Other companies will use deal as ammunition to get tax refunds – Jagdeo

DDL/GRA settlement…Govt will lose billionOpposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoBeverage giant Demerara Distillers Limited’s (DDL) whopping $3.8 billion Consumption Tax write-off from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) just opened avenues for other companies to seek refunds on taxes paid, thus ultimately depriving the state of billions of dollars.Condemning in the strongest possible sense the controversial out-of-court settlement, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo disclosed that already there are reports in the private sector of other major companies consulting lawyers about this possibility.“Management officials from a major local alcohol and beverage producing company have made it clear, in the past when I was President, that the company would be seeking a refund depending on the outcome of the DDL matter. If this company were to conservatively use DDL’s case to advance a call for a refund of taxes it paid this could result in the treasury balance being further diminished. Extrapolating the refund for one company on consumption tax alone could total some $7.6 billion up to 2006, inclusive of interest,” he pointed out in a statement to the media on Saturday evening.He added that the total would represent over $16 billion in revenues loss, in the case of only two companies (adding the refund for one company and the liabilities for DDL [$10.6 billion] and subtracting the $1.5 billion that was paid by DDL in the settlement).Jagdeo reminded that during his meeting with President David Granger, he had offered to have the Attorney General Basil Williams be briefed by his predecessor Anil Nandlall about five major cases involving billions of dollars in taxes lawfully owed to the State, including the DDL matter; however the offer was rejected.“The offer was made because the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) believes we must safeguard the State’s revenue sources and this is not a matter that ought to be contaminated by politics,” he stated.Jagdeo also argued that the DDL settlement, as well as the possibility of other companies seeking refunds, will cost the State billions in revenue dollars – billions that could have been used in areas that the coalition government told the nation they could not afford to fund.“It would have taken $1.7 billion to keep the Wales Sugar Estate functional, thereby safeguarding 2000 jobs and the welfare of 28,000 residents on the West Bank Demerara.It would have taken $1.6 billion to continue the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant for 177,000 public school children across the country.It would have taken a further $500 million in water and electricity subsidies that would have benefited upwards of 40,000 pensioners.These would have amounted to only $3.8 billion, but were callously not funded. While these social interventions would have cost only $3.8 billion, this single tax deal will cost the treasury upwards of $16 billion for the period 2001 to 2006,” he stated.Jagdeo further contended that the settlement sends the wrong message to the business community, “that a company can unilaterally decide to stop paying taxes, while other companies comply with the law, take the matter to court and drag it out until a sympathetic government comes to power and settles its debts to the State.”He explained that the potential cost of this single settlement and its possible consequences amount to more money than the State received in loans and grants in any single year.“We call on the international community and in particular the international financial institutions to note this wanton and deliberate haemorrhaging of the National Treasury by the coalition Government,” he urged.Moreover, he asserted that the lack of transparency and the secrecy with which government continue to manage the affairs of State are increasingly becoming causes for concern and are now being institutionalised.He therefore demand that government disclose critical information in relation to this tax deal, including whether or not an assessment of DDL’s liabilities in respect of Excise Tax for the period 2006 to 2016 was done and what was the sum of that liability; who negotiated the settlement; if the settlement was approved by Cabinet or the board of the GRA; on what principles was the sum $1.5 billion arrived at; and whether other deals were concluded or are currently being negotiated.Furthermore, observers are questioning the secrecy with which this multibillion dollar tax write-off was negotiated which has now given credence to a claim by former Commissioner General of GRA Khurshid Sattaur that he was asked to get involved in unsavoury acts, including massive tax write-offs.In January 2016, when Sattaur was fired, he made some damning revelations, among them was he being asked on “repeated occasions” since the new government took office to do various things such as settling taxpayer’s cases for meagre sums that would have cost the country billions of dollar in lost revenue.While Sattaur at the time did not name any individual or company, the DDL case may very well be one such which he had referenced. read more

