Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 4th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Monday, May 4, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 01ST MAY, 2015
The party that forms the next govern-
ment after this year s general election will
have a difficult task in managing the coun-
try s financial crisis, according the Move-
ment for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David
Responding to T&T's bond and issuer rat-
ings demotion by Moody's Investors Services
(MIS) yesterday, Abdulah said this was a result
of Government's useless spending on the Debe
to Mon Desir segment of the Solomon Hochoy
Highway Extension Project, the failed $400
million Life Sport Programme and $408 million
on legal briefs.
At the party's Sunday press conference at
St Joseph Village, San Fernando, Abdulah said
Moody's had noted T&T's successive fiscal
deficits, which he said was a result of falling
revenues in oil and gas and the current and
previous governments' failure to diversify the
He said while falling oil and gas prices sig-
nificantly affected T&T's revenue, Government
continued to rake up future expenses by secur-
ing loans for the construction of the Couva
Children's Hospital, the University of the West
Indies' Faculty of Law, National Cycling Velo-
drome, National Tennis Complex and other
Moody's' rating has grave consequences to
investors' confidence in T&T, Abdulah said,
pointing out that if the next government has
to approach an international lending agency,
loans will be granted at high rates. This in
turn will increase the countrys' debt service
ratio, meaning it is unlikely that the People's
Partnership's promises to build a San Fernando
to Mayaro highway and a causeway from Port-
of-Spain to Chaguaramas would materialise.
"One could debate some of the analyses,
but the fact is they have downgraded us in
terms of our credit rating from stable to neg-
ative. In other words, with a negative credit
rating, it means that access to borrowing
internationally and locally can be impacted,"
"The people who you are approaching to
borrow from will say there is a negative credit
rating against you and therefore there is higher
risk/low arrangement that will have to be
entered into. People who lend under higher
risk will obviously put more stringent con-
ditions in place in order to secure their loan,
which will include higher interest rates."
With Initial Public Offerings expected for
Phoenix Park Gas Processors shares and the
sale of CL Financial assets, he said the MSJ
was against that option as those companies
can regain profitability in the coming years.
He said there seemed to be a recolonisation
of the country's energy sector with Govern-
ment seeking to sell out the T&T's revenue
assets to multi-national companies.
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Trouble ahead for next govt---Abdulah
Moody's rating a bad sign
The Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP)
has paid tribute to former party chairman and
co-founder, Lionel Coker, whose funeral is
scheduled for today at the Calvary Road Deliv-
erance Tabernacle, Bon Accord, from 1 pm.
Coker's body was discovered on April 23 on
a bed at his sister's Shirvan Road home. He died
of a heart attack.
Although Coker left the TOP in 2013 and later
joined the Independent Liberal Party (ILP),
approximately 20 supporters celebrated his life
and the contributions he made to Tobago and
the TOP during a meeting on Saturday at the
party's uptown Scarborough headquarters.
TOP leader Ashworth Jack, who described
Coker as a his friend, shared a few fond moments
he experienced with him. He then opened the
floor for a few tributes from members.
The party's Education and Training Officer,
Oral Fraser, said death was something no one
can ever be prepared for.
"I am still in shock. Lionel Coker, who I
remember was always smiling, I have never seen
him vex. No matter what you say to Coker, he
would just laugh, skin his teeth, never seen him
vex ever...Mr. Coker was there very early as one
of the founding members of this party and if is
one gift I think he had was the gift of motivating
and mobilising, that came so natural for him
and I admired him for that," Fraser said.
Defeated THA election candidate Sherry-Ann
Rollocks-Hackett said the memory of Coker as
a great leader would always remain. She described
him as a "corruption buster" known for fearlessly
exposing abuse of political power.
She noted that his death had brought many
She also condemned the T&T Mirror for its
use of a nude photo of Coker's body on their
"What are we saying to young people of
Trinidad and Tobago, what message are you
sending to them. We speak of the fact that some
of them are callous, have no respect for life but
when we do something like that, what are we
encouraging? That for me was the lowest of
lows," she said.
TOP execs pay
tribute to Coker
Reisha Lewis, left, and her husband David Lewis, Honorary of the Republic of Poland, join Piotr Kaszuba, Ambassador of the Republic of
Poland (resident in Venezuela) and Polish national Rachel Reid Shaw in cutting a cake at a cocktail reception celebrating the National
Day of the Republic of Poland at the President's Box, Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, on Saturday. A D A A D
NATIONAL DAY CAKE
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