AUDIO: “On Point” on Boom Champions 94.1 FM talking about corruption

94logoI did an excellent radio show with some vibrant young colleagues from TTTI on the morning of Sunday, 13 November 2016 on Boom Champions 94.1FM.  The topic of discusson was “Sweet T&T or corrupt nation?: Revealing the truths on a corrupt state of affairs. Audio courtesy Boom Champions 94.1 FM

  • Programme Date: 13 November 2016
  • Programme Length: 01:30.50

Parts 1-5

AUDIO: Interview on Sky 99.5 FM on the JCC’s Invaders’ Bay law suit

sky995fmThis is a short interview I did with SKY 99.5FM on Tuesday 22nd November 2016 with Jessie-May Ventour and Edison Carr to discuss the Invaders’ Bay developments. Audio courtesy Sky 99.5 FM

  • Programme Date: Tuesday, 22 November 2016
  • Programme Length: 10:51

Property Matters – Examining the PPP

The HDC launched its first housing Public Private Partnership (PPP) on 3 November 2016 at Mahogany Court, a 160-apartment complex at Eastern Main Road, Mount Hope. It is being designed, financed and built, at a cost of $145M, by NH International, led by my erstwhile friend and colleague, Emile Elias, with completion due in December 2018.
nh-hdc-ppp

The PPP approach to public procurement is one in which the private sector assumes the risks and constructs a project with repayment of that investment taking place over a period of time, usually from the State’s recurrent expenditure. This a controversial public procurement method, with the detailed reviews of completed projects being heavily criticised for the fact that the private sector has not actually taken much risk. It seems that these contracts often contain provisions which shield the private sector from serious risks. The introduction of PPP into our public housing program therefore deserves careful scrutiny, if we are to avoid the serious losses experienced in more advanced jurisdictions.

This PPP uses no Public Money, the State’s only investment being the value of the land, which was not mentioned thus far. The approach was outlined at pg 31 of the 2017 budget as being one in which the contractor will provide short-term finance to design and construct new homes, which will then be purchased by approved applicants on the HDC’s waiting-list. Those purchases will be funded by TTMF and the purchase prices will be used to repay the contractor. Continue reading “Property Matters – Examining the PPP”

Property Matters – Tax Facts part two

property-tax
Further details on property tax are needed to understand the process and possibilities arising from its implementation. The 2010 estimate of revenue from that tax was $325M, as against a 2017 estimate of $503M, so it seems that there has been some allowance for inflation and new properties.

The innate effectiveness of this tax is that property is an immovable asset, so those persons and companies which are now evading other taxes will be unable to escape this new tax on the various properties in their ownership.

Property owners will be required to provide details of their properties to the Ministry of Finance so that the valuation process can be started. Owners who fail to provide details will have their properties valued without their input. The only efficient method of completing that number of valuations is by a mass-valuation approach which uses software to analyse details from owners, along with transaction details, to estimate the correct figures. Continue reading “Property Matters – Tax Facts part two”