Daily Brief - Wednesday 28th September, 2022

TTMA IN THE NEWS

Imbert: If not for fuel subsidy, budget could have been balanced

If it weren't for the fuel subsidy, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said, Government would have been able to balance the budget. He made this statement during his contribution at the post-budget forum hosted by the TT Manufacturers Association (TTMA) at the Hyatt Regency on Tuesday. He was talking about the fiscal deficit which was whittled down from an estimated $9 billion to $2billion. “This is probably the lowest fiscal deficit that the country has had for about 12 years,” Imbert said. Read more here

 

NEWS

San Juan Business Association concerned about budget projections

The San Juan Business Association says it is concerned about the projected oil price of US$92.50 used to calculate government revenues for the 2023 fiscal year. It said the government needed to be careful not to overstretch the revenue projection. In a release, the association said it welcomed several measures announced in the budget. These included a reduction in the deficit from US$9.1 billion to US$1.51 billion, an increase in personal tax allowance by $6,000 which would aid citizens and counteract inflationary pressures, allocations for increased road rehabilitation, a 14 per cent increase in local government budgetary allocation, a seven per cent increase in the allocation to the Works and Transport Ministry, a 59 per cent increase in the Housing Ministry allocation and a boost to the construction sector through new housing projects, a tax amnesty on interest and penalties on interest and penalties, and the US$166 million deposit in the HSF. Read more here

No bail for 2 held during manhunt for Pennywise robbery suspects

Two men who were held during the manhunt for the suspects involved in the deadly Pennywise robbery last week, yesterday appeared in court charged with possession of arms and ammunition, including two assault rifles, for the purpose of trafficking. Christopher Noreiga and Brent Walcott appeared virtually before Senior Magistrate Armina Deonarinesingh in the San Fernando Charge Court. They were arrested last Tuesday in La Romain by officers who were on an exercise at Kalloo Street. Officers allegedly saw them examining two firearms and upon seeing the police, the men allegedly ran through some bushes and escaped. Police allegedly recovered two AR-15s, three magazines and 38 rounds of ammunition. The men were arrested later that day and charged by PC Collin Legendre on Monday. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Rowley challenges private sector: Invest in housing, stimulate the economy

As he turned the sod to mark the start of construction of City Heights Development in San Fernando on Tuesday, the Prime Minister challenged the private sector, which may “have millions stashed away,” to invest in housing to stimulate the economy. Rowley said there is a demand and a ready market for the private sector if it should seize the opportunity. Such an investment, like City Heights, he said, can remedy the housing shortage, provide homes for those in the middle and upper-income brackets and leave the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to return to its core function of providing homes for those most in need at the lower-income end. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Supermarkets, WITCO concerned over Tobacco Law

Some supermarkets may stop selling cigarettes at their establishments after a law prohibiting how tobacco products are displayed is being enforced after many years. Cigarette dispensers advertising each brand available would have been a regular feature at any of the cash registers in some of the bigger supermarkets. This gave the consumer the option of making a purchase no matter which register they chose. However, smokers would have noticed that since Monday, those products are now only available at only one dispenser in the store. Read more here

Imbert wants to drive oil output

On the one hand, he drilled home the point that T&T’s would continue to need and rely on energy earnings to manage its economy. He did this with a key incentive to oil producers to explore more. Even so, he capped the fuel subsidy at $1 billion which meant an immediate increase in the cost of fuel. On the other hand, he outlined a series of projects that will diversification within the energy sector itself (See box), outlining that a low-carbon hydrogen industry is being developed with green (or blue) hydrogen being a carbon-neutral alternative, which can be used as feedstock for petrochemical production. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Immense benefits being derived from Cricket Carnival

Many persons have acknowledged and recognised the obvious, direct opportunities that flow from the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and Cricket Carnival, but there is an unsung story, “an untold script,” that features thousands of Guyanese who have been able to derive significant benefits from Guyana’s staging of these events. This was according to Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, during her remarks at a reception hosted by US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch, on Monday, in celebration of World Tourism Day. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Nord Stream leaks: Sabotage to blame, says EU

The EU has said leaks in two major gas pipelines from Russia to Europe were caused by sabotage - but stopped short of directly accusing Russia. Deliberate disruption would result in the "strongest possible response", said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Ukraine earlier went further, accusing Russia of a "terrorist attack". The EU has previously accused Russia of using gas supplies, and the Nord Stream line, as a weapon against the West. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he thought the leaks would "not have a significant impact on Europe's energy resilience". Neither pipeline is transporting gas at the moment, although they both contain gas. Read more here

 

28th September 2022

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