Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Who’s minding the public service store?

Once again, in post-budget remarks, Finance Minister Larry Howai registered exasperation, however indirectly, with the operation of the machinery of government, personified in the staff of the public service. In his budget speech, however, the Minister had credited the “professional advice and unstinting support” of Finance Ministry officers who “worked assiduously, tirelessly and beyond the call of duty” to prepare related documents. Read More »

No accounting to the taxpayer

Last Monday Minister of Finance Larry Howai read but left plenty unsaid. He never mentioned LifeSport even as he spoke about sport development. Read More »

Errors and omissions

Minister of Finance Larry Howai’s economic advisers should have told him that the economy is set up for trouble when real interest rates are negative (and they are) and when the profit (net operating surplus) share of net income declines (and it probably has or soon will). Read More »

Why’s for the holy and the wily

Reggie Dumas, verily like the biblical wise men, helpfully trumpeted the coming of the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour. Though beyond the majestic manger for its birth, my peep, with the help of the stars, suggests a striking resemblance to two institutions on my mind of late. Read More »

Paying the price for illegal shortcuts

The dispute between the Arbor and Rosewood schools and the Diego Martin Regional Corporation is, in certain respects, a counter-narrative to what typically obtains in such situations. The institution, which is attempting to relocate to 129 Long Circular Road, does not have the required legal approvals from the Town and Country Division nor even the Ministry of Education. Read More »

For the many or the few?

After the Finance Minister’s 2015 budget last Monday, I found myself asking: What was that all about? Half-way through the presentation, I was bored, but I forced myself to endure it to the end. Finally concluded, his budget got an “A” in the “Dull and Unimaginative” category Read More »

Weaving webs of spin

I feel sorry for Finance Minister Larry Howai. Although I do not know him I have tremendous respect for him, based upon his public career, as a man of integrity who loves his country. That is why I am sure that when he was first approached about the possibility of the finance portfolio he was happy to say “Yes’’ not because he was attracted to the status and the prospect of illicit gain but because he viewed it as a chance to continue his service to the country at a much higher level. Read More »

Baby grant offers a helping hand

One of the more contentious issues coming out of the 2015 Budget is the Government’s decision to offer a $500 one-year grant to underprivileged women for their. The Government’s thinking is that the first year of a baby’s life is most critical and good nutrition for infants is vital for the long-term well-being of children. Read More »

PoS flood relief outcome of rare win-win project

Commuters, residents, business people and workers in downtown Port of Spain, who find themselves inconvenienced by supposedly unstoppable rainy-season floods at last find cause for hope. Recurrent flooding in the southernmost downtown area has defied whatever past efforts were made by the Port of Spain Corporation and the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure. Read More »

The ghost still walking

The annual hoopla surrounding the budget presentation has not suppressed the concern of many citizens at the ease and speed with which the Government was able to amend the first past the post system of electing members to the House of Representatives by means of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2014. Read More »


The Constitution Reform Commission (CRC) raised some fundamental questions about how we have dealt with matters relating to constitutional revision in the past and how we ought to deal with them in the future. Read More »

How, why, budget escapes reality check

The budget may qualify for listing as a distinctive season on the T&T calendar. Were the budget “exercise” to spin off any festival aspects, it could gain mention in publications aimed at tourists, and even sophisticated explication and celebration in Caribbean Airlines’ Beat magazine. Read More »

Better bite the bullet now

Nine out of ten people, if asked to comment on Government’s 2014-2015 budget, would quietly, and many grudgingly, say it was a good package. Read More »

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