A Firstline Securities Limited Blog By: Mike
Following on from our third blog entry yesterday we continue our look at the 2019 National Budget of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – Turnaround.
The budgetary allocation for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is TT$2.229 billion, of which TT$1.979 billion is for recurrent expenditure, TT$231.63 million for capital expenditure, and TT$18 million for the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP).
The total allocated to Tobago represents 4.3% of the National Budget.
In addition to the sums noted above the Ministry of Finance has agreed to approve loan financing by the THA for its development projects totalling TT$300 million, and another TT$1.055 billion is allocated for expenditure in Tobago by various government ministries and statutory authorities.
Other initiatives in respect of Tobago include:
Sandals Tobago will be constructed at Buccoo Golden Grove and will be owned by the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and undisclosed equity partners. The hotel will be managed by Sandals Resorts Limited.
The resort will have between 500 and 750 rooms and will generate 2,000 permanent jobs. The Government expects that the project will generate TT$480 million a year in revenue through taxes and other payments and will have a significant multiplier-effect on surrounding businesses in Tobago.
The Government expects to have a new operator in place for this 198-room facility from the 1st January 2019 when the current license expires.
To satisfy higher demand as a result of the Sandals project, an upgrade of the airport facilities at the A. N. R. Robinson airport continues and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
In respect of the sea bridge, two brand new fast ferries are scheduled to arrive in 2020. The first will be able to carry 926 passengers and 250 cars at a speed of 37.5 knots, while the second will carry 1,000 passengers and 357 cars at a speed of 39.5 knots. The transit time to Tobago will therefore be in the region of 2.5 to 3 hours.
In addition to talking about the recovery of gas production and the closure of the refinery at Petrotrin (discussed in some detail in an earlier blog entry) the Minister announced the following:
The Minister commented on a number of initiatives to improve the housing situation in Trinidad and Tobago. Those initiatives included:
Overall the Government hopes to deliver 6,000 housing units by 2020 and thereafter 3,000 units per annum. The domestic capital market will be tapped to fund the construction of these properties in order to get around the financial constraints currently experienced by HDC.
The Government is in the process of establishing the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Operational Command Centre which will manage the command and control of all police operations and activities, and will involve a real time monitoring mechanism for all police vehicles.
All police vehicles will be fitted with global positioning satellite (GPS) systems, dash board cameras, laptops and tablets, and all officers will carry body cameras. There will be a greater use of drone technology so that the police have real time video feeds, and the K9 unit will be strengthened especially in the area of drug enforcement.
The Government intends to computerise all police stations, restructure the emergency call system, introduce an enhanced national finger print data system, and modernise the firearms license system. In addition, the use of non-lethal weapons will be increased, and consideration will be given to updating the current police uniform.
Tomorrow we complete our narrative with the fifth and final part of our blog series on the 2019 National Budget of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
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