We knew the Senate would not have impeached Mr Trump

Editorial

We knew the Senate would not have impeached Mr Trump

Thursday, February 06, 2020

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We did not need a crystal ball or knowledge of rocket science to predict that US President Donald Trump would not have been impeached yesterday in the trial in the Senate.

The question is why did the Democrats persist with an impeachment trial knowing that the Republican-controlled Senate had signalled it would not be removing the president for his alleged wrongdoing in Ukraine.

Republicans, with the exception of Utah Senator Mitt Romney, had intimated that, even if they felt that Mr Trump had overstepped in Ukraine, it did not rise to the level of a conviction.

Perhaps the Democrats were hoping that the trial would have done much damage to Mr Trump's chances of re-election in the November 2020 presidential polls. The results of those elections will determine what price they will pay for their actions.

Indeed, that is where such a monumental decision as the removal of a president should be done — at the polls. The American people are the best ones to pass verdict on whether what Mr Trump did in Ukraine was sufficient reason to boot him from office.

BEST THING THAT COULD BE DONE FOR TOURISM WORKERS

At long last registration for the Tourism Workers' Pension Scheme is to begin shortly.

This will constitute the best thing to have been done for workers who have toiled for years in the industry which has been most responsible for holding the Jamaican economy together when the ill winds of recession buffeted us.

We in this space are proud to share paternal pride for the pension scheme with the previous and current administrations, thanks to our Chairman Mr Gordon “Butch” Stewart, who put his considerable influence behind the idea and fought for it.

Mr Stewart, the founder of Sandals Resorts International, is on record as one who believes that people should not go home empty-handed after working all their best years with a company or industry.

Despite his formidable achievements, he has said that the thing he is proudest of is the Appliance Traders Limited Pension Scheme, which is today one of the most successful. That sentiment carried over to the tourism industry as a whole.

The Jamaica Information Service reports that more than 350,000 employees are expected to benefit immediately from the tourism pension scheme, which became effective on January 31, 2020.

But we feel some sadness for the thousands who worked and left the industry without any compensation beyond what they managed to have saved from wages.

The pension scheme is a defined contributory plan supported by legislation and will require mandatory contributions by workers and employers.

It will cover all workers in the tourism sector, from age 18 to 59 years, whether permanent, contractual, or self-employed. These include hotel workers, as well as persons employed in related industries, such as craft vendors, tour operators, red cap porters, contract carriage operators, and workers at attractions.

Benefits will be payable at age 65 years or older.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said the scheme would be the largest pension plan in the Caribbean and could potentially impact up to 500,000 workers by 2030/2035. Importantly, it will create a pool of funds that are available now for investment.


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