PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Oct 1, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government Monday presented a TT$58.4 billion (One TT dollar = US$0.16 cents) budget to parliament outlining a series of tax increases and incentives it hopes will improve the socio-economic conditions of the population, in some cases, over the next three years.
Finance Minister Larry Howai in his first presentation of the fiscal policies of the coalition People’s Partnership government of Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, said that after three years of negative and negligible growth and against a worrisome global environment, the economy has been stabilised with a resumption of a 1.2 per cent growth rate in 2012.
“We have been able to cope with the stresses and strains ever present in the interconnected world economy. We have put the economy on a self-sustaining growth path over the medium-term. We project an annual average growth rate of 2.5 per cent.
“We have exited the crisis much more quickly than many other similarly-circumstanced countries and with substantial economic and financial buffers. We shall pursue a proactive reform and policy agenda for transforming and creating a new Trinidad and Tobago,” Howai, a former banker told legislators.
He said the government is projecting total revenue of TT$50.736 billion, with oil revenue at TT$20.03 billion and non-oil funds at TT$30.6 billion. He said the total expenditure net of capital repayments and sinking fund contributions is estimated at TT$58.4 billion.
(Details in Business section)