Gunmen: Kids held to assure housing, schooling

first_imgSocial Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral talked with Ducat and offered assurances that the children would get a good education. About 2 1/2 hours after the standoff began, Sen. Bong Revilla, who said he knows Ducat, was allowed to board the bus for negotiations. There were no details released on the ages of the children, but the ones who could be seen through the bus windows appeared to be in early grades or preschoolers. Police Senior Superintendent Danilo Abarzosa disputed initial reports that indicated that the men stormed the bus while fleeing police after a holdup. “But it looks like that’s not correct. They were already inside the bus when it left” the day-care center, he said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MANILA, Philippines – Gunmen hijacked a busload of day-care students and teachers and drove them to Manila’s city hall Wednesday to demand better housing and education for the children. The hostage-takers scribbled in large letters on a sheet of paper, taped to the bus’ windshield, that they were holding 32 children and two teachers and were armed with two grenades, an assault rifle and a pistol, Officer Mark Andal said. They said they were demanding improved housing and education for 145 children in a day-care center in Manila’s poor Tondo district, where the incident appeared to have begun. “I love these kids; that’s why I am here,” one of the hostage-takers, identifying himself as Jun Ducat, told DZMM radio by cell phone. “We have a field trip. I invited the children for a field trip. “You can be assured that I cannot hurt the children. In case I need to shed blood, I will not be the first to fire. I am telling the policemen, have pity on these children.” A standoff mounted as dozens of police surrounded the bus near Manila’s city hall. TV footage showed the young children, one in sunglasses, waving from the windows. A woman with her arm around a child could be seen making a hand signal asking for a phone as one of the gunmen held a grenade at her shoulder. The woman reassuringly massaged the shoulders of one boy as she walked away from the front of the bus and the curtains were pulled shut. The children were allowed to wave again later, apparently to show they were OK, before the curtains were closed again. Mothers of some hostages went on radio to tearfully appeal for their children’s safety. “To the parents of the kids I am with … I am asking for justice so they can have continued education up to college,” Ducat said. last_img read more

THUGS STEAL VAN FROM LETTERKENNY AND CRASH IT

first_imgThe van which was stolen and crashed overnight in Letterkenny.Thugs stole a van stolen from outside a house in Letterkenny last night.The white Citreon van was stolen from the Gleann Rua estate and crashed a short distance away.Considerable damage was caused to the vehicle. Anybody who may have witnessed the theft or witnessed anybody driving the van should contact Letterkenny Gardai.THUGS STEAL VAN FROM LETTERKENNY AND CRASH IT was last modified: September 13th, 2015 by StephenShare 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:GardaiLettrkennyvan stolenlast_img read more

BUNCRANA BOYS LOSE OUT IN FINAL

first_imgDe La Salle, Wicklow beat Scoil Mhuire Buncrana 8-7 on penalties in their 99th and final year to claim the FAI Schools Junior Cup at Oriel Park yesterday after the game had finished scoreless.Ahead of a merger with their local VEC school neighbours in the summer, De La Salle were determined to go out on a highSubstitute Cian Verney dispatched the winning spot kick at the end of a nail-biting afternoon of action. Another late introduction, Luke Byrne, could have sealed the win in extra time, but rushed an effort wide.John Crowe and Peter McLaughlin traded a rare chance for each side in the opening half, before De La Salle went close first again after the break when Karl Earls blasted wide in the area.Ryan Curren threated with a chance for Scoil Mhuire in the final stages of normal time, but the contest was destined for penalties and ‘keeper Andrew Murphy’s crucial save gave Verney his chance of glory.DE LA SALLE — A Murphy; L Earls, J Crowe, B Doyle, K Earls, N Fagan (C Verney 64), S Bouchier (L Byrne 84), A Cox, M O’Sullivan, J Kavanagh, D Orr. SCOIL MHUIRE — H Doherty; B Barber, R Doherty, P Doherty, B Waldron, R Curren, R Varma, D O’Connor, P McLaughlin, M Timlin, D Doherty.BUNCRANA BOYS LOSE OUT IN FINAL was last modified: April 4th, 2011 by gregShare 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:cup finalFAIpenaltiesScoil Mhuire Buncranalast_img read more

