Daily Brief - Tuesday 5th December, 2017

TTMA IN THE NEWS

Manufacturers complain: Poor VAT returns causing issues in doing business

Small and medium manufacturers are likely to encounter a cash flow problem if they are not paid the rebate owed from their VAT returns. President of the T&T Manufacturers' Association (TTMA), Christopher Alcazar said yesterday that in some instances, VAT rebates have been delayed in excess of one year. "Some of our members especially the medium to smaller ones operate their business based on cash flow/operations, and to have the outstanding sums delayed sometimes by eight months if we are lucky, to one year or two years in other instances is really a heavy cost to run ones business," Alcazar said in emailed responses. Read more here

 

NEWS

Chamber wants stronger sexual harassment laws

The Chamber of Industry and Commerce says it strongly condemns any behaviour or act of a sexual nature which might be deemed as sexual harassment, whether committed in the workplace, school, home, any institution or space. In a statement yesterday, the Chamber said within recent times the offensive issue of sexual harassment has been occupying media headlines globally and locally. This was not a new phenomena as this issue has long plagued societies the world over, and evidently this country is no different. Read more here

2 sent home, 2 to face PSC

Two employees of the Tobago House of Assembly’s Tourism, Culture and Transportation Division have been ordered to stop reporting for duty while two others have been referred to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for disciplinary action. The decision comes on the heels of a Fraud Squad investigation into an alleged wire transfer fraud involving $8 million intended for airlift arrangements with Virgin Atlantic Airways. The money was reportedly deposited into an incorrect bank account. Read more here

13 private secondary schools to get subventions this week

All 13 private secondary schools which have not been paid their subventions will receive them before the end of this week. Education Minister Anthony Garcia gave this assurance yesterday at a press conference at the Education Towers on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, held to address the issue of non-payment of fees to private secondary schools. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Christlyn knocks ferry committee

Political leader of the Tobago Forwards Christlyn Moore says Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley setting up a Cabinet sub-committee to find a ferry for the sea bridge “is as ridiculous as Rohan Sinanan (Minister of Works and Transport) asking a party hack to go and find a boat.” Moore was commenting on the announcement at last Thursday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young that the latest tender process failed and Rowley had mandated a four-member Cabinet sub-committee to find a ferry in the shortest possible time. Read more here

Teachers stay away over late Ministry payments

Education Minister Anthony Garcia says teachers at the Bishop’s Centenary College and some 12 other private schools will be paid their stipend within the next 48 hours for accommodating ministry-assigned students. His statement came after some 25 teachers at the Bishop’s Centenary, in Woodbrook, stayed away from owing to the non-payment of their November salary. Only four teachers showed up for duty yesterday and students were sent home at half-day. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Duke says no clarity on TTRA issues

Public Services Association (PSA) President Watson Duke says he is dissatisfied with the lack of answers from Finance Minister Colm Imbert about how government intends to go about setting up the T&T Revenue Authority (TTRA) and the impact it will have on the workers. Following yesterday's meeting at the Ministry of Finance, Port-of-Spain, Duke said the majority of concerns raised by the PSA had not been addressed in their entirety. Read more here

San Fernando street vending plan in trouble

Objections by some business owners in San Fernando to a plan to allow street vending during the Christmas has left one business owner fearing for her life. President of the San Fernando Business Association Daphne Bartlett said yesterday she was verbally threatened by a man who came into her High Street business. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Gang Hit Hard - CTOC Nabs 25 Members, Including Cop, Women

The police are claiming a massive breakthrough into the operations of one of Jamaica's most sophisticated and ruthless criminal outfits, the Terrence Gang, which they say has extended into seven parishes and has been responsible for a number of murders, shootings and rapes. The lawless activity of the notorious gang has been disrupted following an operation Saturday, in which 25 of its members were arrested. Three women and a Jamaica Constabulary Force member, said to be a detective corporal, were also picked up as part of the gang's activity. They, too, are awaiting charges. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump's Russia defense in disarray

President Donald Trump's legal defense against Robert Mueller's unrelenting special counsel investigation is beginning to look as chaotic as his early days in the White House. A sequence of reflexive tweets and comments about the Russia probe from the White House and Trump's legal team has spectacularly backfired, suggesting that the administration was knocked off balance by news of Michael Flynn's plea deal. Read more here

Ministers face MPs' grilling on Brexit negotiations

Ministers are to face MPs' questions about the failure to strike a Brexit deal following a DUP backlash. The DUP, whose support the government needs in key votes, said it would not accept a deal on the Irish border which saw Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of the UK. The UK is seeking permission from Brussels to open trade talks. Brexit Secretary David Davis is expected to respond to Labour's urgent question in the Commons at 12:30 GMT. Read more here

5th December 2017

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