Finance Minister, Colm Imbert has presented a $50.5 billion dollars 2017\2018 national budget.
Delivering the fiscal package in the House of Representatives on Monday afternoon, Minister Imbert said $7.29 billion dollars will go towards the Education Ministry, followed by National Security 6.24 billion, Health 6.03 billion , Public Utilities , $3.55 billion, Works and Transport $3.09 billion , Rural Development and Local Government 1.89 billion, Housing 1.0 billion and Agriculture 0.54 billion.
Tobago House of Assembly has been allocated 2.19 billion dollars which represents 4.3 percent of the national budget.
He revealed that fuel prices will be increased with immediate effect. Minister Imbert added that the motor vehicle tax and custom duty for private vehicles will go up by twenty –five percent (25%).
Separately, the Finance Minister said commercial banks and National Lotteries Control Board winners will also be taxed by thirty –five and ten percent respectively. Private hospitals will now have to pay increased license fees, he said.
The devaluation of the Trinidad and Tobago dollar is not on government’s agenda at this time, said Minister Imbert. He however said the Sandals Resort earmarked for Tobago, maintains positive negotiation meetings and will likely come to an end, soon.
Other budget highlights from Minister Imbert include a completion next year of the rate review by the Regulated Industries Commission for the Water and Sewage Authority and the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission.