By Sean Douglas
Friday, December 5 2008
MINISTER of Planning, Dr Emily Gaynor Dick-Forde, said over $40 million was paid in commissions to the agents who arranged financing of the Waterfront Project, replying to a question by UNC Senator Mohammed Faisal Rahman in the Senate on Tuesday.
She said the agents for the borrower, the Port-of-Spain Waterfront Development Limited, were First Caribbean International Bank (collateral agent and financial advisor) and Wells Fargo Bank, North America (trustee).
Continue reading Over $40M in agent fees on waterfront project
Thursday, November 27 2008
The Tobacco Bill now being debated in Parliament seems to be a case of using a shotgun to kill a mosquito. And, as with a shotgun, there is the danger of injuring innocent bystanders while the mosquito flies free.
To be sure, smoking leads to major health problems for many people. Heart disease, strokes, and cancer are three of the five leading causes of death in Trinidad and Tobago, and all these diseases have been linked to tobacco use. But, at the heart of this issue is the question of rights, including people’s right to harm themselves. A smoker, after all, chooses to smoke. Since people own their bodies (save in slave cultures) it is therefore their right to do as they please with themselves. In respect to tobacco legislation, two main counter-arguments to this position are generally proffered: first, that advertising persuades people to start and continue smoking; and, secondly, that second-hand smoke is as harmful as smoking itself.
Continue reading Smoking gun
By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2008
So we have come full circle-responding only when the White “massa”, or “missus” in this case, wields the whip. Government has belatedly decided to review its expenditure in light of the global financial and economic crises. The announcement to that effect came immediately after the IMF’s Christina Daseking warned government about its spending spree, saying it must rein in unnecessary expenditure if the country is to weather the global storm.
Continue reading Cutbacks must start at the top
Following is the full text of Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s address to the nation on Thursday 20, 2008
My fellow citizens,
I consider it most important that I address you at this time.
Before however dealing with my main purpose this evening, let me give you the assurance that the government continues to do its utmost to alleviate the plight of all those who have been adversely affected by the recent flooding.
Continue reading PM: Tighten your belts
THE EDITOR: There is a saying that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. This was clearly demonstrated over the last few weeks by Finance Minister’s Karen Nunez-Tesheira, Mariano Browne and Energy Minister Conrad Enill.
Continue reading Cancel ego trips and save money
Sunday, November 16 2008
Faced with the choice to apologise to his erstwhile colleague Diego Martin West MP Keith Rowley, or to brazen out his allegation that Dr Rowley is responsible for missing monies in the Cleaver Heights housing project, Prime Minister Patrick Manning has chosen the latter course.
Continue reading Extended Allegations
November 15 2008
T&T Newsday Editorial
If the Government is so intent on having citizens use Compressed Natural Gas, Ministers should start by converting their own vehicles to CNG. Speaking in the Senate last Thursday on the issue, Minister in the Finance Ministry Mariano Browne was very gung-ho about all the benefits that would accrue to consumers and the wider society through CNG conversion: fewer emissions, less wear and tear on engines, fewer oil changes, and reduction in engine noise. If this is so, then Mr Browne and his colleagues need to take the lead in installing conversion kits into their new vehicles purchased at low interest rates thanks to their standing as Members of Parliament.
Continue reading Convert PM1 to CNG
Thursday, November 6 2008
OPPOSITION Leader Basdeo Panday on Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Patrick Manning for visiting Radio 94.1 FM two Saturdays ago to protest their earlier broadcast, critical of Government policy.
In a statement, the UNC leader yesterday called Manning “absolutely out of line, and overboard” in his actions.
Continue reading Panday: Manning wrong to storm radio station
Ria Taitt Political Editor
Tuesday, October 21st 2008
Prime Minister Patrick Manning on Saturday told the PNM General Council meeting that Government never had any intention of purchasing 200 luxury vehicles to transport VIPs during the two major international conferences to be held in Port of Spain next year.
Manning told the meeting that he did not know where this notion came from. He noted that this country had hosted conferences before, and the Government never purchased vehicles for this.
Continue reading PM: We never planned to buy 200 luxury cars
By Raffique Shah
Sunday, October 12th 2008
I grew to dislike Budget presentations and the debates that followed them during my five short years as a parliamentarian. For most of that period, the then Prime Minister, Dr Eric Williams, was also Minister of Finance. Like most intellectuals who were also heads of governments in that era, Williams reveled in making lengthy presentations. Having a captive audience comprising 35 MPs, a number of senators and other high-ranking public officials who felt it was their duty to be present for the budget, Williams would drone on and on, sometimes for five, six hours.
Continue reading In Trinidad, the piper calls the tune