On this edition of the Morning Edition, while we are monitoring the post-election scenes in the United States, let's bring it back to home and the Tobago House of Assembly election. Tobagonians head to the polls on January 25th to see who takes control for the Assembly. The Minority Party the PDP believes they have gained enough ground to cause an upset while a rejected candidate for Calder Hall / Scarborough has decided to run as an independent while remaining a member of the PNM. Are surprises on the horizon this election? We were joined by Joel Jack, Candidate for Bacolet/ Mt. St. George, he is also The Secretary of Finance and the Economy.
The economic woes experienced in 2020 will no doubt be felt in 2021.The sustainability of jobs, economic growth and the pandemic impact are all major factors for employers at this time. In November, Unemployment figures are rising, Central Bank's Monetary Policy Report said over one thousand, eight-hundred persons were retrenched due to COVID-19 in 2020 However, the Ministry of Labour says, the figure is in fact a few hundred more.
In the December, The Central Bank's Monetary Policy Announcement said that while the economy remained subdued during the third quarter of 2020, there were signs of resurgence in construction. Notably in public works and home repairs as well as manufacturing. Headline inflation remained contained according to the Central Bank, measuring 0.9 percent in the 12 months to November . However, there has been an increase in food inflation to 5.1per cent in November compared with 2.1 per cent in August, possibly related to Covid-19 disruptions in supply from domestic and imported sources.
We got a view on the 2021 outlook from Employers Consultative Association, and were joined by Keston Nancoo- Chairman, Employers' Consultative Association and Farzan Ali- Vice Chairman.
There's much to chat about with our next two guests in he medical profession. The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 is now in the COVAX Facility and has been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation. What this means is.. it's also approved for use in T&T.
The Ministry of Health can't say definitivly at this time whether this country would be receiving that particular vaccine, but the healthcare system is equipped to store the initial amount of 50,000 doses in the first instance.
In additional, the Ministry also announced yesterday that, In an effort to stop the spread of the new strain of Covid-19 from reaching our shores, sanitisation and health and safety protocols have been beefed up at all ports of entry in the country.
We were joined by Dr. Vishi Y. Beharry- President, of the T&T Medical Association, Dr. Hariharan Seetharam - Professor of Anaesthesia & Critical Care Medicine.
We were now joined by first-time author Phillip Simon to tell us more about is book 'Petra and the Poui.' The book is about a 9-year-old Trinidadian girl who loves poui flowers but, discovers the cherry blossoms of Japan and finds them to be prettier. Mr. Simon who spent sometime in Japan joined us to tell us about the book that's now available in bookstores.