MP dubs Govt’s 2018 fiscal plan ‘checkbox’ budget

first_img…says divestment plan will cripple sugar workersThe 2018 Budget debate was opened by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Priya Manickchand who wasted no time in reproaching Government for its lack of vision, describing the fiscal plan as a ‘check box’ budget and urged them to state their ideology and philosophy for Guyana.Manickchand, a former Minister under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government, told the National Assembly that the paper was robotic in laying out a proper programme for the development of Guyana. She is of the firm view that it does not address the needs of the people.Priya Manickchand during her budget presentationIn addressing some of her concerns about the local economy, the Opposition MP said because of the politically unstable environment, people feel uncomfortable to invest in Guyana. But importantly also, Manickchand said there are several reasons that continue to cause the local economy to perform poorly, which has to do with the Government’s incompetence to strategise.She argued that the PPP laid a solid foundation to propel the economy to greater heights but accused the current Administration of “dumping years of democratic practices.” Manickchand therefore urged the Government to work with the Opposition to craft and present a stimulus plan. She noted that this is lacking in Budget 2018 and all the previous budgets that were presented by the current Government.The former Minister noted also that the Government has adopted most of the programmes and projects that were started under the PPP Government which continue to show some progress. However, in a few cases where these programmes have been altered, they are not achieving the goals that they were created to achieve and this, according to the MP, should be addressed.Further, she debated that Government seems incapable of properly projecting Guyana’s annual income, noting that this has happened twice last year when they had to make adjustments. Manickchand pointed out that Government had to come back twice and admit to making mistakes on the projections.“I want to invite the Government and the Ministers in the Cabinet to consider why it is they might have not seen the expected income they wanted. I am asking directly, Sir, of the Ministers for them to ponder if perhaps the fact that they declared the country to be bankrupted from the beginning has seen no investments coming here and therefore no growth,” she added.Touching on the PPP’s performance in Government, Manickchand said her party delivered development that benefited all groups of citizens and during their leadership poverty was reduced. She therefore challenged the coalition Government to continue to ensure that poverty is further reduced but noted that the 2018 Budget did not contain any tangible measures to support this reduction.Crippling sugar workersSpeaking specifically about the plight of sugar workers, most of which will no longer have a job in 2018, the Opposition MP said the coalition Government is ‘crippling’ these workers. “We failing to give them anything they can do to earn for their families. So it’s like a car, you’re walking out of this Parliament lick you upside down and change your life automatically. The Government is doing that.”Manickchand argued that the Government’s move is unconscionable especially since they have made no effort to train the affected workers to become employable in any other field. She said, “These are not skilled and educated people that you can get up from one desk job and move to another assuming that those existed for 2000 people. These are people with special skills, you have to retrain them.”Reference was also made to President David Granger’s visit to Kenya, as he addressed a United Nations forum and encouraged the gathering that people must be put first before profit. “We don’t need to go to Kenya to hear people before profit, let your actions speak right here in Guyana. Put the people of the sugar estates first… Aren’t they people or because they aren’t your people?” she questioned. “I want to ask this Government if they feel comfortable knocking off these people because they do not believe these people aren’t theirs. That’s not an insinuation but a clear question. Answer it!”The former Human Services Minister has suggested that the Government utilise the money earned from the imposition of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on education to assist the families of those who will be laid off by the end of this year by the Guyana Sugar Corporation. Manickchand said this will help to cushion the effects these soon-to-be unemployed parents face ins ending their children to school, especially in light of the fact that Government had removed the school uniform subsidy.last_img read more

Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: DONEGAL BANK STAFF POCKET HUGE BONUSES

first_imgAT LEAST A dozen Bank of Ireland staff in Donegal have pocketed whopping bonuses, donegaldaily.com can reveal.Bank of Ireland has many generous perks for its senior executives.And despite the taxpayers’ bail-out the bank has continued to pay handsome wads of cash to senior staff. And today a Donegal Bank of Ireland insider told donegaldaily.com: “There’s a lot of media attention surrounding Dublin executives but at least a dozen here in Donegal have banked big bonuses.“The coverage of the situation in Dublin is a smokescreen. Senior executives across the country get annual bonuses and a few in here have landed some too.“I personally don’t think any bonuses should be paid after the collapse of the banks. If I was given one, I’d hand it back. It belongs to the country now.”Asked how much was paid out, our source replied: “You are looking at between €10k and €50k.” The chief executive of the Bank of Ireland gets an annual cash allowance of €34,000 for his car on top of his basic salary of €690,000.Head of retail Des Crowley receives an annual car cash allowance of €27,500 along with €20,000 for entrance fees to clubs, and €7,000 for annual membership fees. Both also receive free tax advice.The bank refuses to discuss bonuses, claiming commercial confidentiality.EXCLUSIVE: DONEGAL BANK STAFF POCKET HUGE BONUSES was last modified: December 18th, 2010 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Continue reading

