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

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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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