Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 6th 2016 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Monday, June 6, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
For breaking news, call 225-4465 Exts 2032, 2033 or email us at email@example.com
for 03RD MAY, 2016
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has
intervened in the ongoing immigration and
manufacturing dispute between Jamaica
and T&T, and plans to pay an official visit
there "in the not-too-distant future" to
address the issue.
The issue stemmed from an immigration
matter in March, where T&T immigration
authorities debarred several Jamaicans from
entering this country because they couldn t
show proof of sustaining themselves here.
The issue prompted some Jamaicans to
call for a boycott of T&T products and at
least one T&T manufacturer eventually had
his goods pulled by a supermarket owner in
But at a news conference at the VIP lounge
at Piarco International Airport yesterday,
upon return from the ACS Summit in Cuba,
Rowley, noting that there is a sentiment
being fuelled in Jamaica that their nationals
are not welcome in T&T and that was not
true, said he addressed the matter directly
with Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness
while in Cuba.
"The Jamaican Prime Minister and I agreed
that the time has come that this matter be
put to bed by the voice of T&T speaking
directly to the people of Jamaica. I propose
to do so myself," Rowley said.
He confirmed that before he left for the
ACS, Holness haD asked for a meeting in
Havana to discuss the dispute. He said while
in Cuba, he had an extensive meeting with
Holness, his Foreign Minister and the Attor-
The Jamaicans, according to Rowley,
accepted T&T s position "that there s no
policy of discrimination against Jamaicans
in T&T." He said he also reminded them that
there are Jamaican nationals who are doing
the right things here in T&T as students,
workers taking on jobs and the bond between
T&T and Jamaica is very strong.
Describing the dispute as unproductive
and negative, Rowley said it would not be
tolerated, especially by those who think they
can prosper by "the fanning of these flames."
"I want to reiterate as Prime Minister of
T&T that we have absolutely no intention
to allow our relationship with Jamaica to
fester and to become a sore," he said.
In an interview with the T&T Guardian
at the height of the dispute, president of the
Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica
William Mafood had even suggested that
Jamaicans over many years had been ill-
treated by T&T. He also said that the mem-
bers of private sector organisations in the
Caricom-member states should come togeth-
er to talk about integration, since the leaders
had faltered and failed the Caricom people.
Responding yesterday to Mafood s sug-
gestion that the private sector organisations
of the Caricom nations should bypass the
leaders of those countries and start to talk
integration, Rowley said: "If we manage to
reach the stage of a Single Market and Econ-
omy, where nobody has the right to complain
about anybody else s goods, then there would
be no opportunity for persons to try to better
their own competing position by ascribing
to others behaviour that cannot be substan-
On the issue of a Caricom Single Market,
Rowley said even before the meeting in
Havana, T&T had indicated to the Caricom
Secretariat that "at the Heads of Government
Meeting which is due in July, in Guyana,
T&T would send correspondence to the Cari-
com to indicate that the dormant matter on
the Single Market and Economy, which has
been allowed to fall off the Caricom table,
will be placed back on the table by T&T. We
don t need Mr Mafood to tell us on this
issue," Rowley said.
Rowley said the immigration issue is one
which the leaders must deal with and not
any one individual. He added that immigra-
tion officers act according to immigration
laws and are guided by the attorneys general
in their respective nations, therefore any
issue of using the laws to deter Jamaicans
from entering the country is not true.
Jamaica immigration impasse lingering too long
Rowley in 'peace'
talks with Holness
Fr Gabriel Julien says the Lord's Prayer with the First Communion class during the First Communion Mass at the Fatima College
Chapel, Mucurapo Road, Mucurapo, yesterday. The Mass was for members of the Spanish community living in Trinidad and was said
in Spanish. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
There is nothing wrong with the Government s
withdrawal from the Heritage and Stabilisation
Fund, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said yes-
He made the comment yesterday on his return
from Cuba in response to a media report which indi-
cated that the Government had withdrawn $2.5 billion
from the fund.
Rowley said there was adequate justification for
the withdrawal given the fluctuating price of oil.
"It is nothing out of the ordinary, there is nothing
to be upset about. It is something we had planned
for, so when oil price fell to US$30 to US$27 that
is what the fund is for. There is nothing to be upset
about," he said.
He added, "Thankfully, we had put aside money
for that purpose. Of course, we are seeing some
uptick in the oil price. We can t influence it but we
are hoping that it continues in that trend and we
shouldn t really make any bacchanal over the fact
that we had used savings which were saved for that
Rowley said the fund had two components---the
heritage side and the stabilisation side---and that one
part was set aside for a rainy day while the other
was for savings for the future.
"Heritage, meaning that not withstanding what
is happening to us now we are putting aside some-
thing for our children and grandchildren. Stabilisation,
meaning if our economy collapses as a result of a
drop in the oil price beyond a certain level that we
will dip into the fund to stabilise the economy now,"
The PM said Finance Minister Colm Imbert was
justified in making the statement during the pres-
entation of the budget last September that there
would come a time when the need to withdraw from
the fund would come.
"For the meantime it is still Heritage and Stabil-
isation---one fund. What we are really dipping into
is the stabilisation aspect of it, you shouldn t have
to rely on the newspapers for that, because the Min-
ister of Finance who is the authority of the Parliament
and the Cabinet on that.
"When we did the budget and realising that to
service the country, the collapse on the revenue side
of the budget, was such that when you look at the
expenditure side as against the revenue side there
was a gap that had to be closed."
He insisted that the Government was justified in
making the withdrawal.
"We were earning far less than we had to service
the country. At that time and other times, the Minister
of Finance (Colm Imbert) did indicate that to assist
in closing that gap, we would on this occasion draw
down on the fund that was established for that pur-
He noted, however, that Government had agreed
to separate the funds into a heritage fund and a sta-
bilisation fund, "so it would not be seen, or put
across, or become reality that we use the Heritage
component of it."
PM: Nothing wrong
with HSF withdrawal
Links Archive June 5th 2016 June 7th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page