Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says he will be seeking the Cabinet’s input regarding a request to remove Value Added Tax (VAT) from literary texts.
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Creed: My wife never had lunches contract
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Sport Ashwin Creed has denied claims by PNM Senator Faris Al-Rawi that his wife Suzanne had a Life Sport contract to provide lunches. He said so in a statement through his lawyer Ravi Rajcoomar to the Senate yesterday. Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith said he had received a request from Creed to have his response read into the Parliament record after Al-Rawi’s recent claims about Creed’s wife.
A clerk read the letter which was in response to an Express article quoting Al-Rawi saying Creed’s wife was a recipient of a Life Sport contract to provide daily lunches. The lawyer’s statement read: ”I am instructed that this is entirely false... my client’s wife and, in fact, no member of my client’s family is the recipients of any contracts of any forms or type under the Life Sport programme. “Therefore I ask that this letter and my client’s denial be read into the Hansard.”
In agenda questions after, PNM Senator Stuart Young called on Senate leader Ganga Singh, replying for the Housing Minister, to explain what work was done in the Colour Me Orange programme over 2011 and 2012 for the overall $45 million salary bill for 1,980 people to work out to be approximately $23,000 a person. Singh had outlined costs for material, equipment and salaries for the programme from when it started in March 2010 to its last phase in February 2012. The total cost over that period was $73.5 million.
The programme to employ HDC estate residents to do maintenance work on the estates, providing jobs and developmental opportunities for HDC communities was started in March 2010 under the PNM. The name was changed to Colour Me Orange by the PP administration. Singh said the overall costs of material, equipment and salaries for March 2010 to June 2010 (phase one) was $10.5 million and direct employment was provided for 438 people.
The cost for phase two was $15.3 million with direct employment for 635. Phase three costs were $47.7 million, including $45 million for salaries, with direct employment for 1,980 people, Singh said. Young subsequently said the phase three (November 2011 to February 2012) salary total of $45 million worked out to be about $23,000 a person. He asked Singh what sort of work was done. Singh said it was consistent with the nature of the programme but he would supply details on another occasion.