State champions eye top spot at national Academic Decathlon

first_imgThen there’s the historical record: California teams have won 12 of 24 national championships, Texas has won 11, and Wisconsin one. L.A. Unified schools have won eight of those championships, including Taft’s two in 1988 and 1993, both coached by Art Berchin, who came out of decathlon retirement in 2003 to try for a third national win. Team members give a lot of credit to Berchin, a soft-spoken, dedicated English teacher who also teaches classes at Santa Monica College – where the team members are dual-enrolled in college English classes – and Pierce College. They described him as stern but fair, a respected coach, not a buddy. “Once you’re a friend, you can’t push the kids to do what they should,” Shaffer said. “He’s really strict but he never yells at us.” Schettler recalled when the stoic Berchin offered a handshake after they won the state competition. “And I said, `No, no, Dr. Berchin, this is not a handshake moment,’ and I gave him a big hug, and for the rest of the day he was beaming,” she said. “And he did not take his medal off.” If they win, team members said, it will be for Berchin, and also for the 54 other California teams who competed at the state level and forced Taft to study harder, longer and more efficiently by making it as tough as possible to claim the California crown. “(Acadeca) does so much good for the school and for this district, and if we win, it says a lot about the kind of talent we have here in California,” Berchin said. “These nine students got an education they couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.” But in Acadeca, nothing can be taken for granted, not even Taft’s high score. Berchin’s teams have won the regional competition three out of the past four years, only to see other teams surpass them at the state level. In San Antonio, they will face teams from 38 other states, all of them dreaming of an upset against Taft, against California. “We want to do as well as we possibly can,” Rebrova said, noting that the team’s scores slipped from regionals to state. “It’s not just about the win. We want to surpass ourselves.” lisa.sodders@dailynews.com (818) 713-3663160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThe Taft team – Ellington; Michael Farrell, 17, of Canoga Park; Farhan Khan, 18, of Encino; David Lopez, 17, of Burbank; David Novgorodsky, 17, of Woodland Hills; Julia Rebrova, 16, of Encino; Atish Sawant, 18, of Stevenson Ranch; Dean Schaffer, 17, of Woodland Hills; and Monica Schettler, 17, of Tarzana – has been in San Antonio since Sunday. Studying. But they aren’t just study drones. During an interview shortly after their state victory, they cracked jokes – obscure references to Francis Bacon’s death or lines from Shakespeare – and talked about the friendships they’ve made with other California decathletes and their hopes in Texas. “We all understand how hard everyone works to be a part of this program,” Schettler said. “We’re competing with the best of the best.” And Taft is considered the best of the best. The school garnered the highest state score in the nation – 50,912 points out of a possible 60,000 – nearly 4,000 points ahead of its closest rivals, the champs from Wisconsin, Texas, Arizona and Illinois, whose scores ranged from 45,409 to 46,933. “This is a monster team. This is a team of destiny,” said Cliff Ker, Los Angeles Unified School District Academic Decathlon coordinator, who oversaw the district’s 60 teams this season. “Getting to know these kids last year, and knowing their potential as decathletes, as persons, has been something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in my 29 years in education. These kids are phenomenal.” After the U.S. Academic Decathlon is over, California’s state champion team plans to sleep, eat steaks and go to an amusement park. After the competition is over, that is. Woodland Hills’ Taft High School team took a week off after they won the state championship in March. Since then, they’ve spent nearly every day studying for the national competition in San Antonio, which begins today. “It would be ludicrous to relax for five weeks after working so hard for two years,” said Zac Ellington, 18, of Woodland Hills, one of the six decathletes who also competed on last year’s team. last_img
Continue reading