SURF’S UP FOR LACEY AS LIFE PROVES A BEACH DOWN UNDER!

first_imgWe all know he’s one of the best footballers of his generation.But now Karl Lacey has shown that he really is riding the ‘wave’ of success.The Donegal footballer and All Star is currently Down Under as part of the Irish team taking on Australia as part of the Compromise Rules series. As well as representing his country, Lacey has been chilling out on the golden sands of Australia.But he has also been showing off his surfing skills.While Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy and Tadgh Kennelly may have boasted about their prowess on their boards, it was Lacey who showed them up.The bank official was the only Irish player who managed to stay up on his board. Cheeky Lacey even winked at the camera and smirked “That’s Donegal for you.”Donegal tourism bosses could do worse than make him a tourism ambassador for the county.EndsSURF’S UP FOR LACEY AS LIFE PROVES A BEACH DOWN UNDER! was last modified: November 2nd, 2011 by StephenShare 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:AustraliaDonegal GAAkarl laceysurfinglast_img read more

MINISTER HOGAN RELEASES LIST OF GHOST ESTATES EXEMPT FROM HOUSE TAX

first_imgENVIRONMENT Minister Phil Hogan has published a list of ghost estates in Co Donegal where residents who do live there exempt from property tax. It also means owners of properties who don’t live on the estates and which are lying empty are also exempt from the household charge, which comes into effect on July 1.You can see a full list of the estates on the list by clicking the Department of the Environment link below. Estates in Convoy, Letterkenny, Milford, Burnfoot, Kilcar, Manorcunningham, Glencolmcille are all listed. Scroll down to see the full list.http://www.environ.ie/en/Legislation/DevelopmentandHousing/Housing/FileDownLoad,32636,en.pdf   MINISTER HOGAN RELEASES LIST OF GHOST ESTATES EXEMPT FROM HOUSE TAX was last modified: March 21st, 2013 by BrendaShare 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:MINISTER HOGAN RELEASES LIST OF GHOST ESTATES EXEMPT FROM HOUSE TAXlast_img read more

TV hits rushed to PCs, iPods

first_imgBURBANK – Tapping the mass appeal of two of television’s biggest hits, The Walt Disney Co. and Apple Computer Inc. announced Wednesday that they will offer current- and past-season episodes of ABC shows, including “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” for download on Apple’s new iTunes 6. Current-season episodes of these and other selected shows from Disney-ABC Television Group will be available the day after they are broadcast, and the entire first seasons of “Housewives” and “Lost” will be available immediately. “For the first time ever, hit prime-time shows can be purchased online the day after they air on TV,” Disney CEO Robert A. Iger said in a printed statement. “This initiative is a perfect example of us applying our strategic priorities, mainly marrying great content with cutting-edge technology to more effectively distribute our content while enhancing the experience for our customers.” In addition to ABC’s top-two ratings hits, the new drama “Night Stalker” will be available for downloading, as will the Disney Channel hits “That’s So Raven” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.” “Housewives” ranks first in the coveted 18-49 year old demographic while “Lost” is third. They have continued to maintain their immense popularity from last season, when they helped to propel ABC from the ratings cellar to a solid second place overall. “Disney and Apple are offering customers a new and exciting way to experience television,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. “To be able to download your favorite TV shows right from iTunes for just $1.99 – and then watch them on your computer and iPod – is revolutionary.” Media analyst Dennis McAlpine of McAlpine and Associates said the deal makes good sense for Disney as it continues to explore different ways to distribute its content in this age of ever-evolving technology. “If you are a content supplier, you are going to want to know which of these things are working,” McAlpine said. “If you have a piece of it, you get to look underneath the skirts a little bit. We know there will be a bunch of exaggerations coming from all sides, and Disney will want to know what’s real.” McAlpine said Wednesday’s announcement may lead people to “jump to conclusions” that Disney and Jobs’ Pixar Animation Studios may be closer to sealing a new deal. Talks between Iger and Jobs regarding a continuation of the lucrative Disney/Pixar partnership, which has included an unbroken string of hits including “The Incredibles” and “Finding Nemo,” began earlier this year. Jobs had broken off talks to extend the current partnership beyond 2006 and blasted former Disney CEO Michael D. Eisner in the process. Eisner stepped down last month, and Iger has been seen as more of a peacemaker with Jobs and other Disney partners. “It’s going to be taken as a sign of a closer relationship,” McAlpine said of Wednesday’s announcement. “I doubt they would be able to do it if Eisner was still there.” In addition to the ABC and Disney Channel programs, six Pixar short films will also be available to consumers. Greg Hernandez, (818) 713-3758 greg.hernandez@dailynews.com AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want 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

