Newallo-Hosein: Social grants being held for ransom

Former Minister of the People and Cumuto/Manzanilla MP, Christine Newallo Hosein, is questioning why certain social grants were cut right before the Local government election.

"Is this psychological warfare?" Newallo Hosein asked the crowd along the Eastern Main Road in Sangre Grande.

Newallo Hosein says people have been coming to her in droves complaining that food cards have been cut, as well as disability grants.

No CEPEP cuts, circumstances permitting—Minister

Cir­cum­stances “per­mit­ting,” there will be no cuts in the CEPEP labour force or con­trac­tors, said Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Kaz­im Ho­sein yes­ter­day.

Ho­sein said if the need aris­es, it may be re­viewed, “but as of to­day there will be no cuts”. He stressed this dur­ing yes­ter­day’s Stand­ing Fi­nance Com­mit­tee scruti­ny of the 2020 Bud­get.

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.

MOONILAL: "What's the real story with CEPEP and URP wage increases?"

Opposition Member of Parliament, Dr Roodal Moonilal, is calling on the Finance Minister to clarify the wage increase for both CEPEP and URP workers.

During the Finance Minister’s 2020 Budget Presentation last Monday, Government explained that these workers' wage increase takes into account the new cap for the Minimum Wage.

However, Dr Moonilal says this explanation has raised more questions than provided answers.

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.

Congress of the People on 2020 Budget


The political leader of the Congress of the People says Monday’s budget failed to address urgent measures needed to transform the country's economy.

According to Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, the fiscal measures announced only appear to achieve short term political gains, as opposed to sustainable development.

She said the government's macroeconomic position was out of sync with reality.

URP restores benches at Scarborough RC School

Close to 100 school benches for the Scarborough RC School are being restored by the Furniture Workshop Team, Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) in preparation for the new school term.

The URP says it's part of ensuring the safety of students remains a top priority for the programme.

A statement by the THA Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment, says much attention is given to inspecting the stock of benches and ensuring that safety standards are observed. 


Government files show 300 were being paid fortnightly under URP to assist sick children

Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert says the Government has uncovered files showing that 300 people were being paid salaries as area foremen under the URP system, to assist their ill children.

He says they will now be channeled through the right mechanism.

Speaking at today's post-Cabinet media conference, Minister Imbert said they were all parents of children with cerebral palsy. 

Works and Transport Minister Fitzgerald Hinds later confirmed they were being paid a total of $264,000 per fortnight, from August 2011 to very recently.