Daily Brief - Tuesday 5th October, 2021


TTMA pleased by Budget measures, particularly toward SMEs

Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) president Tricia Coosal has welcomed the Budget measures proposed to assist the business community in Trinidad and Tobago, especially those geared to assisting small and medium enterprises (SMEs). She said the TTMA was also heartened to learn the Government will be seeking to address outstanding VAT refunds. However, Coosal yesterday said, “The association will be looking toward the details on this matter, since finding a long term solution to this problem is just as important for the business community as obtaining their overdue allocation of VAT returns.” Read more here

National Quality Policy awareness programme launched

The Ministry of Trade and the TT Bureau of Standards on Friday launched the first of three capacity building projects funded by the European Union through a stand-by facility managed by the Caribbean Development Bank. The project is titled “Building a Quality Culture in Trinidad and Tobago – Implementation of the National Quality Policy.” At a virtual meeting on Friday, Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon said the programme is designed to encourage adherence to the 2018 National Quality Policy and to develop a culture which understands the importance of adhering to quality standards in manufacturing sectors and other SMEs. Read more here




More tax breaks for first-time home-owners

From January 1 government will forgo a total of $30 million a year to provide further tax allowances for first-time home-owners. Minister of Finance Colm Imbert proposed in Monday’s reading of the national budget to increase the first-time home-owner tax-allowance limit from $25,000 to $30,000 per household on mortgage interest for the first five years. Tax deductions on home ownership would provide extra disposable income by reducing the amount of tax paid. Read more here



$52.4B Budget: Cuts in taxes, duties and removal of VAT on some food items

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has presented a $52.4 billion Budget for fiscal 2022, which promises better food prices with the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) from certain basic food items. Small and medium businesses have also received a slew of incentives to revive them. However, Minister Imbert said the number of valuation forms submitted to the Government by property owners is insufficient to start property tax collection. The tax, however, remains as a plan ahead and the Draft Estimates of Revenue estimates that the Government will raise $100 million from it. Read more here



FCB upsizes stake in Barita

Majority State-owned First Citizens (FCB) increased its shareholding in publicly listed Jamaican investment company, Barita Investments Ltd (BIL), during its Additional Public Offering (APO) of shares, which closed on September 21, 2021. First Citizens Investment Services (FCIS), a wholly owned subsidiary of FCB, purchased 24,515,000 new shares in the APO, at J$80 per share. FCIS would have paid US$13.25 million (J$1.96 billion) for the increased stake in BIL. Read more here



Barriers to intra-regional ‘agri’ trade must be dismantled rapidly

Faced with a food-import bill amounting to over US$5 billion per annum, CARICOM nations will have to aggressively address barriers which inhibit intra-regional agricultural trade, to ease that financial burden and attain food security, President Dr. Irfaan Ali has said. “We cannot seriously speak of significantly denting the enormous and unsustainable regional food-import bill yet, unwittingly or otherwise erect, and keep in place non-tariff barriers (NTBs), which impede regional trade in agriculture produce and products,” President Ali, who holds responsibility for agriculture in CARICOM’s Quasi Cabinet, said in his keynote address during the virtual launch of the 16th Caribbean Week of Agriculture 2021, on Monday. Read more here



French Church abuse: 216,000 children were victims of clergy – inquiry

Some 216,000 children - mostly boys - have been sexually abused by clergy in the French Catholic Church since 1950, a damning new inquiry has found. The head of the inquiry said there were at least 2,900-3,200 abusers, and accused the Church of showing a "cruel indifference towards the victims". A senior figure in the French Church expressed "shame and horror" over the findings, and asked for forgiveness. One of those abused said it was time the Church reassessed its actions. François Devaux, who is also the founder of the victims' association La Parole Libérée (Freed speech), said there had been a "betrayal of trust, betrayal of morale, betrayal of children". Read more here

5th October 2021


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