2008 Budget Presentation Highlights

Karen Nunez-TesheiraNew voice but same high-spending story
SPEAKING for three hours and seven minutes in what was her historic presentation of a national budget in the House of Representatives yesterday, Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira broke the first rule she established going in. She had pledged not to deliver a lengthy address.

Same ole, same ole
MINISTER of Finance Karen Nunez-Tesheira delivered a $49 billion Budget that made several prudent investments in the country’s economy, ecology and education, but which otherwise left observers scratching their heads to wonder what was actually new.

Karen: I can’t please everyone

Nothing about crime, food prices–Kamla
Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar laments that no measures have been implemented in the $49.6 billion budget to address the major issues facing the country–crime, food prices and inflation.

$2.65 billion for Tobago
Free ferry passes for senior citizens

Brake On Cars
Premium gas up by $1 a litre

Karen delivers mixed bag of fiscal measures
Motorists began paying more for premium gasoline as of 5.10 pm yesterday.

Minister: Gas hike will curb road rage
Nunez-Tesheira said the new premium gasoline price was not targeting the middle class, even though a large number of car owners, including taxi-drivers, use premium gasolene.

‘Rich’ to pay for the poor

Budget of good and bad news
While there are cogent arguments for creating a gasoline price differential, the minister should have been able to point to a scientific survey to support her contention that the increase in the price of premium unleaded gasoline will only affect the ‘high end’ of the driving market.

…Dealers: Increases to affect low-income citizens
Gasoline and motor vehicle tax increases in the National Budget will hurt middle- and low-income earners the most, as car prices rise almost immediately, automobile dealers said yesterday.

2008 budget presentation: Further Highlights
Increase in stamp duties. For example, properties valued over $850,000 but less than $1.2 million will have stamp duty of three per cent and those over $1.7 million will have a stamp duty of seven-and-a-half per cent.

Karen runs into Opposition flack
Tesheira, dressed in her signature grey, fielded a considerable amount of picong and flack from the Opposition benches as she delivered her record $49 billion package, the biggest in local budget history to date.

Kamla predicts Budget ‘meltdown’

Kamla: More inflation, meltdown coming

Panday: Mere pittance for poor people

Rowley promises explosive debate
DIEGO MARTIN West MP Dr Keith Rowley yesterday disclosed that he will break his four month silence in the House of Representatives when he speaks during the 2008/2009 Budget debate which will be kicked off by UNC A Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar at 10 am on Friday.

Interesting and ambitious–Rowley
Diego Martin West MP Dr Keith Rowley says the national budget was “very interesting and ambitious.”

National Security gets $4.7B

6 Responses to “2008 Budget Presentation Highlights”


  • so many promises made in all the previous budgets; megafarms,praedial larceny police units, water taxis and the list goes on. When is the government going to get serious about the issues of crime and high food prices? David Abdullah and Vincent Carbrera certainly have the the right idea……PNM MUST GO !!!!!

  • Tell us something we are not aware of Joe. The fundamental question that should asked by us then is -so as to be replaced by which political party?Surely you cannot seriously expect us to believe by the UNC as presently constructed when it’s leader is on the verge of being convicted for blatant acts of corruption and abuse of power while he was in office.
    Trinidadians have been known to do some dumb and stupid things over the years , but can they still be duped once more into putting ‘the Fox in charge of the hen house?’

  • This finance minister was not elected but selected by the PM. No unelected official should be in charge of the people’s money.If the constitution allows this , change it!

  • The number of persons murdered in Trinidad and Tobago to this date is approximately 390. The number is sure to exceed 400 by the end of the year. Some of these murdered victims are our friends, next door neighbours, or even relatives. This isn’t a PNM, UNC or COP problem. This is a Trinidad and Tobago problem that we should all come to grips with. The PNM continues to boast that it has a plan to reduce the murder rate as well as the overall crime rate in this country. Never before have people in this country felt so concerned about their personal safety. Patrick Manning and the PNM have failed the country. I am sure many who have lost a loved one to murder would strongly agree. The PNM also continue to boasts that it has lots money. How could the murder rate in Trinidad and Tobago be at the highest level that it has ever been at the same time that the country is supposedly enjoying the greatest level of economic prosperity in its history? With all the money that the PNM claims that the country has, why is the healthcare system in the state that it is in? Apparently, having lots of money in a country does not necessarily ensure a greater quality of life for its citizens.

  • Inflation worries Central Bank Governor

    Central Bank Head: Government inflation reduction plan too slow
    Less than 24 hours after the 2008/2009 fiscal budget was made public, Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams said the government now has “a dilemma” of reconciling the rate of expenditure with monetary.

    Central Bank Governor: Watch that spending

    Analysts predict gloom on Govt’s economic plans
    The almost $50 billion 2008/09 national budget will fail to bring down escalating inflation and do little to make food cheaper for consumers.

    Karen’s Budget knocked
    Economists yesterday delivered a sharp critique of this year’s Budget presentation, focusing on the Government’s failure to consider the impact of an unstable global financial market, falling oil prices and inflation on the local economy.

    Rethink vehicle tax plan
    Clearly, the two most pronounced consumer irritants of the 2008/2009 Budget presented on Monday by Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira have been the proposed increase in the cost of high grade or premium gasoline and the increase in the cost of landed vehicles through upping the cc tax. The planned vehicle tax increases range from $5 per cc for up to 1599 cc vehicles to between $45 and $50 per cc for vehicles 3,500 cc and over.

    Expert approves gas hike
    Economist Gregory McGuire yesterday approved Government’s partial removal of the $2.4 billion gas subsidy by increasing the price of premium gasoline.

    Enill in the Senate: Govt won’t tolerate abuse of the innocent
    The Government is standing its ground against any Opposition attempt in the Senate to attack innocent people who are not present to defend themselves.

    Prime Minister’s Office to spend $500m to host two summits
    The Prime Minister’s Office will spend $503 million to host the Summit of the Americas and the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference in April and November 2009, respectively.

    Dookeran: Government ignored crime, poverty

    Caregiver: Old, disabled barely surviving
    Faced with increasing rent, food, electricity, telephone and other bills, the elderly and disabled population can barely survive on less than $2,000 a month, Director of Joy Day Care Senior Citizens Home, Joyce Lawson, said yesterday.

    Richards: Teach kids the Constitution

    Govt fails to shut up UNC senator

    $27M for Calder Hart

    Mark: $27m UDeCOTT deal caught on tape
    Opposition Senator Wade Mark claims there is a video tape that shows UDeCOTT, including its chairman Calder Hart, received $27 million in cash just before the last general election, on November 5, 2007.

    Dookeran hits PM on Square appearance
    Congress of the People political leader Winston Dookeran said he would not be surprised if the government’s $50 billion budget–the largest in T&T’s history–was meant to pave the way for an early general election.

  • The PNM goverment has been invole in corouption since the Lock Jack sewage scheme and has never stop , what is new– news same old PNM

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