The Budget for fiscal 2020/2021 presented a lot of data to dissect.
Here are the top takeaways from Monday’s presentation:
- Internet mifi for students- Government will provide these devices to 45,000 students, based on need, to provide them with connectivity which they do not now have.
- Expanding existing Wi-Fi hotspots and establishing internet cafes in all areas of the country and will specifically target students in all remote areas.
- Removal of value-added tax on the importation of building materials except for certain items such as road paving and aggregate material will take effect from January 1, 2021
- Amending the stamp duty threshold for residential properties from $1.5 million to $2 million for first-time
- All NP gas stations to be offered for sale by private companies
- All private motor cars will now attract customs duty, motor vehicle tax, VAT with the lowest rates of duty and tax being imposed on hybrid cars, electric cars, CNG cars, and small engine cars below 1,500cc, to encourage their use.
- New Tobago ferry, APT James, a brand-new purpose-built state-of-the-art modern fast ferry, arrives later this month. It is expected to begin service by end of December with a capacity for 900 passengers and traveling speed less than three hours
- Taxes on mobile and digital equipment and cellphones removed in December
- Government grants for start-up businesses
- Finance/incentives for entrepreneurs engaged in software and mobile application development
- $3m tax allowance for businesses investing in tech start-ups and new tech businesses
- Full VAT of 12.5% on imported luxury food items, such as lobster, escargot, smoked salmon, pâté, clams, strawberries, champagne, apples, and grapes.
- Approved property development companies to claim a deduction of 20% from the present 15% of the capital expenditure
- Fines for praedial larceny, illegal quarrying and use of stolen road paving components up by 200 per cent
- $500m Agriculture stimulus programme