By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2017
If 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.
Continue reading ‘We must do, or die like stray dogs’
By Raffique Shah
January 04, 2017
IF 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.
Continue reading ‘A decisive year ahead’
By Stephen Kangal
December 30, 2016
It would appear inevitable that T&T will, in the face of a doomsday scenario, be forced to become FATCA-compliant in the shortest possible time according to the shifting deadlines unilaterally issued by the IRS/Treasury Department. But in quantifying the current and future costs of FATCA compliance one must go beyond the costs to be incurred by individuals, companies, local banks and other financial institutions and the potential loss of their billion-dollar profit margins.
Continue reading ‘Factoring the Costs of FATCA Compliance into the Debate’
By Stephen Kangal
December 16, 2016
This simple headline encapsulates in its entirety all the infringements of international law, diplomacy, human rights and acceptable standards of inter-state relations that are impregnated in the modus operandi of the internationalization of the 2010 FACTA Law passed by the US Congress.
It was a tax-collection domestic legislation of the USA. It is now being imposed against several tenets of international relations with the sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of unsuspecting T&T via US Treasury/IRS- issued deadlines and threats with the Minister of Finance, Hon. Colm Imbert on bended knees dodging bullets from US aggression.
Continue reading ‘Pass the FACTA or Face the US FATWA’
By Raffique Shah
September 28, 2016
You 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.
Continue reading ‘Never lose human compassion’
By Ted Baumann
March 4, 2015 – thesovereigninvestor.com
When I was a kid I once got the better of a bully in a schoolyard scuffle that he had started. With workmen on the school roof cheering me on, I chased the guy halfway across the playground before he turned around and raised his hands in surrender. Needless to say, with the whole class watching, he was terribly embarrassed.
Continue reading ‘America is a Big FATCA Liar’
By Richard Lord
June 21, 2016 – guardian.co.tt
Fresh 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.
Continue reading ‘Pay hikes proposed for PM, Cabinet, Opposition’
Friday, May 13 2016 – newsday.co.tt
THE BOOKS have been cooked.
Recent 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.
Continue reading ‘Cooked books’
Auditor General’s report laid in Parliament
Wednesday, May 4 2016 – guardian.co.tt
Several 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.
Continue reading ‘Millions on empty office buildings’
Experts on Imbert’s IMF, World Bank move
By Shaliza Hassanali
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – guardian.co.tt
There 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.
Continue reading ‘No need for outside help’