Daily Brief - Friday 11th June, 2021


Consider grants for manufacturing employees

The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) is asking Finance Minister Colm Imbert to consider salary relief grants to almost half of manufacturing sector employees who have been affected in one way or the other by Covid-19. In a statement on Wednesday evening, the TTMA said while it welcomed supplementary funding in sectors such as health, agriculture, national security and social development as announced in the mid-year budget review, it wanted salary relief grants for 47 per cent of 53,000 manufacturing workers who have been affected by the current restrictions under the State of Emergency. Read more here



No long lines for vaccines in south Trinidad

With changes to the mass covid19 vaccination walk-in drive, Thursday saw fewer people and less chaos and confusion outside several sites in south Trinidad than the previous day. At Marabella Health Centre, about ten people lined up for their first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine. Esther Bain-Charles, 68, and her husband Wayne Charles, 65, got vaccinated and joked that they almost broke the curfew trying to beat any potential gathering. At the stroke of 5 am, they were already in their car. The curfew is from 9 pm-5 am. Read more here

Economist: Not yet time to restart economy

It is not yet the time to look into restarting the economy according to economist Dr Roger Hosein as he believes now is the time to place more emphasis on protecting lives than livelihoods. Speaking in the Parliament Wednesday during the Mid-Year Budget Review, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar called for a reopening of the economy and restarting some sectors deemed non-essential amid the outbreak.  While Dr Hosein agrees that the economy is currently reeling from the pandemic, the safety of citizens come first. Read more here



Minister: 3,535 involved in SEA exam vaccinated; smooth flow for test

Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly is confident there will no hindrances impeding the smooth administration of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam on July 1. And she is assuring teachers, parents and students that all measures will be in place including the requisite number of invigilators that are needed. Responding to questions via WhatsApp yesterday, Gadsby-Dolly said, “Over 3,500 people are involved at different levels of SEA administration.” Read more here



Increasing pension age ‘under consideration’

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said yesterday that the proposal to increase the retirement age to 65 from the current age of 60 is under “active consideration,” but he said the Government has not made a “firm decision” on the matter as yet. Imbert made the comment in delivering the keynote address at a webinar hosted by the Development Bank of Latin America (called CAF) on the topic “Pensions and Healthcare Systems: Challenges posed by aging, technological change and informality”. Read more here



‘Callous and unconscionable’

The manner in which the previous government went about shutting down four of Guyana’s sugar estates was “a bad decision from any perspective,” said Dr. Thomas B. Singh, Director of the University of Guyana’s GREEN Institute, who presented the findings of a socio-economic impact study sponsored by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) of the United Nations (UN).
The study, which was released on Thursday via a virtual forum, utilises the ‘sustainable livelihoods framework’, and focused on examining the impact that the estate closures would have had on the lives of some 7000 sugar workers and their families. Read more here



G7: UK and US have an 'indestructible relationship', PM says

The alliance between the US and the UK should be known as the "indestructible relationship", Boris Johnson has told the BBC after meeting US President Joe Biden for the first time. He said he had "terrific" talks with Mr Biden, who has travelled to Cornwall for the G7 summit of world leaders. The summit begins later, with vaccines and climate change on the agenda. Mr Johnson insisted the US president had not rebuked him over post-Brexit tensions in Northern Ireland. Read more here

The Americans locked up in Myanmar's notorious Insein prison

It was supposed to be an exciting trip home to surprise his parents in the United States, his family said. But on May 24, before he boarded the plane at Yangon International Airport, in Myanmar's biggest city, Danny Fenster, 37, was stopped by security forces and inexplicably taken into custody. Four months earlier, Myanmar's military had seized power in a coup and embarked on a bloody crackdown against protesters, journalists, striking workers, activists and others opposed to the new ruling junta. Read more here

11th June 2021


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