Goodies Galore! Wage increases, VAT refunds and pension plan in Budget 2020

Goodies Galore! Wage increases, VAT refunds and pension plan in Budget 2020

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert delivered his budget presentation to a full house in the Parliament Chamber yesterday, and to a wanting audience as citizens awaited word on what the budget could offer to them.

Based on his announcements, it seems that there were “treats” for all concerned and a move to advance the economy and sustain the country. See below a snapshot of what was offered in the budget:

  • increase in OJT stipends by 10% and increase intake by 8,000  with effect from (w.e.f.) December 1, 2019
  • increase the minimum wage from $15.00 to $17.50 per hour w.e.f. December 1, 2019
  • increase the wages of CEPEP workers by 15% percent and increase the fees paid to CEPEP contractors by 15% w.e.f. December 1, 2019
  • increase the wages of URP workers by 15% w.e.f. December 1, 2019
  • increase the value of personal goods that can be imported without incurring customs duties from $3,000 to $5,000 w.e.f. January 1, 2020
  • eliminate the use of Styrofoam and single-use plastics within the national economy by banning, in the first instance, the importation of styrofoam importation. Coolers will be used in all Government Ministries w.e.f. January 1, 2020
  • increase the solar water heating equipment tax credit from 25% to 100% of the cost of the Solar Water Heating Equipment up to a maximum of $10,000 w.e.f. January 1, 2020
  • provide a capital allowance for exploration and development for both tangible and intangible expenditure to be computed on a straight-line basis over five years, i.e. at 20 percent per year w.e.f. January 1, 2020
  • eliminate arrival forms at our airports by 2020
  • minimum pension of $3,500 for daily-paid workers in the public service with an appropriate minimum length of service w.e.f. 2020
  • eliminate, in the first instance, the requirement for life certificates for government pensioners who were born in Trinidad and Tobago and possess their computerized birth certificates and associated personal identification numbers
  • remove all taxes and duties on LED bulbs and appurtenances
  • create a tax-free agriculture sector for farmers registered for agricultural purposes
  • offer $3 billion, in the first instance, in interest bearing Government bonds to all eligible VAT-registered business to meet VAT arrears
  • development of framework to allow for the refund of VAT on a current and consistent basis
  • increase the tax allowance from $3 million to $6 million for the corporate sponsorship of nationals in the local fashion industry; audio, visual or video productions for the purpose of local education or local entertainment
  • new methodology to replace the existing basis for taxation of life insurance companies.

Alcohol and Gas prices remain the same.

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