ANOTHER WASTED OPPORTUNITY

For Grenadians so desperately in need of some comforting words of assurances from the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell about the intended plans by his Administration to implement an International Monetary Fund (IMF) aided “home-grown” Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), his national address last week Wednesday night was a major disappointment. The speech delivered in prime time on local television and radio and carried globally via the Worldwide Web, lacked substance and internal coherence; and was without any meaningful financial and economic content. THE NEW TODAY believes strongly that in most part that National Address came across … Continue reading

PSC put cart before horse

The Public Service Commission (PSC) wrote Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Smith Roberts a letter dated 28 October 2013 telling him that PSC ‘has decided to retire you’; and inviting him to make representations on the matter if he wished. PSC thereby put the cart before the horse. So says Counsel for ACP Roberts, Dr. Francis Alexis who pointed out that PSC should have first afforded ACP Roberts a hearing on whether he should be retired from the Royal Grenada Police Force before he reaches the compulsory retiring age, 60 years of age. Only after giving him an opportunity to … Continue reading

Act to take care of Socially Displaced Persons

Minister for Social Development, Housing and Social Security, Delma Thomas is warning Grenadians that the soon to be instituted Socially Displaced Persons Bill, 2013, will not be used as a dumping ground for family members. The Act provides for the assessment, care and rehabilitation of socially displaced persons and for related matters in response to public concern over a growing population of displaced people frequenting public places particularly in the town of St George. The Act, piloted by Minister Thomas, was passed through all its stages in the House of Representatives last week Wednesday and will soon be tabled in … Continue reading

Statement by the National Democratic Congress on the increase in salaries of government ministers

The National Democratic Congress(NDC) condemns as despicable and abhorrent, the decision by the NNP Cabinet of Ministers to give themselves an increase in salaries at this time. In this period, when close to 40 percent of all Grenadians are living in poverty; when over 30 percent of the Grenadian labour force are unable to find work to support their families and the entire population is bracing itself to face the unprecedented government-imposed austerity program, Dr. Mitchell and his Ministers are secretly increasing their salaries and benefits on top of all the benefits they already enjoy.   While publicly calling on … Continue reading

Mason: The middle class will bear the brunt of the ‘sacrifice’

President of the Commercial and Industrial Workers Union (CIWU), George Mason says Grenada’s debt situation is a political one. In response to the national address delivered last week Wednesday night by Prime minister and Minister for Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell, Mason voiced his frustration over Grenada having to return to yet another structural adjustment/home-grown programme. Prime Minister Mitchell told the nation that the latest homegrown programme will be for a period of three years – 2014, 2015 and 2016. The last homegrown programme took place in 1990-95, under the Nicholas Brathwaite-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) Administration in which a Debt … Continue reading

Why the World Bank and IMF provide too little debt relief too late – and what can be done about it

IMF/World Bank Annual meetings 2013, Civil Society Forum held Saturday 12th October 2013   Panelists   *Jürgen Kaiser, Erlassjahr   *Matthew Martin, Development Finance International   *Gail Hurley, UNDP   *Anna Gelpern, Professor of Law at Georgetown University   *Timothy Antoine, Permanent secretary of finance, Ministry of Finance, Grenada   Hosted by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, EURODAD and Erlassjahr   Presentations   Anna Gelpern   The paper produced by the IMF paper on Greece, from June, had a striking admission that the loan was driven not so much by concerns for Greece, but outside of Greece, and the concern that those … Continue reading

GUT boss not happy with PM Mitchell

President of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), Lydon Lewis, has warned Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell, that he will not be rushed into signing any possible wage freeze deal despite an apparent deadline by government with the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF). Lewis’ statement came against the backdrop of a national address by the Prime Minister in which he informed the nation about the impending homegrown programme of fiscal adjustments and structural reforms and plans to increase income tax. Lewis told reporters at a press conference that the GUT will only sign documents when it … Continue reading

Economy vs Society?

An important issue that emerged in economic discussions in Barbados in the past few years is whether as a Government one ought to focus on the economy or society. The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has been advancing the argument that it is interested in building a sound Barbadian society as opposed to simply paying particular attention to the economy. Furthermore, the DLP has asserted that the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has, for most of its thirteen years in office; and, may I suggest, even in the current environment, always emphasised the maintenance of a vibrant economy, overlooking in the process, … Continue reading

Congress extends sympathy

The main opposition, National Democratic Congress (NDC) has extended to family members of former Minister of Sports in the 1970’s under the labour party government, Roy St. John who recently passed away. The message on behalf of Congress came from Patrick Simmons who served in the Sports portfolio in the Congress government of 2008 to 2013. Following is the full text of Simmons’ statement:   The National Democratic Congress is deeply saddened to learn about the death of former Minister of Sports, Hon. Roy St John. On behalf of the NDC, I would like to express deepest sympathy to the … Continue reading

Income Tax net widened

A wider cross section of the Grenadian population will now have to pay Personal Income Tax from as early as January 2014. The much anticipated lowering of the Income Tax ceiling was revealed last week Wednesday by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell during a national broadcast. Dr. Mitchell disclosed that the ceiling, which currently stands at $60.000.00 per annum, will now be lowered to $36,000.00 as part of what he termed a “Home-Grown Programme”. The Income Tax rate will be reduced to 15 percent for persons earning less than $60,000,00 per annum. The rate of 30 percent will remain for … Continue reading