From Monday, some 13,330 Food Card (Targeted Conditional Cash Transfer Programme) recipients will be removed from the system following an audit and update of the system.
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Glenn denies sex allegation
Former People and Social Development minister Glenn Ramadharsingh last night denied sex allegations levelled against him by a Central woman, saying they were baseless and without any merit. Ramadharsingh was responding to an article in which Patricia Singh claimed she had made an official police complaint that he forced her perform sexual acts in order to fast track a Housing Development Corporation house for her family.
In a brief response to the article last night, Ramadharsingh “categorically and equivocally” denied all allegations made, saying the report was “misleading, baseless and without any merit whatsoever.”
Ramadharsingh, who was sacked as a Cabinet minister last month for alleged abuse of a Caribbean Airlines flight attendant on a trip from Tobago to Trinidad, said because of the “gravity of the matter, and the personal hurt, pain and psychological suffering it has brought to me and my family, I have now referred this matter to my legal counsel/attorneys for their immediate attention.”
He said he had given the legal team instructions “to take all necessary steps to stop the publication of any further article, electronic, printed, or otherwise, which may be injurious to my reputation, and in addition to restore my personal and that of my family's identity and reputation.” Several of Ramadharsingh’s colleagues refused comment when contacted yesterday.
Penny: PM must answer
Former People’s National Movement senator and attorney Pennelope Beckles-Robinson insisted last night that Persad-Bissessar has questions to answer to the public in the wake of the allegation against the former minister. Beckles-Robinson said Persad-Bissessar must tell the nation if she was aware of the complaint, as alleged by Singh, since there was also the claim that it may have influenced her firing of Ramadharsingh.
“The information now coming to hand indicates that the Prime Minister was aware of that complaint,” Beckles-Robinson said, noting that Singh alleged she had informed someone in the Office of the Prime Minister, an attorney, church elder and a former government minister of her complaint.
She added that such complaint may not be singular either, since other cabinet ministers may have such allegations against them. She said she expects “other persons will now come forward and indicate that they have made complaints to her (PM) before as it relates to other cabinet ministers and she had not acted on them.” Beckles-Robinson said the PM must also tell the nation if she initiated any investigation in the matter, adding she must make a categorical statement on the matter.
Former national security minister Jack Warner also said last night that Persad-Bissessar knew about complaints of sexual abuse against one of her colleagues but failed to act on it. Warner said he had also told the Integrity Commission about the sex exploits of a minister. “Six months ago, (but) nobody took me on,” Warner said.
Warner said there was much more to be said, but insisted that six months ago the PM was made aware of all the allegations of misconduct against one of their colleagues but failed to act on it.