Finance Minister Imbert delivering the National Budget

The Budget presentation as broadcasted on air Mon October 1st 2018 by the Hon Minister of Finance Mr Colm Imbert

Click below to read the Full Transcript of the Budget 2018 – 19

 

 

 

 

The following are highlights of the Budget (Full details are available above):

  • Tertiary Education allowance now at $72,00 per year
  • Businesses that earn Foreign Exchange to get a tax credit
  • Cap on Senior Citizen pension now at $6,000
  • Public Assistance Grant to increase by $150
  • Disability Grant – Children under 18 now have access to funding
  • Food Card to increase by $100 for approved households
  • Stamp duty for 1st time home owners waived from $800,00 to $1.5M
  • 100% increase in fines for violations under the Children’s Act
  • 24hr opening of rural community health centers – Grand Rivere, Blanchicheusse and Cedros first
  • Crime Stoppers budget increased by $2.5M
  • Pension minimum 3500/month immediately upon retirement (Public Service retirees including, Civil, Protective and Teaching staff)
  • Super gasoline to increase from $3.97 to $4.97 per liter
  • Diesel to remain at $3.41 per liter
  • THA self-government to be brought to parliament for debate. THA to get assistance for loan financing at $300M
  • Tobago –  allocated $2.3BPolice Uniforms are to be changed as part of rebranding exercise
  • Dashboard and Bodycams as well as updated technology for Police stations
  • Emergency Call system to be revisited, Cybercrime is being reviewed, and a Command Center is to be established to manage police operations. K9 and Drone units to be implemented by 2019
  • Food card (after revue to remove 18,000 cheaters) 24,330 legitimate cases – The Gov’t has saved $150M – New Debit Card to be issued
  • 6000 Houses to be built by 2010
  • $2.6B in severance plans for termination
  • Petrotrin needed $25B to remain afloat after losing $2B/yr for 7 years
  • Petrotrin needed a $380M loan from Gov’t last month, $2.2B in wages, $245M/yr in health benefits
  • Transport Fuel to be Imported
  • Petrotrin to be repurposed to exploration
  • 30% Government vehicles to be CNG ready
  • Oil and Gas exploration projects from BpTT, EOG and Shell to begin
  • Sandals – is a major turning point built at Bucco Golden Grove and will be owned by TT but managed by Sandals resort – 1000 rooms up to 2000 permanent employees est income $480M in taxes to country
  • Chinese interests Beijing Construction to assist in manufacturing Industry which has grown by 7.3% in 2018
  • Nearly 2000 housing units to be built by 2021
  • Multiple health and Hospital work to be implemented nationwide – Arima, Sangre Grande, Point Fortin, POS, and Couva
  • 1hr travel time to Tobago from new port to be opened in Toco
  • La Brea dry dock to be built
  • Property Tax to be implemented and only applicable for 2019
  • Regulations for Gambling, Betting and Gaming Bill to be included in new laws soon
  • Non energy economy growth expected to 2.1% by 2021
  • Economic growth expected to be 1.9% for 2018
  • Another National Investment Fund  Bond to be offered in 2019
  • National Investment Fund generated $4B
  • US$7.7B external funds and US$6B in Heritage & Stabilization fund
  • Public debt is now 60.9% of GDP
  • Unemployment is at 5%
  • Inflation is the among the world’s lowest
  • Exchange rate controls have contained inflation
  • 2 New fast ferry vehicles for the sea-bridge to be acquired
  • Sandals opening in Tobago will be a game changer. 1,000 rooms will help Tobago be competitive