The ‘Diamond Mile’, the richest race in the history of horseracing in the English-speaking Caribbean, was completed at Caymanas Park last Saturday. The day saw 14 races being completed with record attendance, a record handle (money bet on the races), great dividends, and exciting finishes. Sponsors were there in their numbers; no money was spared in the preparation of the in-field for special guests; and a good time should have been had by all. Wrong. Whereas all the above is in fact true, the regulators had to have their now mandatory stab at “spoiling the party”. In the 10th race of the day, the betting favourite was horse number two, Silver Cloud. After being loaded into the starting gate, the horse squatted/fell in the gate, throwing the jockey head over heels (a poop-a-lick) backwards on to the surface. Luckily, the jockey was not hurt and quickly picked himself up and did some checks to make sure that he was all right. absolute shock To the absolute shock of racing fans, the horse was not removed from the gate for inspection by the veterinarian on duty at the gate. Our shock turned into dismay as the horse staggered out of the gate and trailed the field home, obviously feeling some effect of the fall. In every other racing jurisdiction where the safety of the participants (horse and rider) is the priority of paid individuals, that horse would have been examined out of the starting gate BEFORE the horse was allowed to start! But this is racing in Jamaica. who cares? If the horse is seriously injured and falls during the race, injuring the rider and possibly any of the other participants, oops, who won? Can this sport be allowed to continue like this? Apparently, YES. No one cares. No one is accountable. The day was an economic and sponsors success. So what? Divestment IS the only answer. However, with a somnolent Divestment Committee “waiting on Godot”, nothing even close to an announcement will come until a few days before the election, which has now been pushed back to “one day soon”. HELP! privileged positions The much-anticipated and longed-for meeting of the West Indies Cricket Board and the CARICOM subcommittee on cricket was held last Friday. After a three-hour meeting, the recommended dissolution of the board was not discussed as the reports out of the meeting suggest that the board has no intention of giving up its privileged positions. They have agreed to meet again on December 13, and, hopefully, the anxious West Indian fans will hear something from Mr Pybus and ‘President Dave’ about the recent revelation from reinstated coach Phil Simmons. Simmons had mentioned, before a failed attempt to silence him, that there was outside interference in the selection of the West Indies team. Fans of West Indies cricket (the “few” of us left) know that the only hope for the resurrection of cricket in the region rests solely on the removal of a group of men described by one of their own (Baldath Mahabir) as “unprofessional, tardy, or lax in many instances”. As our ancestors have taught us, “If fish come from river bottom and say that shark down there, believe him”. Administrators of sports worldwide will not give up their privileged position no matter what. FIFA continues trying to run football as the majority of that body’s executive is arrested on numerous charges. Sports can be saved. We the people have to insist on transparency and integrity of those who “volunteer” to run sports. We have to!
… as country review unmasks grim economic straitsThe coalition Government has for over two years now, consistently blamed the now Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) for the country’s current dismal economic performance but a review completed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has found that the coalition Government is in large part to be blamed for the stagnation as a result of its failure to effectively spend its annual budget.The information was laid bare this past week when the IMF released the findings of its review on Guyana as part of its obligations under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement.According to the findings of the review team, the total expenditure by the David Granger-led coalition, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC), increased by 2.8 percentage points of nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).The IMF found however that the increase was lower than budgeted due to delays in capital expenditure by the Administration.Such a distressing situation it was that the world decided to turn to turmoil.Real economic activity locally expanded by 3.3 per cent in 2016. This was as a result of subdued agricultural commodity prices, adverse weather and delays in public investment.According to the IMF, the overall non-financial Public Sector deficit widened to 2.9 per cent of GDP in 2016 from 0.2 per cent in 2015. This simply means that the deficit expanded or got larger, or is no longer sustainable.“Despite slower-than-expected economic growth, fiscal revenue increased owing to improvements in tax administration and higher mining royalties.”Growth is projected at 3.5 per cent in 2017, supported by an increase in public investment, continued expansion in the extractive sector, and a recovery in rice production.Again the IMF has pegged its responses on the public investment programmme. Such as problem it is that the Government this past week intervened.Minister of State Joseph Harmon this past week reminded that “assessments, adjustments and achievements in relation to the Public Sector’s work programme was the main focus at this month’s Ministerial Conference as the Government commences preparations for the new budget cycle.”He was at the time speaking at a conference convened at State House, for the heads of government agencies including Permanent Secretaries, Heads of various agencies and high-level technical and financial officers in a bid to assess and review, ministry by Ministry, the status of Public Sector Investments Projects (PSIPs).According to the IMF, Government is woefully behind in its spending.Twelve-month inflation is expected to remain low at around 2.6 per cent by year-end. The fiscal deficit or the national debt is projected to widen up to 7.2 per cent of GDP in 2017, due in part to delay capital spending from 2016.IMF worriedThe macroeconomic outlook is positive for 2017 and the medium-term, according to the IMDF which projects growth for the next year as upping a few marginal points up to 3.5 per cent in 2017, supported by an increase in public investment.The concerns over the Administration’s inability to spend its budget looms. The former Administration has been complaining about the excesses now seemingly validated.The fiscal deficit is projected to widen to 7.2 per cent of GDP in 2017, due in part to delayed capital spending from 2016. The shares of current and capital spending in GDP are projected to increase by 0.6 and 1.8 per cent, respectively.The current account deficit is projected at -3 per cent of GDP, financed by investment inflows and donor-supported investment.Overall, the IMF raps Granger’s Government inability to spend its annual Budget even as country review unmasks grim economic straits.
Pat the Cope Gallagher.MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher has welcomed the publication of a new report by the Irish Farmers Association entitled “Removing Barriers to Irish Aquaculture Development.”The report highlights the severe bureaucracy and red tape affecting the fish farming sector in Ireland.The findings of the report notes that the delays are preventing up to 2,000 new jobs and 60 million euro in lost investment in peripheral and coastal areas throughout Ireland. The Donegal politician insisted: “It is totally unacceptable that up to 600 applications for fish farming licences have been in the system for up to seven years. On several occasions over the past five years in the European Parliament, I have strongly called for the establishment of a one-stop shop in Ireland to deal with the approval of licences, drawing on best practice in other countries such as Scotland.”Mr Gallagher noted that at a European level, “the European Parliament and the European Commission fully supports the development of sustainable aquaculture and the new Common Fisheries Policy includes several supporting measures. However, Irish regulators appear to be incapable of getting past the inertia, which began with their inability to deal with the Habitats Directive and continues still to hamper job and export creation in peripheral and coastal areas.”Mr Gallagher continued “It is quite obvious to everyone that a valuable opportunity is being lost here, particularly for our coastal communities, where often there is no source of alternative employment. I can understand the huge frustration of businessmen and women trying to keep their coastal communities alive by making a living from the sea in an industry recognised for its quality and professionalism. We need to create an atmosphere conducive to job creation, not an atmosphere that prevents employment.“Without these SMEs our villages and towns along the periphery would disappear. It is assistance, not obstacles, we urgently require and the IFA’s report once again highlights that urgent action is needed by the Government to resolve the delays affecting the fish farming sector”. STUPID RED TAPE COSTING DONEGAL FISH FARM JOBS – PAT THE COPE was last modified: March 20th, 2014 by John2Share 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) Tags:fish farmsIFAMEPPat The Cope Gallagherred tape