Daily Brief - Monday 26th September, 2022


Missing woman's boyfriend found dead in Tabaquite forest

The body of Simeon Roopchand – boyfriend of administrative clerk Marissa Edwards – was found hanging from a tree in the Tabaquite forest on Saturday afternoon. Edwards, missing since September 18, is still unaccounted for. Team captain of the Hunters' Search and Rescue Team, Vallence Rambharat, confirmed the discovery of Roopchand's body saying members of the team journeyed about a kilometre into the forest where they came across his body at 4 pm. Roopchand was the last person Edwards was in company with before she went missing. Read more here

Motorists, gas station owners anxious about fuel price hike—Petroleum dealers

President of the Petroleum Dealers Association (PDA) Robin Naraynsingh is speculating that prices at the pumps will increase by $1 in today’s Budget presentation by Finance Minister Colm Imbert. “There is a rumour that the prices of fuel will increase by $1 at the pumps at service stations. I am not sure if it is true. That is what I am hearing. Our members know the prices will go up...but we don’t know if it will take effect tomorrow (today). But we know it will definitely go up,” Naraynsingh told Guardian Media during a telephone interview yesterday. Earlier this month, Imbert, speaking during his presentation at the Spotlight on the Economy at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain, estimated that the fuel subsidy will cost the Government $2.6 billion for 2022 at current energy prices. Imbert said that for the fiscal year 2023, it could cost $2.1 billion based on US$97.50 a barrel of oil. He also revealed that the Government wants to cap the fuel subsidy at $1 billion annually, and this could lead to higher fuel prices in the short run. Read more here



Moonilal: Trinidad and Tobago should brace for a hardship budget

The Opposition has put the country on notice for even more hardship and stress when Finance Minister Colm Imbert presents the budget on Monday in the House of Representatives. In fact, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said on Sunday the public can expect more nuisance taxes to be announced in Imbert's presentation. Moonilal and Mayaro MP Rushton Paray spoke at the Opposition's weekly Sunday media briefing at the Office of the Opposition Leader, Charles Street in Port of Spain. Read more here

Govt blocks TTUTA’s protest, court orders teachers to work

There will be no resting or reflecting for teachers today, Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, has warned. Speaking during a hastily called press conference yesterday, Armour announced that the Ministry of Labour had successfully filed an ex parte injunction against the T&T Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) at the Industrial Court to stop planned protest action today. Armour made the announcement at the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs’ offices at the Government Campus Plaza in Port-of-Spain. “The application was made by the Minister of Labour in the context of ongoing illegal action by TTUTA and the members of that association. The members of the teaching service of Trinidad and Tobago and the Government became very concerned to make an application to the court to bring an end to this illegal action in the national interest,” Armour said. The ex parte application was filed pursuant to Section 65 of the Industrial Relations Act at 3 pm yesterday. Read more here



Colm’s balancing act

As he steps up to the podium in Parliament today to present his eighth budget, Finance Minister Colm Imbert faces a volatile global scenario and a demanding local population. On the international front, sky-high inflation in many developed countries has led to rapid increases in interest rates, which are likely to tip the US and Europe into recessions in 2023. Especially worrisome for the Ministry of Finance technocrats is the impact that the stronger US dollar will have on T&T’s debts in that currency. On the home front, most public sector unions are still demanding double-digit wage increases to compensate for salaries that have remained frozen for the last eight years. Read more here



Guyana closer to having a CLE Law School

Guyana is now one step closer to establishing a law school here through the Council of Legal Education (CLE) of the West Indies, Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney-General, Anil Nandlall S.C., disclosed on Sunday. This development occurred during a meeting with the council in Bridgetown, Barbados, last week. In a press release, Nandlall emphasised that Guyana has been trying to establish a law school within its jurisdiction for almost three decades. During the meeting he presented a case for establishment of the council’s law school in Guyana. Read more here



Pressure on Kwasi Kwarteng as sterling slide continues

The official line from government is no comment on market movements. The baptism of fire for the chancellor after his budgetary statement continued in the early hours of Monday morning, with the pound hitting further 37-year lows in early Asian trade, and then plummeting to all-time lows against the dollar, below $1.04 in early market trade. Whatever is said in public, behind the scenes, the government will be deeply concerned waking up to record lows, as well as the surge in UK government borrowing costs, in particular. Borrowing costs reached their highest levels since August 2008 on Monday morning. The effective rate of interest on borrowing for two-year and five-year periods reached 4.5%. Read more here

26th September 2022


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