PSA says Finance Minister pressuring BIR staff to join TTRA

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PSA says Finance Minister pressuring BIR staff to join TTRA

The Public Services Association (PSA) has accused the Minister of Finance of violating the terms of a court ruling, by attempting to operationalise the controversial TT Revenue Authority (TTRA).

This after the Finance Ministry issued letters to officers in the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) and Customs and Excise Division (CED) to what it describes as pressuring them into joining the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority (TTRA).

The PSA, in a statement this morning, says this is taking place in the face of the Court of Appeal’s clear direction that the status quo should be preserved to facilitate the PSA’s appeal to the Privy Council.

The PSA says this as an attempt to intimidate workers and they call upon them to ignore those letters and let the law take its course.

It said on June 7, 2024, the Court of Appeal granted leave for the constitutional claim filed by PSA member Terrisa Dhoray to be taken to the Privy Council. 

It also granted a stay to prevent the government from taking any steps to implement section 18 of the Act that would force workers to transfer to the TTRA. 

The stay was granted until 25th September 2024, when the parties were due to report back to the Court of Appeal on the status of the Appeal to the Privy Council. 

The PSA explained that in reading the unanimous judgement of the Court of Appeal (comprising Justices of Appeal Mark Mohammed, Charmaine Pemberton and Mira Dean-Armorer), Justice Mohammed indicated that the Court was of the view that a stay was necessary because: i. for the ease of administration, ii. in the public interest, and iii. because the court had a duty to facilitate the administration of justice. 

“We are confident that the transcript of the hearing and the extempore judgment that was delivered in open court will vindicate our position in this matter and have hence applied for the official transcript of the court’s judgment,” it said.