Daily Brief - Tuesday 28th May 2019




UNC leader queries possible delay of local government polls

Government must clarify if a pro­pos­al in the lo­cal gov­ern­ment re­form bill — which seeks to ex­tend coun­cil­lor terms from three to four years — is a "back door" way to post­pone lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions. Op­po­si­tion Leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar called for clar­i­fi­ca­tion at last night's UNC Mon­day Night Fo­rum at Diego Mar­tin North Sec­ondary School.

She not­ed that the Mis­cel­la­neous Pro­vi­sions (Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Re­form) Bill 2019 was laid in Par­lia­ment last Fri­day night and ex­pressed con­cern about clause three (c) of the Bill which she not­ed seeks to vary the term of coun­cil­lors from the cur­rent three year pe­ri­od to four years. Not­ing that T&T is on the eve of a lo­cal gov­ern­ment poll, she queried if this was a back door way to post­pone the elec­tion. For more on this story



UTC loses $33 million, first time in five years

The Unit Trust Cor­po­ra­tion (UTC) Group made a loss of $33 mil­lion in 2018 ac­cord­ing to its Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Nigel Ed­wards. The Cor­po­ra­tion is re­port­ing a TT$293 mil­lion de­cline in to­tal in­come last year when com­pared to 2017.

This is the since the UTC group start­ed prepar­ing con­sol­i­dat­ed fi­nan­cial re­port it has record­ed a loss. Ed­wards told Guardian Me­dia that the re­ver­sal of $88 mil­lion when com­pared to 2017 was main­ly as a re­sult of the new ac­count­ing stan­dards that the cor­po­ra­tion had to adopt.

In a tele­phone in­ter­view with GML, Ed­wards said al­ready the com­pa­ny was see­ing pos­i­tive move­ments in its net po­si­tion in 2019 with a change in the fair val­ue of $ 288.7 mil­lion. In its an­nu­al re­port, the UTC’s Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer’s in­di­cat­ed that to­tal in­come de­clined from 996 mil­lion in 2017 to 772 mil­lion in 2018. The prin­ci­pal dri­ver of this was un­favourable move­ments in the fair val­ue of in­vest­ments se­cu­ri­ties amount­ing to TT$456 mil­lion in 2018. For more on this story.



Edna Manley Controversy Deepens As More Victims Speak Out

The board of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts is expected to discuss the sexual harassment allegations rocking the St Andrew-based fine arts school at a board meeting today.

Several alleged victims of sexual harassment perpetrated by a male lecturer at the institution detailed their traumatic experiences in a Sunday Gleaner exposé on the weekend. The victims complained that school administrators have not treated the complaints with urgency and seriousness.

The Gleaner has been informed that today’s meeting will be examining the explosive allegations of a cover-up as it seeks answers on how school administrators dealt with the complaints. For more on this story



 EU budget: Who pays most in and who gets most back?

 With the European elections concluded, one of the big challenges facing the European Union (EU) will be agreeing its next budget. Every seven years, the EU agrees a long-term spending plan. All EU leaders have to agree on it unanimously, so the negotiations usually take a long time.

The last seven-year plan was agreed in 2013, for the period 2014-20. And, for the first time in the history of the organisation, it decided to cut real-terms spending. On the basis of the long-term plan, every year the representatives of the 28 governments and the European Parliament agree the precise details of the EU annual budget,

We examined the latest, 2017, budget to find out how much each of the EU countries contributed and received from the EU. The UK is a net contributor to the EU budget. In other words, it contributes more to the EU budget than it receives back from it. For more on this story.

27th May 2019


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