Ralphs indicted over acts in strike

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A federal grand jury indicted Ralphs Grocery Co. on Thursday on charges that it hired hundreds of workers under false names during the crippling 139-day strike in 2003-04. Federal prosecutors said the chain knowingly rehired key employees who used false names and Social Security numbers, then obstructed the two-year investigation that led to the 106-page indictment. “The company’s actions constitute intentional identity fraud on a large scale by a major company,” said David F. Butler of the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General. While the case is rooted in labor laws restricting “selective lockouts,” the 53-count indictment focuses on Ralphs’ conduct during and after the largest grocery strike in U.S. history. The charges include identity fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice. If convicted, the company could be fined more than $100 million, plus back pay and other restitution. Ralphs’ parent company, Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., acknowledged some improper hiring but said such conduct was limited to low-level managers who have since been disciplined. “We strongly dispute the claim that the behavior of some store managers reflected a corporate plan devised to further the company’s position during the prolonged labor negotiations,” Paul Heldman, Kroger’s senior vice president, said in a statement. But the top federal prosecutor in Los Angeles countered that investigators found evidence high-level company officials were involved. “It appears this was much more widespread on a much more organized basis,” U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang said at a news conference. “There was a tacit acknowledgment this was going on.” Ralphs noted that the National Labor Relations Board investigated similar allegations and dismissed the claims. Thursday’s indictment, however, accuses the company of making false statements to the labor board. The indictment also accuses the company of attempting to obstruct the grand jury investigation, which began in January 2004, by concealing documents. While the indictment names only Ralphs as a defendant, and not its corporate parent, Kroger, or any individuals, prosecutors said their investigation is ongoing and more charges are possible. The indictment bolsters accusations made by unions during the 139-day strike and lockout that affected nearly 70,000 workers across Southern California. “We’ve been vindicated,” said Rick Icaza, president of United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 770. “We felt from the very start they were illegally hiring these people back.” Workers at Vons went on strike in October 2003, and Ralphs and Albertsons employees were locked out hours later as the industry united. The companies used temporary replacement workers to keep most stores open, but suffered some $2 billion in losses. Unions unexpectedly stopped picketing Ralphs stores in late October, increasing the chain’s business and creating a need for reliable workers, according to the indictment. Ralphs proceeded to recruit locked-out employees with needed skills to return as replacement workers, the indictment said. To conceal its actions, the company hired the workers under fictitious or other peoples’ names and Social Security numbers, the indictment said. Ralphs then allegedly filed false government tax and employment forms and benefits records and cashed payroll checks with the incorrect names. Prosecutors say nearly 1,000 workers were re-hired under such circumstances, while Ralphs put the number at closer to 200. The company allegedly placed the employees at far-flung locations and moved them around so they would not be recognized. U.S. Attorney Yang contrasted Ralphs’ actions with those of Vons and Albertsons, which she said developed “clear-cut policies” prohibiting bringing back locked out workers as temporary labor. Ralphs senior management adopted a looser policy, the indictment said, and encouraged such hiring when talking to local managers. The improper hiring strengthened Ralphs financially and helped it survive the lengthy lockout while the unions saw their resources drained, prosecutors said. Ralphs later disclosed that it paid Albertsons and Vons’ parent company about $147 million as part of a secret agreement the firms entered into in response to the strike. That profit-sharing deal prompted California’s Attorney General to sue the companies for anti-trust violations in a separate case that still is pending. dan.laidman@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390last_img read more

