Daily Brief - Wednesday 3rd May, 2017

NEWS

Property tax in effect from 2016

The Ministry of Finance has signalled to property owners that the Government proposes to collect property tax for the 2016 calendar year as well as for 2017. The issue of the Government collecting the property tax for 2016 was first made in a newspaper advertisement published on Monday, at the start of the Ministry of Finance’s public education outreach programme this week as promised by Finance Minister Colm Imbert. Read more here

Marcia and Avason never resigned as magistrates

Meanwhile, Family Court Justice Betsy-Ann Lambert Peterson, a former senior magistrate, has also not resigned from the magistracy, the Express learned. Lambert Peterson was appointed a temporary judge of the Family Court in 2010. On February 1, 2012, she was made a puisne judge of the High Court. Her appointment was published in the Trinidad and Tobago Gazette Vol. 51 No. 80 dated April 20, 2012. Read more here

 

POLITICS

One-hour school lunch break remains intact, says Garcia

The one-hour lunch break for primary and secondary school pupils remains intact. Education Minister Anthony Garcia yesterday announced that a general consensus among stakeholders, who convened at the Ministry of Education Towers in Port of Spain, was that they cannot, at this stage, go along with a proposal to cut the lunch break to 30 minutes in the context of treating with school violence. A proposal to shave the lunch break was made to the ministry last week by the National Primary Schools Principals Association (­NPSPA). Read more here

Sea Lots walkover to cost $10m—Sinanan

Four years after Sea Lots residents, 28-year-old Haydee Paul and her two daughters Akasha, seven, and Shakira, eight were killed after a car ploughed into them while walking along the west bound lane of the Beetham Highway, Government turned the sod for the construction of a TT $10 million Sea Lots walkover. The facility is expected to be completed in five months. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Property valuator questions exemptions

Property valuator Afra Raymond is raising questions about some of the properties that are being defined as exempt under the current Property Tax Act. “There are some very interesting exemptions set out in section 16 of the Property Tax Act of 2009. There are two in particular that stand out to me. The first is religious institutions and the other is educational institutions” Raymond said as he delivered the feature address at a luncheon meeting held by the Rotary Club of Port-Of-Spain at Fitzblackman Street, Woodbrook yesterday. Read more here

Higher interest rates on loans likely

Interest rates on loans are likely to rise as Government’s efforts to stave off a downgrade to non-investment grade or “junk” status have been dismal, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) economics lecturers and financials analysts have said. They were responding to Express Business queries following news last week that T&T has returned to being a “non-investment grade” sovereign, a rating it had climbed out of on April 6, 2000 at Moody’s Investors Service (credit rating agency) and on September 13, 1999, at Standard & Poors (S&P) Global Ratings. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Barbados monitoring increased Kick 'em Jenny activity

Disaster emergency officials in Barbados are currently monitoring increased activity, recorded since Saturday, at the Kick ‘em Jenny underwater volcano near Grenada. Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, gave an assurance that her department was closely assessing the activity and updates would be issued only as necessary. Read more here

Caribbean Fears Over Cuba Tourism May Be Misplaced – IMF Working Paper

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says fears by Caribbean countries that the opening up of United States-Cuba tourism could seriously impact the sector in the region "may be misplaced". In a Working Paper titled 'Revisiting the Potential Impact to the Rest of the Caribbean from Opening US-Cuba Tourism', the authors found that "there is no reason to suggest that the sector will not continue to expand in the future". Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Clinton, Trump can't stop airing their 2016 grievances

The election that wouldn't end will, in fact, never end. America has two ex-candidates, the victorious Donald Trump and the vanquished Hillary Clinton who just can't let it lie. In a stunning interview Tuesday, Clinton, the former Democratic nominee, vented her still raw emotions and blazing bitterness over her defeat by Trump -- pointing to Russia and FBI Chief James Comey as the key drivers of her loss. Read more here

Brexit: UK and EU at odds over size of 'divorce bill'

The UK won't pay a 100bn-euro (£84bn) "divorce bill" to leave the EU, Brexit Secretary David Davis has said, as the two sides clashed over the issue. He told ITV's Good Morning Britain the UK would pay what was legally due, in line with its rights and obligations, but "not just what the EU wants". EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said there was no desire to punish the UK but "its accounts must be settled". Read more here

3rd May 2017

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