Member of Parliament for Cumuto Manzanilla, Christine Newallo-Hosein, says the most vulnerable citizens have once again been forgotten by the PNM Government.
In an official statement released by the Parliament today, the Cumuto Manzanilla MP called on the Minister of Social Development and Family Services to immediately respond to the plight of citizens who were severely affected by Wednesday’s heavy rainfall and flooding, particularly in South Trinidad.
Circumstances “permitting,” there will be no cuts in the CEPEP labour force or contractors, said Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein yesterday.
Hosein said if the need arises, it may be reviewed, “but as of today there will be no cuts”. He stressed this during yesterday’s Standing Finance Committee scrutiny of the 2020 Budget.
Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, has confirmed that CEPEP and URP workers will have their wages upgraded to the new minimum wage, before their proposed 15 per cent increase is added.
The Labour Minister says Government had hoped to increase the Minimum Wage to as much as $18.25, but the economy would not have sustained such a steep rise.
Opposition Member of Parliament, Dr Roodal Moonilal, is calling on the Finance Minister to clarify the wage increase for both CEPEP and URP workers.
During the Finance Minister’s 2020 Budget Presentation last Monday, Government explained that these workers' wage increase takes into account the new cap for the Minimum Wage.
However, Dr Moonilal says this explanation has raised more questions than provided answers.
One of the major talking points coming out of the $53 billion 2020 budget delivered by Finance Minister Colm Imbert last week Monday (Oct 7th) was the increase in salaries for CEPEP (Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme) and URP Unemployment Relief Programme) workers of 15 per cent.
The move was hailed by some as a good one but criticized by others as being a local government election ploy.
The political leader of the Congress of the People says Monday’s budget failed to address urgent measures needed to transform the country's economy.
According to Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, the fiscal measures announced only appear to achieve short term political gains, as opposed to sustainable development.
She said the government's macroeconomic position was out of sync with reality.
Police are probing a murder which occurred this morning in Petit Valley.
The incident occurred shortly after 10 am at Ravine Road, when an armed man opened fire on a group of people.
Reports suggest the person killed is a male CEPEP employee.
We'll have further updates when more information comes to hand.
Photo by Abraham Diaz.
Weston Rawlins, known by his calypso sobriquet Cro Cro, is back on the job as a regional coordinator with CEPEP after being given a stern warning about his conduct.
It comes weeks after a highly-publicised incident which saw the CEPEP employee and entertainer being recorded driving a company vehicle and using obscene language.
Four-time Calypso Monarch, Cro Cro has made good on his promise to a release a song about an incident where he was recorded reportedly using obscene language towards a driver.
Two weeks ago, a video emerged of the veteran calypsonian, real name Weston Rawlins, arguing with another motorist. It was claimed that he was caught using his cell phone while driving. CEPEP, where Rawlins works as a Regional Coordinator suspended him and revoked the use of their company van, pending the outcome of an investigation.