Parliament

Imbert to banks: Ease up the elderly, please

Finance Minister Colm Imbert says he will be asking the banks to waive their service fee for changing the $100 bills, especially for elderly citizens, but noted that the state cannot compel them to do so by law.

The minister told Parliament this morning that under the current law the central bank is empowered to fix bank charges and fees with respect to loans, deposits and credit finances, but it does not apply to over the counter transactions.

He said they may need to consider changing that.

Ummah T&T: Muslims Disrespected Again

UMMAH T&T Muslim Federation has instructed its attorney to initiate moves to file a constitutional motion against the legislation to take out of circulation the existing $100 dollar bills within a restricted period of time.

This was revealed by Imam Rasheed Karim, chairman of the largest local group of independent Islamic organizations who criticized the move.

According to the Imam, the switch to the polymer bills infringes on the rights of the 180,000 strong Muslim community.

Tewarie tells Govt: "Pay cane farmers before they die..."

Ca­roni Cen­tral MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie made a pas­sion­ate plea for Gov­ern­ment to pay the coun­try’s age­ing cane farm­ers who he claimed are owed mil­lions of dol­lars be­fore they die one-by-one.

The mat­ter was raised at yes­ter­day’s Stand­ing Fi­nance Com­mit­tee in ex­am­in­ing the 2020 ex­pen­di­ture of the Min­istry of Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment in Par­lia­ment.

The com­mit­tee was told that $5 mil­lion was al­lo­cat­ed in the 2019 bud­get for the farm­ers of which $1.7 mil­lion had been spent.

INTERNATIONAL: Brexit: EU and UK reach deal but DUP refuses support

A Brexit deal has been agreed between the UK and EU before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels.

Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker called it a "fair" outcome. The EU Commission President said there was no need to extend the Brexit deadline.

He said: "We have a deal so why should we have a prolongation."

This will be a boost for the PM [Boris Johnson], but he still faces a battle to get the deal through Parliament on Saturday, with the DUP opposing it.

Mr Johnson urged MPs to "come together" and "get this excellent deal over the line".

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.

INTERNATIONAL: New laws on crime, health and the environment in Queen's Speech

The government of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out "ambitious" policies on crime, health, the environment and Brexit in a Queen's Speech that opposition parties have dismissed as an "election manifesto".

Plans for tougher sentences for violent offenders and legal targets for cutting plastic pollution are among 26 bills set out at Parliament's State Opening.

But with the PM having no majority, many of the bills may not become law.

Gov't will need Opposition support for major changes to Bail Act

The government has announced plans to amend the Bail Act to make it harder for offenders of firearm and other serious crimes to access bail.

The sweeping legislation would require the support of the Opposition as it will need a special majority of the Parliament.

The legislation will include:

* 1st offence with a firearm, no bail for up to 120 days

For those who are already on bail, and commits a crime, the legislation will seek to ensure that NO BAIL is given.

The following are the categories of crime outlined by the minister.

Padarath thrown out House after arguing with Speaker

Opposition Member of Parliament for Princes Town, Barry Padarath has been asked to leave the Parliament for today after House Speaker Bridget Annisette-George found him to be in breach of the standing orders.

Padarath was seeking clarification about the impact of water shortages in his constituency, on schools located there.

However, the House Speaker did not allow one of the questions, resulting in a loud outburst by Padarath.

Campaign finance reform law soon - AG

The pro­posed Cam­paign Fi­nance Re­form leg­is­la­tion (CFR) will be brought to Par­lia­ment in a cou­ple weeks, At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi says.

He gave the yes­ter­day es­ti­mate in re­sponse to queries from Op­po­si­tion Sen­a­tor Ger­ald Ramdeen, who asked if the Non-Prof­it Or­gan­i­sa­tions (NPO) bill would ex­tend to po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

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