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Port Vila, VANUATU – October 1, 2020: 7:56am (RNZ PACIFIC): The Vanuatu Opposition wants to know when outstanding stimulus payments promised to workers and businesses will be paid.

RNZ Pacific understands the Employment Stabilisation Payment to workers and the SME Stimulus Payment for July and August are yet to be paid.

Opposition Leader, Ralph Reganvanu Photo: RNZ Pacific / Hilaire Bule

Many businesses were reportedly preparing to lay off more workers in the wake of the downturn caused by Covid-19.

The Leader of the Opposition, Ralph Regenvanu, said the delays in the payments were defeating their purpose.

He said the delay could not be attributed to the case of the government not having the money.

Reganvanu said this was because in recent weeks the government had flown about 130 people to Ambae on a prime ministerial visit and held a ministerial meeting on Tanna.

He also claimed jewellery was also bought for the wives of ministers ahead of the 40th anniversary celebrations.

A National Business Forum is currently being held with the payments expected to be a key issue and point of discussion.

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