Daily Brief - Wednesday 4th October, 2017

TTMA IN THE NEWS

Concern over higher business taxes

Two of T&T’s largest private sector organisations and one of the country’s premier accounting firm have questioned the impact of the across-the-board imposition of a 30 per cent corporate tax rate on all businesses operating in T&T, which was introduced by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in his presentation of the 2018 budget on Monday. Read more here

 

NEWS

Man dies in accident after vowing to stop driving

Mary Dematias- Khan recalled how she begged her husband Mohammed Khan, 85, to stop driving, one day after he died in a three-car smash up near the Signal Hill traffic lights. Speaking with Newsday Tobago on Tuesday at their Government House Road home, she said, “I used to beg him almost every morning not to go, not to go. This is a great loss for me. It’s me alone now.” Read more here

6 small casinos closing doors

Six small casino owners have decided to immediately close down their businesses and send home their workers due to the announcement of an increase in gaming taxes by Finance Minister Colm Imbert. This was just one of the major fallouts yesterday in the wake of Imbert’s announcement during Monday’s budget. Some international casino operators are also threatening to pull out of T&T if there is no change in the tax, while some large local casino operators are also weighing downsizing operations. Read more here

Lucky Escape from Vegas

For the rest of his life, Trini­dadian Imtiaz Seepersad will remember the scenes of Ame­rica's deadliest mass shooting in its modern history. Seepersad had attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, last Sunday evening with his son, Avith, and wife, Sandy, but 30 minutes before the concert ground was turned into a killing field, Seepersad and his family left the grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Imbert tells Chamber: I didn’t come for sterile debate

Finance Minister Colm Imbert yesterday told the gathering at the TT Chamber’s post Budget forum, “I didn’t come here to listen to sterile debate or academic discussion.” Imbert was the main attraction at the debate, a day after he delivered the $50B 2018 Budget in Parliament. The debate was held at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain and saw Imbert dismiss almost every criticism sent his was as being out of context. “In Trinidad, we say things, but we don’t know the facts,” Imbert told the audience. Read more here

Ministers take five per cent pay cut

Government ministers have taken a five per cent pay cut.The measure was instituted by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley last year, which Finance Minister revealed to the media yesterday, following a T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce annual post-budget analysis meeting with the business sector at the Hyatt Regency Port-of-Spain. Read more here

Imbert: Govt borrowed billions to pay public service salaries

Thousands of public servants could have lost their jobs last year had Government not borrowed billions of dollars from commercial banks to pay their salaries, Finance Minister Colm Imbert revealed yesterday. He said in the last year Government on at least four occasions had to go to the banks for money in order to pay public servants. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Finance Minister says all must share in adjustment

Finance Minister Colm Imbert yesterday appealed to citizens to play their part in dealing with the burden of adjustments. If this is done, Imbert said he was hopeful that some of the taxes imposed in Monday’s budget presentation could be a temporary measure. Imbert could not stop emphasising how important it was for everyone to shoulder the burden of adjustments, as when he delivered the feature address at the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce annual post-budget analysis meeting at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. Read more here

Will a CLF mutual fund work?

In delivering the 2018 budget on Monday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the Government has decided that the major strategic assets of the CL Financial group, “will be divested either by public offerings on the stock exchange or through placement in a new national mutual fund” as they become available from the liquidators. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

HPV Vaccinations Not Postponed - Tufton Says Gov't Moving Ahead With Controversial Programme For Schoolgirls

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said the ministry is firm in its stance not to postpone the administering of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in schools, despite a proposal from Education Minister Ruel Reid that the programme be delayed amid concerns raised by parents and principals. Reid told The Gleaner yesterday afternoon that he would be proposing to Tufton that the controversial initiative be temporarily halted to allow for greater sensitisation of the programme. His comments came as he clarified an earlier statement where, during a press conference, he said the programme had been postponed. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Las Vegas shooting: Gunman fired for 9 to 11 minutes, police say

It took about 10 minutes of gunfire for Stephen Paddock to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. From his position at a Las Vegas hotel, Paddock fired a barrage of bullets at 22,000 concertgoers below at a country music festival -- made possible through what appeared to be meticulous planning. Read more here

Catalan referendum: Region's independence 'in matter of days'

Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC. In his first interview since a disputed vote on Sunday, Carles Puigdemont said his government would "act at the end of this week or the beginning of next". Meanwhile, Spain's King Felipe VI said the vote's organisers had put themselves "outside the law". He said the situation in Spain was "extremely serious", calling for unity. Read more here

 

4th October 2017

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