The Auditor General must investigate the ministerial housing benefit

first_imgLike everything else the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) does, the housing benefits for Ministers is now shrouded in another mountain of lies. Everything about their housing allowance now has the unmistakable stench of corruption. Parliament has confirmed that they pay rent twenty times above the statutory housing allowance for two junior Ministers, Simona Broomes and Valarie Patterson. But other Ministers are also living in rented properties. Who is paying those rentals? What is APNU/AFC hiding?Whenever the APNU/AFC is exposed for wrong doings, they have a nasty proclivity to throw people under the bus. Recently, Minister Lawrence threw the now fired CEO of the GPHC “under the bus and ran him over” for the shameful 5 million sole-sourced procurement of medicines for which GPHC paid prices averaging three times the actual cost. She pulled herself out of the mess and left CEO Johnson to suffocate in the stench of one of the many ugly APNU/AFC corrupt transactions. Now they have thrown Sherlock Isaacs and Parliament office under the bus for the abuse of the housing allowance for Ministers. Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, claimed the payments of 0,000 each per month for rentals for two junior Ministers has nothing to do with APNU/AFC and the Cabinet. It is Isaacs and Parliament office that have gone rogue. I know that Isaacs will not exceed his authority.The Ministerial Housing Benefit is legal and is standard in all democracies around the world. There is nothing wrong with the Government providing housing for Ministers. However, Ministerial Housing Benefits have statutory limits. Governments must be accountable for how they implement a Ministerial Housing benefit. How governments treat the housing benefit is reflective of how prudent they are in spending taxpayers’ money. While Ministers must be offered decent housing, ministerial housing cannot be an extravagant affair.Some Ministers live in their own homes. Their electricity, water, telephone, Internet and security bills are paid for by the Government. These Ministers also receive a ,000 housing allowance. Some Ministers live in Government-owned properties, such as the Echilbar Villas. I lived there for over 15 years as a Minister. In such cases, there is no ,000 housing allowance. Some Ministers rent homes on their own and Government has a cap on what they can pay. I am aware that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government never paid rentals of 0,000 per month. But we now know after two years that Parliament pays rental of at least 0,000 per month for two Junior Ministers.How many Ministers are living in their own homes and how much are they paid as a housing allowance? How many Ministers are living in State-owned houses? How many Ministers are living in rented properties and what are the rents for these properties? These rentals and the housing allowances are part of the national budget estimates and cannot be treated as State secrets.Several APNU/AFC Ministers are living in rented properties, more than during the PPP terms of office. That more Ministers today live in rented properties is not an issue for quarrel. But the public should know how many Ministers are living in rented properties the State is paying for and how much the State is paying. APNU/AFC must come clean on this matter. This is even more critical in the milieu of suspicion that taxpayers are paying rentals that are extravagant. For example, I am informed that one Minister is paying more than million per month. Worse, this same Minister owns his own home and is renting it to the Government for one of the senior advisors. How many Ministers who own their homes are living in State-provided properties?The response cannot be that under the PPP some Ministers lived in rental properties too. That a Minister lives in a rental property is not being queried. What is being queried is that APNU/AFC is paying extravagant amounts. People want to know, they deserve to know and it is their right to know how taxpayers’ monies are being spent. Because it is taxpayers’ money, this cannot be treated as State secrets. If APNU/AFC is unwilling to tell us, then we want to know what is it they are hiding from us. This matter is now public and the Auditor General should investigate this matter urgently.Send comments to doc_ram@hotmail.comlast_img read more

Barca pays out 13.5m euros Neymar tax

first_imgHe sought to establish whether or not Neymar, who joined Barcelona in May 2013, was counted as a taxpayer in Spain or his native Brazil that year.Barcelona, currently trailing Real Madrid in La Liga by three points, said the club would still “present a legal defence in the case opened against it” and assured fans it has “always acted within the law.”The payment was made to “cover any potential interpretation made concerning the contracts signed in the transfer process for Neymar,” the club stressed.Nevertheless, they strongly denied any wrongdoing, insisting: “We remain convinced that the original tax payment was in line with our fiscal obligations.”State prosecutors have alleged that Barcelona owe the taxman nine million euros.Including the potential fine, this brought the total to the paid-out 13.5 million euros.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Madrid, SPAIN 25th February – Spanish football champions Barcelona said Monday it would make a voluntary tax payment of 13.5 million euros over the club’s signing of Brazilian star striker Neymar but denied tax fraud.Judge Pablo Ruz at Madrid’s National Court indicted the Catalan giants on Thursday after seeing “sufficient evidence to investigate a possible crime against the public treasury” over the 86-million-euro ($118-million) transfer of Neymar from Brazilian club Santos.last_img read more

Remember: Be thankful for your job

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings “I am grateful that I work with supportive, thoughtful, intelligent people who like to have fun.” “I totally believe in focusing on the positive, and that’s why I enjoy so much my volunteer work. Giving without expecting anything in return is so fulfilling and gratifying, and it always comes back multiplied.” “I am very grateful to have a great job working for a terrific company that truly cares about my well-being, my professional growth and my overall happiness. I am grateful to work with a wonderful team, and grateful that the rest of the people in our office are wonderful, too. I truly enjoy coming to work every day.” “I’m thankful because the people I work with have become like a second family.” “My job allows me to help others, and that’s truly gratifying. I am thankful to be able to make a living being of service.” Today is a day to spend time with friends and family, to eat a bountiful feast, and maybe watch some football. It’s also a day to give thanks. While most of us are grateful for having a day off, we also should take the time to be thankful for the job we are privileged to have. I asked people I know to think about what they are thankful for when it comes to their jobs. Here’s what they had to say: “I am fortunate to work from a home office and not have to commute. I give thanks for that every time I have to venture out on the freeway!” “I have to be honest – my job pays really well, so I am thankful for that. And gratefully, I enjoy it, too.” “I spent a lot of time in college (and paid a lot in student loans) so I am thankful to finally be working in my chosen career, and thankful that it’s as fun as I’d hoped it would be.” “I’m thankful to have a job! Truthfully, whenever I pass the homeless on the street, I am appreciative that someone has put their faith in me as an employee and given me the chance to make an honest living.” As for me, I am thankful for the opportunity to get paid for doing what I love to do. And I’m grateful to you, my readers, for enabling me to keep it going. Happy Thanksgiving! Dawn Anfuso is a Southern California business writer and former managing editor of Workforce magazine. If you have workplace or job-search questions, e-mail Dawn at Writers will remain anonymous.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more