From the Best of Bowie DVD, this video was recorded on February 8, 1972 for The Old Grey Whistle Test on BBC, though it wasn’t broadcasted until over ten years later. The song was written by David Bowie in 1971 for the album Hunky Dory and features simple piano playing with powerful lyrics that question the dedication of present society.Ten years into his career, Bowie was entering his Ziggy Stardust stage and influencing popular culture to join his trends of anti-traditionalism. “Oh! You Pretty Things” invokes concepts of the ever-evolving races of humanity, providing images of strangers joining to better understand the state of society, with refrain lyrics like “You gotta make way for the Homo Superior” and ongoing urges to “wake up” and think about “the world to come.”Watch the uplifting performance below:Tedeschi Trucks Band included the Bowie song as a bonus track on their most recent album Let Me Get By. Watch a live version below:
The latest data from the Manpower Ministry shows that as many as 2.15 million workers have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As many as 631,000 informal workers have been affected, while 1.13 million formal workers have been furloughed and 384,000 formal workers laid off.The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) projects unemployment rate to reach between 8.19 percent and 9.2 percent this year, significantly higher than 2019’s figure of 5.28 percent.Iskandar further explained that the program would cater to laid-off workers and housewives who have had a running business for at least three to six months and have never received KUR loans before. The applicants must also participate in a formal or informal mentorship program incorporated in a business group or have a family member with an existing business. “Borrowers can apply for a maximum Rp 10 million in loans with a zero percent interest rate until this December,” Iskandar said, adding that they would then be charged a 6 percent interest rate next year.Aside from the zero percent interest rate, banks will also be prohibited to ask for additional collateral for the loans.Although the program is aimed at helping those affected by COVID-19, the government plans to continue the program after the pandemic to encourage entrepreneurship, which is expected to contribute to the country’s welfare and economic growth, he said.Coordinating Economic Affairs Ministry data shows that KUR loan disbursement reached Rp 89.2 trillion for 2.67 million debtors as of July, despite a slight slump during the height of the pandemic in March to May.As demand for new KUR loans have increased since the third week of June following the easing of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) across the country, the government plans to increase this year’s total loan disbursement.“We have raised the KUR loan disbursement ceiling for this year by Rp 22.2 trillion, making this year’s total figure Rp 198.73 trillion, from the previous Rp 176.53 trillion,” Iskandar said.He went on to say that the government also planned to extend loan interest subsidies to KUR borrowers until December. On top of the extension, it would also increase the interest subsidy to 6 percent until the end of the year.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati announced in April that KUR borrowers with loans amounting to between Rp 10 million and Rp 500 million would enjoy interest subsidies of 6 percent for the first three months and 3 percent for the next three months.“We’ve decided to extend the subsidy because many KUR borrowers have yet to recover from the impacts of the pandemic,” Iskandar said.Topics : The government has unveiled a new microcredit program (KUR) for laid-off workers and housewives who own micro-sized businesses to help them recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.According to the Coordinating Economic Ministry’s deputy for macroeconomic and finance, Iskandar Simorangkir, the government aimed to disburse supermicro KUR loans worth Rp 12 trillion (US$814 million) to 3 million people by the end of this year.“We expect the program, which will be launched by the end of August, can help laid-off workers and housewives build their micro-sized productive businesses,” he said during a virtual press briefing on Thursday.
Skyrocketing fuel prices…matter not yet discussed by Cabinet – Business MinisterIn light of spikes in gas prices mobbing from $215 per litre last week to prices ranging from $230 to $250 per litre this week, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) is urging Government to act swiftly on the matter. On Wednesday, the trade union said this sudden hike in fuel prices will burdened consumers. In a strongly worded statement to the media, the union said Government must stop “turning a blind eye to what is taking place” and proactively act in the interest of people.A Guyoil service stationThe union noted that the reduction of the taxes on fuel will bring some reprieve to the “overburdened” class of working people. Having highlighted newly implemented taxes, increase in extant taxes and higher food costs, FITUG contends that no person would be spared as the increased costs of fuel will be passed on to the consumer in one way or another.“We saw as recent as May 28, 2018, the State-owned Guyana Oil Company Limited (Guyoil) retailing gasoline for $230 per litre. Interestingly, the May 20, 2018, Guyana Times had reported that Guyoil, at the time it compiled its report, was retailing gas for $220 per litre. Thus, in the space of days, the price jumped by $10 per liter, that is a significant hike given the shortness of the period. Moreover, we are aware that, similarly, increases have been recorded in the prices of kerosene and cooking gas,” an excerpt from the statement added.The union noted that it is aware that the increased fuel prices have their origins in the rising price of oil globally but stressed that in any event, policies could be embraced to cushion the local impact, as was done in the past.Business Minister Dominic GaskinIt observed that when there was a reduction of the excise tax, it helped to soften, and in some cases, nullify, the increased prices due to increases at the global level. The Federation expressed “strong dismay” that Government has made “no attempt” to embrace similar policies.Meanwhile, the Private Sector Commission on Wednesday called for measures to be put in place to ensure the effects are not filtered to businesses and consumers.Business Minister Dominic Gaskin was quoted as saying that the matter has not been discussed by Cabinet.Only on Tuesday, Opposition Member of Parliament, Irfaan Ali urged the Government to give some serious consideration to reducing the high prices of fuel on the market.Ali recalled when his party, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was in Government, they had constantly adjusted the tax regime to cushion the effect of fluctuation in fuel prices on the international market.He said this was aimed at ensuring that all Guyanese were protected from increases in their expenditure. “However, it seems that the current A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) regime is deaf to the cries of the population and are bent of driving Guyana’s economy into the ground.”The former Minister argued that it is well established that any increases in the price for fuel, gasoline or diesel, would translate in increases in costs of production for manufacturers, increase in expenditure for transportation operators and drivers. Ultimately, this will impact the local economic situation.He pointed out too that these increases are passed on to the consumers who are already burdened with increases in more than 200 licence fees and taxes that the coalition Government introduced.Ali therefore called on the APNU/AFC Government to take immediate steps to reduce the cost of gasoline, diesel and kerosene so that Guyanese would not have to bear the brunt of the price increases.