Finance Minister, Colm Imbert Presents Budget 2022 – Resilience in the Face of a Global Pandemic.

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Finance Minister, Colm Imbert Presents Budget 2022 – Resilience in the Face of a Global Pandemic.

Finance Minister, Colm Imbert has begun presenting the Budget for fiscal 2022.

Budget Theme – Resilience in the Face of a Global Pandemic. Budget2022

Minister Imbert Says:

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Food prices should subside to pre-pandemic ranges in 2022, once the transitory disturbances are worked through.

Rice parboiling plant in Couva will begin construction in 2022 among other investments.

An access road repair to cover 80 kilometres, $75 million and benefit over 400 farmers.

$300 million to agricultural stimulus package fund in 2022.

Upon completion of upgrades to the ANR Robinson International Airport, Tobago will benefit from an international airport with sufficient capacity and level of services that will help boost tourism on the island.

Construction Sector Projects: 1st phase of Sangre Grande Highway to be completed in 2022. Valencia to Toco Road construction to begin 2022. Pt Fortin Highway to continue. Vehicular & pedestrian bridge in Diego Martin to be completed in 2022. Macoya Interchange to begin construction in 2022.

An online marketplace for local craftspersons will be developed, along with the requisite training.

In 2022 the number of ICT access centres will increase from 6 to 50. Digital Skills Training will be added to these centres.

Broadband services to be delivered to underserved facilities.

TTWifi to rollout free internet at all schools, all health centres, transport hubs.

Guidance was introduced to banks, in September 2021, on relaxed and simplified ‘Know Your Customer’ rules to make opening bank accounts easier for those who traditional requirements may otherwise exclude.

Authority will be set up to formulate standards and practices for operators in Special Economic Zones. Merger of InvesTT and exporTT. Currently 13 entities for trade promotion and investment suggesting need for greater efficiency.

Kerosene and LPG will remain under the subsidy mechanism.

Retail margin ceiling for other products will be implemented.

The liberalisation of fuel prices is being finalised with due regards to impact on lower income.

Government will restructure HDC, in 2022, to make distinction between landlord function and developmental function.

Merger of TTMF and Home Mortgage Bank for greater turnover of loans for housing expected by first half of fiscal 2022.

The resumption of collection of taxes on property is long overdue and we envisage Property Tax collection as a significant revenue item for Local Govt in the years ahead.

Property tax is nothing new.

Gambling industry is, estimated, a $16 billion industry and tax collection can be as high as $500 million per annum.

Government expects to generate first streams of gaming revenue in 2022.

2021 tax amnesty yields $1 billion.

Trinidad and Tobago’s credit rating is better than many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

We anticipate higher energy revenue due to higher prices and more output.

Government reduced value-added tax and twice increased the personal allowance over the past two years, relieving hundreds of thousands of people from being required to pay income tax.

US$16.4 billion at present provides Govt’s credit worthiness and can easily cover external debt liabilities.

We estimate the rate of decline of economy to decelerate from 7.4% to 1%, based on the energy economy.

We will continue a sustained vaccination programme into 2022 to maximise all opportunities for vaccination to meet WHO’s target of 70 per cent as soon as possible.

Accelerated VAT refunds amount to $3.8 billion. We intend to issue more VAT refunds in the next year.

A further provision of $200 million for COVID-19 relief has been made in this 2022 Budget.

51,493 grants were given as food and income support to people who had lost jobs at value of $221.4 million.

We have incurred expenditure of over $5 billion for COVID relief

The Govt has spent US$18.1 or TT123.1million of our general revenues on vaccines

First time since Independence we face simultaneously health and economic crisis.

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