ST EUNAN’S CATHEDRAL CHOIR AND CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY SET FOR GLORIOUS SUNDAY AT CONWAL

first_imgAnother chamber music recital is in preparation for this Sunday afternoon 11th of May at 3pm in Conwal Parish Church, Letterkenny.The Donegal Chamber Music Society continues with its popular Sunday afternoon concerts “Sundays in Conwal”, once more with the Donegal Camerata String Quintet, the resident ensemble of the series.Started in 2012, this series has increased both in numbers and variety of events, attracting regular classical music goers from as far as Culdaff, Crolly, Fanad, Derry and Strabane who gather together every month to enjoy another recital in this historic church in the Cathedral Town. For this occasion, the Donegal Camerata String Quintet will be joined by St. Eunan’s Cathedral Choir (conducted by Graham Harrison) and by Bass singer Brian McKeever, known to many people in Donegal and now living in Cavan.Graham Harrison has been involved in music making in Letterkenny for more than 30 years now; music lovers recall his Cathedral Boys Choir, the former Glendoon Singers and, more recently, the Conwal Singers, and his multi-instrumental skills.In 2012 he was appointed organist in St. Eunan’s Cathedral, continuing its musical tradition with his expert knowledge of the repertory. Less known, perhaps, are his composing skills; his songs for Bass and Violin, inspired by the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh, will be performed by Brian McKeever (bass) and the leader of the Donegal Camerata, Hungarian born violinist Orsolya Szabó-Yélamo (violin resource tutor with Donegal Music Education Partnership).The String Quintet will perform music by Antonio Vivaldi, Samuel Barber, Leopold Mozart and Vincent Kennedy (CMC). At the end of the concert the ensemble will be joined by St. Eunan’s Cathedral Choir, which will present music by Gabriel Fauré, Johannes Eccard and Jacques Berthier. Admission: €10 / €5. Tickets available at the door.ProgramAntonín Dvorak: Waltz in A Major, Op. 54 No. 1Samuel Barber: Adagio for strings, Op. 11Antonio Vivaldi: Largo from “The Winter” Op. 8 No. 4 Charles Hubert Parry: Two Intermezzi for String TrioGeorg Friedrich Händel: Sarabande / Gottfried Heinrich Stölze: BourréeOisin and Ross Skinnader, cellos (DMEP’s students)Vincent Kennedy: Memories for two violins Leopold Mozart: Divertimento for strings in D MajorGraham Harrison: Three Kavanagh Songs for Bass and ViolinGabriel Fauré: Cantique de Jean RacineJohannes Eccard: When Mary to the Temple wentJacques Berthier: Laudate Dominumhttp://donegalchambermusic.blogspot.ie/ST EUNAN’S CATHEDRAL CHOIR AND CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY SET FOR GLORIOUS SUNDAY AT CONWAL was last modified: May 10th, 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:conwalDonegal Chamber Music SocietyMUSICSt Eunan’s Cathedral ChoirSundayslast_img read more

Huskies dispatch Warriors on homecoming night

first_imgQuarterback Zac Claus had 256 yards passing in just the first half and the Fortuna Huskies took down the undefeated Del Norte Warriors 62-32 Friday in Fortuna on Homecoming night.“We came out ready to play,” Huskies head coach Mike Benbow said. “Unfortunately we had a early special teams mistake but our guys were prepared.”Fortuna (4-2) ended its bad habit of starting games slow and scored on a 63-yard passing play from Claus to running back Joey Pontes in the games first 46 seconds.Fortuna …last_img read more