados dollar-denominated claims on the government of Barbados and its public sector.”CariCRIS, a regional rating agency, said the restructuring is a central plank of the government’s comprehensive debt restructuring program and the Barbados Economic Reform and Transformation (BERT) Plan.“We have maintained our rating of CariD on the foreign currency debt as negotiations with foreign debt holders are not yet concluded. Upon successful completion of these negotiations, we will similarly revise up our ratings on the country’s foreign currency debt,” CariCRIS added.Last week, the Mia Mottley government announced that it had put a temporary freeze on borrowing as it reported an improvement in the island’s economic position.“Over the next four years the Barbados government will not borrow any new funds. To put the impact of that into context, over the past four years the government of Barbados has borrowed almost two billion dollars,” said Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Marsha Caddle, adding “that’s two billion dollars of new Barbadian savings that were drawn into and trapped by government debt”.Caddle, who spoke at the 2019 planning conference for the Barbados Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, said the island’s debt had already declined from near 170 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in May last year to 124 per cent this year.The announcement by CariCRIS comes as the Central bank of Barbados (CBB) is preparing to review the performance of the island’s economy last year and the prospects for this year. The review will take place on January 30.