2020 Budget

Tobago businesses uncomfortable with THA borrowing money on international market

Tobago businesses say they are concerned about the Tobago House of Assembly now having the ability to borrow money on the international market, and cannot endorse it.

That’s the word from Diane Hadad, of the Tobago arm of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

During the recent presentation of the 2020 Budget, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced that the Tobago House of Assembly would now have the ability to raise financing for Tobago development projects via bonds worth some US$300 million.

LABOUR MINISTER: CEPEP and URP to get 15% increase on new Minimum Wage

Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, has confirmed that CEPEP and URP workers will have their wages upgraded to the new minimum wage, before their proposed 15 per cent increase is added.

The Labour Minister says Government had hoped to increase the Minimum Wage to as much as $18.25, but the economy would not have sustained such a steep rise.

DAVID ABDULLAH: "Moonilal is making mischief..."

Political Leader of the MSJ—David Abdullah—is refuting claims by Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal, of conspiracy and corruption in the OWTU’s bid for the Petrotrin Refinery.

The MSJ leader says he will be consulting his attorneys and exploring all his legal options in the matter.

Moonilal questions Petrotrin purchase

Oropouche East MP Roodal Mooni­lal wants to know if there is third par­ty ma­nip­u­la­tion of the Oil­field Work­ers’ Trade Union’s (OW­TU) re­cent ac­qui­si­tion of the Pointe-a-Pierre oil re­fin­ery.

In his con­tri­bu­tion to the Bud­get de­bate yes­ter­day, the Op­po­si­tion MP raised ques­tions about who fa­cil­i­tat­ed a meet­ing be­tween CEO of Sun­stone Eq­ui­ties John Van Dyke and mem­bers of the union.

DPP to get file on eye clinic

Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh said yes­ter­day that a file is be­ing com­piled and will be sent to the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions in re­la­tion to the com­pa­ny in­volved in the drug which caused sev­en pa­tients to go blind in ei­ther one eye or both eyes.

Gopeesingh: "Government failed T&T on Zika..."

The re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for care and pro­tec­tion for ba­bies with mi­cro­cephaly should be in the state’s hands since Gov­ern­ment was late in re­spond­ing to prepa­ra­tions for last year’s Zi­ka mos­qui­to epi­dem­ic and ba­bies with Mi­cro­cephaly were lat­er born, says UNC MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh.

Gopeesingh was speak­ing in yes­ter­day’s 2020 Bud­get de­bate in the Low­er House.

Mi­cro­cephaly, a con­di­tion where a ba­by’s head is small­er than nor­mal, is caused by the Zi­ka virus among oth­er con­di­tions.

CEPEP workers ‘tricked’, less money allocated in budget

One of the ma­jor talk­ing points com­ing out of the $53 bil­lion 2020 bud­get de­liv­ered by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert last week Mon­day (Oct 7th) was the in­crease in salaries for CEPEP (Com­mu­ni­ty-Based En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion and En­hance­ment Pro­gramme) and URP Un­em­ploy­ment Re­lief Pro­gramme) work­ers of 15 per cent.

The move was hailed by some as a good one but crit­i­cized by oth­ers as be­ing a lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion ploy.

HEALTH MINISTER: St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital to be de-commissioned

The 117-year-old St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital is to be de-commissioned.

Confirmation has come from Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, during his contribution to the 2020 Budget debate this morning.

Minister Deyalsingh says the Government is working on a new centrally located centre which will focus on treating Mental Health.

This he says will be a part of a change in approach to the treatment of Mental Health in the country, which he termed, "Behavioural Health Wellness services".

Opposition Leader: “2020 Budget an insult to the poor.”

In her opening salvos of her response to the Finance Minister’s Budget Presentation… Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar S.C., has described the 2020 Budget as an insult to the poor.

She says government should call the general election now.

According to Opposition Leader, the Finance Minister did little more than throw crumbs at the most vulnerable in the society.

The Opposition Leader argues that government’s provisions have meant that CEPEP’s allocation was the lowest in years.