Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 20th 2017 Contents Prime Minister Andrew Holness has called for ur-
gency in settling the issue of settling public sector
Acknowledging concerns expressed by trade unions
relating to the five percent increase in contributions by
workers, Holness noted that failure to reform pensions
will result in a "major crisis on our hands".
"I cannot over emphasise that point. In 1990, the
pension bill of the Government was 0.4 percent of the
Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Today, it has more
than quadrupled. It is now two per cent of GDP," he
Holness was addressing delegates in the public
session of the recent Triennial General Assembly,
of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU),
in Kingston, held under the theme, "New world of
Work...New Type of Representation"
Holness informed that the government must find
a costly J $34.5 billion to meet pension expenses and
reiterated the need to pass the Pensions (Public Ser-
vice) Act of 2017 and the Constitution (Amendment)
BG14 | REGIONAL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt JULY 20 • 2017
Jamaica PM: Urgency
needed in settling public
Grenada, Canada sign tax
Grenada and Canada have signed a Tax Information
Exchange Agreement which according to Prime Min-
ister Dr Keith Mitchell is not based purely on revenue,
but also on securing the country.
The agreement was signed with Canada's High
Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Carib-
bean, Marie Legault on Friday .
According to Mitchell who is also the finance min-
ister, there is need for even greater transparency and
accountability in governance, with the world becom-
ing a global village, hence Grenada's decision to pass
the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
"It is about securing our borders and the world
environment in which we live. So I am particularly
heartened by the step we have taken. We have done
it with other countries around the globe."
The Tax Information Exchange Agreement is de-
signed to promote international co-operation in tax
matters through exchange of information.
It will also help both countries to look further at
their vision for security and stability in the region.
Legault says the signing shows that Grenada and
Canada are committed to transparency.
According to Canadian MP, Celina Ceasar Cha-
vannes, who was born in Grenada, the signing will
ensure greater accountability.
(Established Fund) (Payment of Pensions)
"The pension bill is growing. It is abso-
lutely important that we get the bills passed.
The end result will be to the benefit of you
the workers and the country," he said.
The bills, which have already been passed
by the House of Representatives earlier in
the year, are now before the senate.
In addressing other issues, Holness point-
ed out that trade unions will have a critical
role to play in the government's process of
divesting state assets.
"Once we start to shift assets over to the
private sector, the unions have to be vigilant
to ensure that the best deals are struck for
the workers," he said.
Highlighting the contributions of creative
talent to social and economic progress, the
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
has launched the e-book, "Orange Econ-
omy: Innovations you may not know were
from Latin America and the Caribbean"
The IDB said it uses the term "orange
economy" to describe the cultural and cre-
ative industries, which include activities
such as architecture, audiovisual arts, digi-
tal services, fashion, graphic and industrial
design, handcrafts, music and software.
In 2015, the IDB said it generated more
than US$124 billion in revenue and provided
jobs to more than 1.9 million people in the
region. The e-book, which can showcases
50 outstanding initiatives in the cultural
and creative industries from 12 countries
in Latin America and the Caribbean.
"The case studies underscore how cre-
ativity works as an engine for innovation
and a tool to help countries diversify their
output and engage in the knowledge-based
economy," the IDB said.
The e-book includes examples exhibited
in different editions of "Demand Solutions:
Ideas for Improving Lives," the IDB's flag-
ship initiative on creativity, innovation and
The co-authors of the e-book are: IDB
lead specialist Alejandra Luzardo, Dyanis
de Jesús and Michelle Pérez Kenderish. CMC
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