French Polynesia details emergency payments for Covid-19 impact

3:09 pm on 1 April 2020

The French Polynesian government is offering a set of emergency payments for those hit by the sudden downturn in the economy triggered by the Covid-19 outbreak.

220414. Photo RNZ. French Polynesia. Flags at territorial assembly in French Polynesia

220414. Photo RNZ. French Polynesia. Flags at territorial assembly in French Polynesia Photo: RNZ Pacific / Walter Zweifel

In a statement, it said the provisions followed last week's assembly vote to release $US280 million and would be in force during the lockdown but no longer than three months.

A special solidarity pay of up to $US900 a month would be available for employees who can no longer work and have used their paid leave.

The same support was available for self-employed people who could prove that they had been forced to abandon their activities.

An exceptional and graded package of up to $900 was available for those who lost their job in March.

A curfew declared four days ago is being eased for approved bakers and their employees who need to carry a written attestation.

Earlier farmers and fishermen were exempted from the curfew which was imposed after restrictions on meetings were flouted.

Meanwhile, the French High Commission outlined the support offered to businesses by Paris.

Businesses with turnover of less than $US1.1 million could get just under $US4000.

France would also guarantee, through the Public Investment Bank, loans given by French Polynesian banks after negotiations with businesses.

No repayment would be required in the first year but was to be repaid within five years.

The institute issuing the French Pacific franc, IOEM, injected $US55 million into the territory's bank at the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

The French government also committed itself to assist the communes.

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