Archive for the 'Recession' Category

We must do, or die like stray dogs

By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2017

Raffique ShahIf fantasy could be magically transformed into reality, as Dictator-General of Trinidad and Tobago, I would harness the approximately $10 billion per year that is wasted on cigarettes, alcohol and gambling and put that money to productive use.

But then I’d be a dead dictator before I could even proclaim the prohibitions, since I verily believe that 90-plus per cent of my countrymen smoke, drink alcohol or gamble, and many of them engage in all three vices.
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A decisive year ahead

By Raffique Shah
January 04, 2017

Raffique ShahIF asked what is the number one problem facing the nation as we enter 2017, the overwhelming majority respondents would say violent crimes, especially murders. My beleaguered fellow citizens, having survived another bloody year during which killers showed utter contempt for law and order, see a slide into anarchy looming large.

But I submit that the perilous state of the economy is the biggest threat to national stability, and the Government’s apparent inability to formulate strategies and plans to resuscitate it is the gravest danger the country faces.
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Never lose human compassion

By Raffique Shah
September 28, 2016

Raffique ShahYou think we have problems in this country?

With days to go before Finance Minister Colm Imbert delivers the Government’s 2017 budget, Trinis by the thousand sit in bars across the country sipping beers or whisky, and amidst the din that is common to such establishments, shout to be heard: “Breds, we better drink up, yes…from Friday, we may not be able to afford Johnny Walker Blue!” Big problem, that.
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Pay hikes proposed for PM, Cabinet, Opposition

By Richard Lord
June 21, 2016 – guardian.co.tt

ParliamentFresh moves are underway to increase the salaries of the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, the Opposition Leader and all other MPs.

This is as a Salaries Review Commission (SRC) consultant met with senior Government and Opposition MPs last week to initiate the process for the hike.
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Cooked books

Newsday Editorial
Friday, May 13 2016 – newsday.co.tt

THE BOOKS have been cooked.

TheftRecent disclosures to Parliament have led us to conclude that the State’s financial accounting is seriously flawed. The books have been rendered defective through suspect accounting practices, gaps in oversight of revenue, and the use of tactics that have the effect of masking shortfalls. The result? A distorted picture. A Budget statement every year, yet no true accountability.
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Millions on empty office buildings

Auditor General’s report laid in Parliament

Gail Alexander
Wednesday, May 4 2016 – guardian.co.tt

One AlexandraSeveral million was paid by various People’s Partnership government ministries in rent for certain unoccupied buildings over 2014 to 2015, including large sums for a St Clair property leased by the past People’s National Movement administration which the PP continued to pay for, according to the Auditor General’s latest report.
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No need for outside help

Experts on Imbert’s IMF, World Bank move

By Shaliza Hassanali
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – guardian.co.tt

Colm ImbertThere was no need for Minister of Finance Colm Imbert to engage officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to provide advice on T&T’s fiscal policy.

This was the view yesterday of developmental economist Dr Ralph Henry and former minister in the ministry of finance Mariano Browne, following Imbert’s announcement on Thursday that World Bank officials are in T&T to assist and advise the Government on pressing matters, including a review of expenditure in all key areas.
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Battle against be-suited bandits

By Raffique Shah
April 21, 2016

Raffique ShahI find it almost amusing that some grocers who are caught dipping their greedy hands deep inside the inside consumers’ pockets, cry foul when their names and outrageously high prices are exposed through advertisements posted by the Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Trade.

In immediate response to being named as selling certain foodstuff way above the norm in the business, they claim the prices attributed to their establishments were wrong, and they issued “corrected” versions that were between $5 and $10 cheaper-per item.
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E-shopping levy not a right click

Newsday Editorial
April 13, 2016 – newsday.co.tt

Online ShoppingTHE GOVERNMENT is proposing a seven percent levy on online purchases. Shoppers have described the move as unfair, but Minister of Finance Colm Imbert has defended it, saying it would ease foreign exchange pressures, reduce revenue leakage, and divert buyers to local products. But not so. The levy is one tax too many.
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Descent into imports-dependence

By Raffique Shah
April 05, 2016
Posted: April 10, 2016

Raffique ShahWhat I established last week was that Trinidad and Tobago, like most small island states that were once colonised by imperial powers, relies heavily on imported foods for its sustenance.

All our staples-grains (wheat, rice, maize), dairy products (milk, cheese, butter), sugar, edible oils, white potatoes, beans and pulses-come from abroad, mainly North America, the EU, Australia and New Zealand.
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