Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 11th 2016 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, February 11, 2016
6.1000 6.3474 6.5140
4.3983 4.6298 4.9539
8.7806 9.2427 9.9084
6.7262 7.0802 7.6013
****** 0.0540 0.0578
2.1401 2.3262 2.5146
* 2.6026 ******
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Feb 05, 2016
FIXED INCOME FUND
As at Feb 05, 2016
INCOME & GROWTH FUND
With the official end of Carnival, Roman
Catholics marked the beginning of the Lenten
season yesterday, Ash Wednesday.
For some fish vendors it was a slow start to sales
as they complained yesterday of few customers.
Fish is a traditional Lenten staple. King and carite
were priced at $40 a pound while red fish was sold
for between $30 and $35 a pound.
Cavalli sold between $15 and $18 a pound.
At the Cocorite Fish Depot, fishmonger for the
past ten years, Desmond Ryan, said the slow sales
could have been attributed to people visiting the
various beaches as is customary on Ash Wednes-
"So people may not really be thinking of stopping
to buy fish now. What you would see is tourists
coming and buying fish to take with them before
they go abroad," Ryan added.
He was optimistic, however, that at by the end
of the week sales would pick up.
"Although the sales start off slow we would see
it increasing especially as Lent come in full swing,"
Fish prices have been generally the same since
November 2010, again because of the scarcity of
fish due to rough waters.
But for fishermen, a day s catch was sometimes
a difficult chore.
One fisherman said over the years he had to go
out further into the sea to get a decent amount of
fish but that meant more gas to be used.
"It difficult out there. Is more gas to go further
which is more money and then there is the weather
which is a challenge by itself," he added.
A fish vendor cuts fish at the Cocorite Fish Depot for a customer yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Slow fish sales
as Lent begins
The Opposition UNC s executive
meeting tomorrow will consider calls
by UNC groups and civil society organ-
isations to boycott businesses which
haven t reduced VAT from 15 per cent
to 12.5 or who may be abusing the new
VAT regime, UNC chairman Khadijah
She said no decision has yet been taken
and the meeting would examine perspec-
tives of both consumers and businesses.
Ameen said the party had received
expressions of concern from groups in
the party and civil society organisations
about businesses violating the VAT system
prescribed by Government.
She noted calls for a "boycott" of sorts.
She said complaints have come from con-
sumers in the East- West Corridor, South
A post on UNC s Facebook page has
called for consumers to "Shop Local" ---
supporting small family run businesses
--- which would help families rather than
shopping otherwise, which could help a
"CEO buy a third holiday home." The
post generated a number of "likes".
Also, one restaurant patron on checking
her receipt found that VAT of 15 per cent
was added. The person queried it on Face-
book but got no explanation.
Government s Communication Minister
Maxie Cuffie said last week fast food
businesses should have dropped the VAT
on products from 15 per cent to 12.5 per
Ameen said: "Not only have people
complained VAT is being placed on some
items which still remain on the list of
zero-rated items, we have also received
reports that people s bills from eating
places are generating VAT of the previous
15 per cent level rather than 12.5 per cent.
"Those particular complaints have
come mainly from Port-of- Spain and
some from Central,"
Ameen said complaints have also been
received of VAT placed on electronic items,
though this is supposed to be 12.5 per
She added: "We have called on Gov-
ernment to ensure proper pricing, not
only at supermarkets but at every place
of commerce, and that pertains to items
on which VAT is reduced from 15 per cent
to 12.5 per cent plus items on which VAT
has now been implemented.
"The other side the argument we have
to consider is that some business people
and vendors are telling us that while VAT
on some products have been reduced, the
price of the ingredients now have VAT
and it s difficult to keep the price of a
"We saw bread merchants rasing certain
prices resulting from this. So the situation
is exactly what we had warned about,
when Government made the VAT
announcement, that everything would
increase with this measure.
"Some merchants are also telling us
their delay in implementing the proper
VAT rate is due to an electronic hitch
since they have to recalibrate their cash
registers to reflect the new VAT regime."
Ameen said her personal position ewas
that the consumer had the ultimate power
whether to buy or not,
"However, Government s position on
the VAT regime implementation has so
far been reactionary. They only imple-
mented a VAT hotline for complaints and
published the list of VAT-rated and non-
rated items after complaints began pouring
"We call on them to establish proper
regulator and monitoring mechanisms to
ensure compliance and consumer pro-
tection and that all businesses will be in
line with the law.
"As a result of all of what s been occur-
ring, we are also calling on Government,
in its mid-year review soon, to reconsider
their position on VAT on basic items as
well as food."
Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon
was not available for comment yester-
UNC to discuss boycott
of VAT abusers
Revelllers from Massy Trinidad All Stars Steel
Orchestra presentation of Ships Ahoy at Port
Elmna pull a float of a battleship from the
Laventille Rythm Section across the stage in
front the Lord Kitchener Stand, South Quay,
Port-of-Spain, during the Parade of Bands on
Tuesday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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