Circumstances “permitting,” there will be no cuts in the CEPEP labour force or contractors, said Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein yesterday.
Hosein said if the need arises, it may be reviewed, “but as of today there will be no cuts”. He stressed this during yesterday’s Standing Finance Committee scrutiny of the 2020 Budget.
Opposition Member of Parliament, Dr Roodal Moonilal, is calling on the Finance Minister to clarify the wage increase for both CEPEP and URP workers.
During the Finance Minister’s 2020 Budget Presentation last Monday, Government explained that these workers' wage increase takes into account the new cap for the Minimum Wage.
However, Dr Moonilal says this explanation has raised more questions than provided answers.
In her opening salvos of her response to the Finance Minister’s Budget Presentation… Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar S.C., has described the 2020 Budget as an insult to the poor.
She says government should call the general election now.
According to Opposition Leader, the Finance Minister did little more than throw crumbs at the most vulnerable in the society.
The Opposition Leader argues that government’s provisions have meant that CEPEP’s allocation was the lowest in years.
The political leader of the Congress of the People says Monday’s budget failed to address urgent measures needed to transform the country's economy.
According to Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, the fiscal measures announced only appear to achieve short term political gains, as opposed to sustainable development.
She said the government's macroeconomic position was out of sync with reality.
The Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) is calling for more details on Government's proposed interest bearing bonds for registered VAT businesses to meet arrears.
On Monday, the Finance Minister said as a solution to settle $4.5 billion in VAT refunds owed to businessmen, Government is offering $3 billion bonds for a period of five years, with an interest rate of 1.5 percent per annum.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert is once again hitting back at economists.
Speaking at a PNM rally last evening in Barataria, Minister Imbert says the government has collected more money in tax than initially projected but the economists are not accepting the figures.
Last month, Minister Imbert criticised five economists saying they were unfair and biased when commenting on how the government is managing the economy.
And on the energy front, the Finance Minister says that while gas production is up, the government is yet to see the returns.
The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers' Association says it is extremely pleased by the Minister of Finance's pronouncements yesterday at the post-Cabinet briefing that strong consideration will be given to afford manufacturers a higher priority as it relates to access to foreign exchange.
"Such news is welcomed as foreign exchange within the manufacturing community is critical to our operations and export growth mandate," the TTMA said in a statement.
Finance Minister, Colm Imbert says the amount owed by Petrotrin to the Government is 1.269 billion dollars.
The Minister issued a statement Wednesday afternoon to clear up the figures.
"To avoid any misunderstanding, the Minister of Finance wishes to clarify the NET amount of taxes and royalties owed by Petrotrin to the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Acting Minister of Energy, Finance Minister Colm Imbert has outlined the debts Petrotrin owes to the state.
The Minister told the Senate Tuesday morning that Petrotrin owes the state royalties amounting to $1.2 billion.
He added that Petrotrin owes the Board of Inland Revenue $1.78 billion.
He told the Senate that the Government only recently found out that the previous government had been hiding losses of $4.2 billion over 5 years.
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