By Raffique Shah
September 14, 2014
Nine out of ten people, if asked to comment on Government’s 2014-2015 budget, would quietly, and many grudgingly, say it was a good package.
For the average citizen, what matters most in the annual Appropriation Bill are what new measures strip him (or her) of some portion of his earnings or wealth, meaning taxes or levies, and what new benefits accrue to him by way of increases in grants, subsidies, soft loans and so on.
Continue reading ‘Better bite the bullet now’
By Andre Bagoo
September 09 2014 – newsday.co.tt
STATING Government is moving to safeguard the welfare of society, Finance Minister Larry Howai yesterday unveiled a record $65 billion budget. It contained increased benefits on a wide range of fronts, including pension enhancements which will affect more than 131,020 retired and self-employed persons, a new minimum wage, improved allowances for the disabled and easiser access to mortgages for more than 26,100 prospective homeowners.
In the fifth Budget of the People’s Partnership administration, Howai announced:
Continue reading ‘WELFARE BUDGET’
By Raffique Shah
August 31, 2014
One thing we citizens can celebrate on the 52nd anniversary of the nation’s independence is just how dependent we are on our illustrious politicians to tell us what is wrong and what is right, what is good for us and what is not.
Mere mortals that we are, and ignorant ones at that, we were blissfully unaware that for five decades-plus, we had engaged in general elections 13 times (counting 1961), but mostly, the results have yielded governments that did not reflect the will of the electorate. This seething but invisible problem has been the root cause of all our woes — rising crime, nagging poverty, dysfunctional health and education systems, and so on.
Continue reading ‘One dose of democracy’
August 29, 2014 – guardian.co.tt
The controversial Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2014 was passed in the Senate last night with the support of Independent Senators Dhanayshar Mahabir, Rolph Balgobin and David Small.
After almost three days of heated debate, the bill was passed at 11.09 pm with a total of 18 senators voting for it and 12 against it. All the Opposition Senators present and six independents voted against the bill. However, the bill received the three Independents’ votes only after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar agreed to accept an amendment to the controversial runoff clause put forward by Mahabir.
Continue reading ‘Bill passed after heated debate’
By Stephen Kangal
August 26, 2014
Former Prime Minister Patrick Manning now in the twilight of his long political career, albeit sadly interrupted by an unfortunate cessation of blood to part of his brain, made a fool of himself by concealing more than revealing in his Press Statement on the magnanimous offer of an ORTT by the Prime Minister.
Continue reading ‘Manning Drifted Off on A Pathetic Political Tangent’
By Raffique shah
August 23, 2014
Patrick Manning was absolutely correct on all the reasons he cited for declining the Order of Trinidad and Tobago, as announced by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last Thursday.
It is amazing that in just about everything she says and does, the PM gets it wrong nine out of ten times. The furore over her insistence on enacting and implementing the “run-off” provision in general elections still rages, yet she puts both feet in her mouth by publicly announcing that she has advised President Anthony Carmona to confer the ORTT on Manning and Basdeo Panday.
Continue reading ‘PM Politicised Awards’
By Clint Chan Tack
August 23 2014 – newsday.co.tt
FORMER Prime Minister Patrick Manning yesterday publicly declined the recommendation of his successor — Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar — that he receive the country’s highest honour, the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, at this year’s National Awards Ceremony at Queen’s Hall, Port-of-Spain on Independence Day.
During an Independence Day cocktail reception which she hosted at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s on Thursday night, Persad-Bissessar announced she had recommended to President Anthony Carmona that former prime ministers Manning and Basdeo Panday receive the Order of the Republic.
Continue reading ‘PATRICK MANNING: NO THANKS, KAMLA’
By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 20, 2014
Professor Antony Maingot has accused me of myopia but he has not responded to the arguments I made in my recent article on the constitutional reform proposed by the present government. Even if we grant that everything he says is true they do not refute my contention that in most of our political discussions we go no further than 1955; we do not look for constitutional precedence in our social and political history; and we do not seek, at any time, to determine the events had shaped our present thereby making us a unique society.
Continue reading ‘Professor Maignot’s Non-Response’
By Raffique Shah
August 16, 2014
What the railroading of the runoff provision in the Constitutional Amendment Bill in Parliament last week showed is that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar will not heed the voices of reason, even if they come from within her own ranks.
Hubris having enveloped her soul, and with an army of sycophants massaging her ego with every word uttered from their mouths, the lady sees in every critic an enemy bent on destroying her. On the eve of her political self-destruction, paranoia has compounded the toxic mix that will hasten her demise.
Continue reading ‘Real People Power’
By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 15, 2014
To hear Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Anand Ramlogan tell it, one would think that August 12, 2014, was a red-letter day for Trinidad and Tobago’s democracy. They seem to indicate that somehow our society realized one of its brightest moments when the PP voted legislation to recall parliamentary representatives after three years of service if the needs arises, to creating time limits for the prime minister and, most important, to require that each parliamentary representative receive more than 50 percent of the votes cast at a general election though not necessarily more than 50 percent of the total voters of that constituency. Although I have no problems with the first two resolutions, I don’t know what democratic magic occurs when 50.1 percent rather than 49.50 percent of a constituency votes for a candidate of their choice.
Continue reading ‘Staining the Soul of Our Nation’