On the 13th May 2019 the Minister of Finance of Trinidad and Tobago, Colm Imbert, presented his 2019 Mid-Year Budget Review. In this second blog entry we continue to explore the main contents of that presentation and the implications of the review for the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Minister provided a number of updates on the development of infrastructure relating to the nation’s road network and the redevelopment of the international airport at Crown Point.
The Seabridge will be strengthened with the arrival of a new vessel on a one-year lease that will provide capacity for 800 passengers and 230 cars. In mid-2020 two brand new fast ferries will be added to the Seabridge.
Caribbean Airlines (CAL) continues to provide an Airbridge.
In 2018, CAL provided 1,053,910 seats to Tobago with an 86% usage rate. For the first three months of 2019, 223,991 seats were provided at an improved usage rate of 90%.
The Minister of Finance also noted that he had granted approval for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) to raise loan financing on the local market amounting to TT$300 million for a number of development projects.
These projects include new health and sports facilities, housing, roads, bridges, and funding for coastal protection and implementation of the THA’s Intelligent Island Project.
The Joint Select Committee stages dealing with the establishment of the new Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority and the Gambling and Gaming Commission have recently been completed and the amended legislation required for their constitution will shortly be reintroduced for further debate and passage into law.
As mentioned in the first of our blog entries the 2019 budget estimated revenue and expenditure at TT$47.72 and TT$51.77 billion respectively. Underpinning those targets the following is relevant:
Revenue for the first half of 2019 was TT$706 million above that estimated in the national budget while expenditure was TT$2.55 billion below plan.
The increase in revenue of TT$706 million arose as a result of higher than expected taxes on income and profits from the non-energy sector. Receipts from oil companies and Value Added Tax were lower than expected.
Capital revenue was higher than expected due to improved performance of State Companies and higher than expected recoveries of CLICO assets.
Recurrent expenditure for the first six months of the year was lower than anticipated and amounted to TT$23.63 million, some TT$1.47 billion below budget.
The 2019 budget is to be adjusted to reflect the following:
In the final blog entry we complete our analysis of the main contents of that presentation and the implications of the review for the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
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