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T&T Protesters outside Parliament Budget 2017

sgtdjones 2017-10-06 14:32:40 

T&T Protesters outside Parliament Budget 2017

Placard protesters took to the Parliament on Friday to demonstrate against Government's 2018 national budget and spending cuts.

The protesters gathered outside the Parliament as, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar kicked off the budget debate at 10am.

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sgtdjones 2017-10-06 14:35:37 

Fuel hike may lead to shortage of fish, shrimp *

FUEL hikes announced in last Monday's 2017/2018 national budget may lead to a shortage on the market of locally caught fish and shrimp.

The increase in the prices of super and diesel gasoline announced on Monday by Finance Minister Colm Imbert, led yesterday to a protest by a group of fisherfolk who are ready to dock their vessels over the increase in the cost of running their engines.

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sgtdjones 2017-10-06 14:38:36 

'Higher diesel price equals higher food prices'
...get ready to pay more says farmers

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Farmers' Union Shiraz Khan predicts that there will be a hike in food prices as a result of an increase in the price of diesel.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced during his budget presentation on Monday that the price of super gasoline would increase from $3.58 per litre to $3.97 and diesel from $2.30 per litre to $3.41, with immediate effect.

Speaking during a post-budget panel discussion on TV6 on Monday night, Khan said transporting goods is not the only thing farmers use diesel for, but for all vehicles and equipment used in land preparation. "There is doubt with regard to agriculture, the Finance Minister has spoken with a forked tongue, claiming to be giving incentives to the agricultural sector, while allocating the sector the least amount of money in the budget and in fact, less than last year," Maharaj said.

In their budget wish list, the NSA had called for the allocation of proper subsidies for the continued development of residential and agricultural sites owed to ex-Caroni (1975) Ltd workers among other items. However, he said Imbert failed to even address the lack of access road, crossings, water supply, irrigation and other issues.

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sgtdjones 2017-10-06 14:41:11 

Imbert unveils $50.5 billion 'sacrifice' budget

The travelling public is likely to feel the pinch as the prices of super and diesel gas, the fuel used by maxi-taxi and taxi drivers, went up immediately upon the presentation of the 2017/2018 budget by Minister of Finance Colm Imbert in the House of Representatives yesterday.

Apart from gas, tyres were also hit with two tax increases — a $20 environmental tax on every tyre and a 30 per cent custom duty on all imported tyres.

The public could also face higher bank charges and private healthcare costs if the tax increases imposed on banks and private nursing homes by Imbert's budget are passed on to consumers.

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sgtdjones 2017-10-06 15:47:35 

T&T’s problems

• Energy sector revenues, taxes, royalties dropped from $15.7b (2010) to $2.1b (2017)—89 per cent plus fall in main revenue sources.
• Bills which Government couldn’t discharge.
• Chronic minimal economic growth.
• Slight downward trend for past decade despite few growth spurts.
• Rate of growth of four and a half per cent in 2007 reached under three per cent in 2013, declining steadily since.
• 2016 growth figure almost negative three per cent.
• 2018 revenue situation very challenging.
• Foreign exchange sales to the public since January totalled US $3.7b but forex inflows were US $2.55b
• Biggest Forex users: retail and distribution sectors, credit card transactions, manufacturing, financial services sectors.
• Current account went from surplus (2007) to deficits (up to 2016)
• Value of import/export reserves dropped from $11b (2015) to $8.6b (2017).
• T&T currently has 10 months of import cover, described as “reasonable”.
• Tax revenues: $40b (200cool to $15b (2017).
• Taxes from oil companies: $25b (200cool to $472 million (2017) .
• VAT levels from $5 billion (2007) to “flat” now
• Transfers and subsidies from $17.7 b (2007) to $27.8 b (2016)
• Personnel expenditure rose from $6.2b (2007) to $9.6 b (2016), minus contract expenditure.
• Productivity waned by over 7 per cent from 2015 - 2016

Emir 2017-10-07 16:55:55 

These handful of protesters are mis directed, they want freeness, they want government subsidy, they want government to spend, they want to be take care off, they want no responsibility.

Apparently they don't understand for government to spend more, they must tax more.

This budget, though not perfect, is the best I have seen in a long while, a breath of fresh air when compared to Kamla wasteful and corrupted spending bonanza

I would have like to see the following added to the budget:

1. Special tax on the owners of foreign junk food "restaurants"
2. Cut in public sector employent
3. Privatization of Water and Sewer
4. Sell Caribbean Air
5. Restriction on FOREX for foreign junk food
5. Higher tax for imported vegetables and dry packaged goods
6. Large subsidy for Agriculture production
7. incentives and tax deduction for family cultivated back yard vegetable gardens
8. Subsidy for animal husbandry
9. A devaluation of the currency
10. Tax incentive for mass transit