Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 25th 2016 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, February 25, 2016
#1-7 Fitz Blackman Drive
(next to the National Stadium)
Port of Spain, Trinidad W.I.
Fax: 868 623-6766
with quali ed MRI Technologists,
MRI Radiologists and MRI Physicists.
The country's most
1997 - 2015
Walking through a Chaguanas supermar-
ket, carefully looking at price tags on basic
items, Marissa Lochan has become a selective
In the weeks since Government has imple-
mented the new Value Added Tax (VAT) regime,
lowering VAT to 12.5 per cent and decreasing
the number of zero-rated items, Lochan has
had to make changes to her grocery list she
had not considered before.
Instead of buying a case of Kool Kids drink
for her six-year-old daughter to use during the
school week, she buys cans of concentrated
juice and makes for the week.
Items which she regularly bought, yogurt
and chocolate milk for her children, are things
of the past.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry
released a list of food prices, before and after
February 1, the day the new VAT regime was
The information from the list showed items
which had increased by as much as 21 per cent
in a matter of months.
While a few items, such as Brunswick Vienna
sausage and Cooks Mate soya chunks actually
decreased in supermarkets, almost all other
items, even those which should have decreased
by 2.5 per cent, showed increases.
Nestle s Orchard orange drink increased by
17.05 per cent, Eve soya oil increased by 21.44
per cent, Chief table salt increased by 20.07
per cent and Breeze multi-active soap powder
increased by 17.4 per cent.
Attempts to contact distributors of these
products were not successful.
In its newspaper advertisement the Con-
sumer Affairs Division noted some prices may
have been altered between the division s survey
period and the introduction of the new VAT
In a newspaper interview Finance Minister
Colm Imbert said the Government had no con-
trol over the base rate given by distributors.
President of the Supermarkets Association,
Yunus Ibrahim, in an interview yesterday said
in the past few months there had been a con-
sistent increase in the base price due to increases
from the suppliers.
"The reason for the variation in increases is
that since it was announced in the budget in
September that this measure was going to hap-
pen by December, the supermarkets would
have been met with price increases by the sup-
plier," he added.
Ibrahim said between November and January
31, the volley of increases from suppliers would
account for most of the increases.
He said suppliers sometimes cited interna-
tional market rates for the increases.
For the past few months, the reason given
by suppliers for increases has been the scarcity
of the US dollar.
Ibrahim said in some cases, suppliers were
forced to approach black market pricing of the
dollar which currently stood at a value of $7.
In other cases, suppliers were buying from
a third party distributor who placed markups
on the goods.
"This is the core of our current pricing issues.
There needs to be a prioritisation and stabil-
isation of US rates or things would continue
moving in that direction.
"This trend will continue until we control
the US availability and prioritise it for the pur-
chase of food," Ibrahim said.
In a post-Cabinet press conference last
month Imbert said that despite the removal
of some items from the zero-rated list, citizens
were set to save money due to other taxation
These measures included the across the
board reduction of VAT from 15 per cent to
12.5 per cent and the increase in personal income
tax allowance from $5,000 to $6,000 month-
ly. With prices increasing on grocery shelves,
consumers say they are feeling the pinch.
Dimples Bhagan, a Chaguanas mother of
two, says she has made a switch from the
brands she purchases.
"I try to buy generic products where I can
because over the past few months my overall
bill has increased by more than $100."
Bhagan said the situation had forced her to
"I m not purchasing a full grocery list. I
come every two weeks and buy what I need
and I try to buy the cheaper versions of things
because it is really hard," she said.
Consumers feeling it
as prices keep rising
The number drawn
yesterday on CNC3 News
for the Money Mania
Promotion was 437100.
Our Money Mania
Promotion team is now in
search of a new winner.
If the number at the
back of your yesterday's
T&T Guardian was
437100 you have won
You have until 3 pm
today to come to the T&T
Guardian office, Rodney
Chaguanas, with the
newspaper containing the
winning number (in the
order it was drawn) and
photo identification to
claim your prize.
Remember to keep
your "today's paper" and
tune into Tonight's CNC3
News to find out if you
Members of the Naparima College Junior Choir perform The Song of the Soldiers at the T&T
Music Festival at the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, yesterday. They placed first in their
category. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
T&T is the latest Caribbean country to be
added to the Center for Disease Control s
(CDC) Zika advisory.
The country as well as the Marshall islands
were added on Tuesday.
T&T announced its first confirmed case of
the Zika virus last week.
In December, the first local transmission
of the Zika virus infection was reported in
According to the CDC website, local trans-
mission means that mosquitoes in the area
have been infected with Zika virus, spreading
it to people.
Since then, the Zika virus has been reported
in Barbados, Jamaica, Aruba, Haiti, Martinique
and the US Virgin Islands.
The CDC advises women who are pregnant
to consider postponing travel to any area where
Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
"If you must travel to one of these areas,
talk to your doctor first and strictly follow
steps to prevent mosquito bites during your
"If you have a male partner who lives in or
has travelled to an area where Zika transmission
is ongoing, either abstain from sex or use con-
doms consistently and correctly for the dura-
tion of your pregnancy," it added.
The Zika virus can be spread from a preg-
nant woman to her fetus.
There have been reports of a serious birth
defects of the brain, called microcephaly, and
other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of
mothers who were infected with Zika virus
T&T is latest on Zika advisory list
Policemen have been assigned to the bed-
side of La Romain mother Rachael Chadee
as she remains warded in a serious condition
at hospital recovering from a savage acid
attack by her former lover.
Meanwhile, her three traumatised children
were moved to another location after police
learned the suspect had threatened to kill them.
Up to yesterday, patrols were out looking for
the man who police said was a 40-year-old
former convict with arrest warrants in his name
for failing to pay court fines and breaching a
According to reports, Chadee, 35, was at
home with her mother and children around
5.20 pm on Tuesday when the suspect climbed
through a kitchen window, armed with knives,
rope, duct tape and acid.
He dragged Chadee into a room and locked
the door where he threw acid on her face and
tried to force her to drink it. She was also cut
on the face as she tried to fight him off.
Cops guard woman after acid attack
Links Archive February 24th 2016 February 26th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page