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MPs GET $126 MILLION FOR CHIKV CLEAN-UP

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KINGSTON, Oct. 15 (JIS): Members of Parliament have been allocated $126 million for clean-up activities with each constituency to receive $2 million.

The amount is part of $500 million earmarked by Government for the National Health Emergency Response to the Chikungunya Virus (CHIK V), including elimination of mosquito breeding sites.

Already, $150 million has been set aside for the Health Ministry to meet “some critical emergency needs”.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, who gave a breakdown of the allocation at a meeting with Parliamentarians at Jamaica House on Tuesday

(October 14), said that $70 million will go to Parish Councils, with each parish receiving $5 million; while the remaining $154 million will be utilized for additional clean-up activities and mosquito vector control.

She informed that $131 million was already provided from the Consolidated Fund to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to deal with the backlog in the collection of garbage.

The programme of emergency clean-up is being co-ordinated by a team involving the Ministry of Health, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) Secretariat, and the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

The Prime Minister said logistics co-ordination will be led by the JDF’s Colonel Daniel Pryce, while administrative arrangements, including project registration and payments, will be spearheaded by JEEP Project Director, Lucille Brodber.

She said that by virtue of the JEEP Secretariat being located in the Ministry of Transport, Works, and Housing, Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, will have line responsibility for the clean-up exercise.

Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson continues to lead the health response, with Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer to Chair the Monitoring Group and to report directly to the Prime Minister as well as to the country on a regular basis.

Pointing out that “all stakeholders have a vital role to play” in the initiative, the Prime Minister commended Parliamentarians, whom she said, have been active in engaging constituents, stressing that the “only sustainable way to control and reduce the epidemic…is to destroy and reduce mosquito breeding sites.”

This, she added, by starting with the “worst affected areas”, as indicated by the mapping that has been done by the Health Ministry.

Dr. Ferguson, in welcoming the Prime Minister’s leadership in the initiative, said execution of the project in each parish will be done in collaboration with public health field staff, to ensure that the Aedes Aegypti mosquito and their breeding sites are destroyed.

“The fact is…we (want to) contain it, especially in the parishes most impacted…while you prevent areas that have not been impacted, from having any real incident or expanded numbers. That is why the decision was taken to give some seed funding to the Parish Councils and to Members of Parliament, working with the health team, to ensure that we hit the breeding sites. As representatives of the people, I have absolutely no doubt that you would have a better grasp of what is happening on the ground,” he stated.

Dr. Ferguson encouraged them to ensure that value is received for the money spent.

“We will be depending on all of you to get out there (and ensure that) the question of value for money…(is) a top priority. It cannot be just a work programme…we must get value for money. I appeal to Members of Parliament, Mayors (and councillors), to take the lead in our parishes,” he urged.

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UK Prime Minister Liz Truss forced to break tax cut promise

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, October 6, 2022 – A month into her tenure as Liz Truss, UK Prime Minister is going back on one of her biggest campaign promises to cut taxes for certain British citizens.

The tax cut in question had been part of the PMs signature campaign to ease the economic burden in the UK and one that she and former Finance Minister and candidate for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had repeatedly clashed about. It would have seen the top earners, meaning anyone bringing in over £150 thousand a year, pay less money to the government.

Unfortunately the plan rocked Britain’s economy pushing the pound on par with the US dollar for the first time in years.

It is an economic blow, and at a time when families are already struggling with incredibly high energy bills and inflation. The money to find these tax cuts would have been borrowed an idea that her own party signaled it would vote against.  In addition to the economic impacts British citizens had also been strongly opposed to that facet of the economic plans.

In letting go of the tax cut, Truss said, “We get it and we have listened” the admission coming days after she defended it to the public.

Still there are parts of the larger package that will still go on which will afford tax cuts to lower income families and put a cap on energy costs.

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Bahamas News

Regressive recession looming, forces UN to issue Cease and Desist message to ‘big’ countries

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

October 6, 2022 – Central Banks in advanced nations must stop pushing up interest rates now or risk sending the globe into recession where developing nations suffer most according to the UN.

In the last several months, The U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and Bank of Canada have all spiked interest rates in an effort to control borrowing power, buying power and possibly push down inflation

A new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development is warning them to cease and desist.

“The world is headed towards a global recession and prolonged stagnation unless we quickly change the current policy course of monetary and fiscal tightening in advanced economies.”  It said, mincing no words, the agency described the potential global recession as ‘policy induced’ by developed countries.   And this recession could be worse than the 2008 crisis.  This is especially true for developing countries like those in the Caribbean.

“While all regions will be affected, alarm bells are ringing most for developing countries, many of which are edging closer to debt default.” The agency said.

And if it happens the recession could set developing nations back years in the struggle to increase their standards of living.

“As climate stress intensifies, so do losses and damage inside vulnerable economies that lack the fiscal space to deal with disasters let alone invest in their own long-term development— The global slowdown will further expose developing countries to a cascade of debt, health, and climate crises.”

If the globe proceeds as is the world will lose 20 percent of its income by and push developing economies growth rate below 3 percent which the UN says  is ‘insufficient for sustainable development’

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Caribbean News

Inaugural FinTech Conference on now in Barbados

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, October 6, 2022 – Barbados is now hosting the first-ever global fintech conference in the Caribbean.

Over 300 delegates from across the globe and varying sectors within the industry will be attending the event. It began on Wednesday October 5, concluding October  7 and is being staged at the Hilton Barbados.

The Fintech Islands conference will feature renowned fintech leaders delivering key addresses and over 20 hours of curated content. The mandate of the event is to create a world-class event that will be a catalyst for the growth of the fintech ecosystem in the Caribbean.

One major highlight of the conference will be the welcome address by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, who will also host an exclusive VIP meet and greet.

Some of the major themes of the event that are relevant to the context of the Caribbean venue are Financial Inclusion, Climate Fintech, Cryptocurrencies and Decentralised Finance and Embedded and Open Finance.

The event will have a range of speakers from founders, CEOs and fintech leaders from North America, Latin America (LATAM), Europe and Africa.

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