Reckless endangerment

By Terrence Farrell
Aug 14, 2015 –

FinancialWhat has been the impact on energy sector revenues of the fall in oil and gas prices? Data published by the Central Bank indicates that in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, energy sector revenues have declined by $3.3 billion or 27.5 per cent. Total Government revenues declined by only 1.7 per cent because the proceeds of the tax amnesty and NGC special dividend helped to offset the fall in oil revenues.

Given the fall in oil revenues and in total revenues, what adjustments has the Government made to its expenditure during the current fiscal year? The short answer is none! In fact Government expenditures have increased. In the first eight months of the current fiscal year, total Government spending increased by $580 million or 1.6 per cent, notwithstanding the significant fall in transfers in respect of the fuel subsidy consequent on the fall in oil prices. Recurrent expenditure, including on goods and services has increased by about one per cent. It may be recalled that the Prime Minister had indicated that expenditure on (non-essential) goods and services would be cut. In addition, capital expenditure has increased by 9.3 per cent.


4 thoughts on “Reckless endangerment”

  1. People must bear in mind that energy is one sector of the economy. The government during its first term in office must push manufacturing on one of the strongest emerging market Brazil.
    Trinidad currently have one of the strongest manufacturing base in the Caribbean.

    All sectors banking, manufacturing, have show a staggering amount of profits. The government have to continue its private/public partnership as they have been doing. The private sector is more efficient than the bloated beaurocracy that is a killer of many nations. Greece as an example. The private sector must change its product line with the growing health consciousness of the citizenry. Too many products are loaded with sugar and other non-healthy additives.

    The areas of profitability lies in agriculture. UWI to the best of my knowlege has not patented anything to justify their existence. They teach courses that are not relevant to current realities. Tertiary level education need a serious rethink. How many new business entrepreneurs are we producing and if none, why?? Trinidad is best poised to take strong action in experience economic growth.

    Here are my suggestion (1) establish 7 industrial growth poles. (2) started building recycling plants and give a 5cents rebate on plastic bottles. Sell to African nations the recyclables. Such as Nigeria. (3) expand agriculture into areas such as product development using UWI (4) Use Camden airport as a transport hub for products reaching North American markets. Too many West Indian stores in North America complain about not getting West Indian products via CAL and instead turn to the Dominican Republic. The North American market is extremely important the Jamaicans are beginning to finally compete with TnT.
    (5) develop all beach resorts and charge a fee for using facilities. Make the pitch lake a tourist attraction, provide bath facilities. All volcanoes can be centers for tourism. People enjoy the beneficial mud baths. Develop the facilities there build a few pools and areas to apply the mud. Costa Rica have such facilities near the volcanoes.

    I could go on but we need to look away from oil and gas and explore the natural resources….

    1. All of this is moot. Oil and gas represents the largest sector of the economy. 90% of T&Ts economy depends on fossil fuels

      Even manufacturing depends on subsidized fuel costs. Without this we have fewer competitive advantages.

      In addition less than 1% of GDP comes from Agriculture.

  2. UWI have drawn up relevant research and developments e.g., sorrel plant, lime cordial plant to name a few led by prof Sammy in agriculture, steel pan etc. I will keep stating that the biggest mistake is the closing down of Caroni (1975) ltd. How can you have industrial and agricultural diversification and the costing is allocated to the production of a ton of sugar? Separate cost centres were required rather than mixing so many eggs in one basket. The Spence report, Rampersad plan called for the scaling down from international and regional export of sugar to a domestic market supply only. If the private sector can make profits how is it that a French company can take over 500 acres of land from Orange Grove and start making profit by producing another crop. A sliding fall of sugar prices on the international market should not preempt the closure of a whole industry but visionary thinking reflecting on adjustments. After all artificial sweetners are carcinogenic natural sugar is not. Once upon a time coconut oil was not good for consumption now it is good. UWI should stand up and compare their results with international research institutions on the validity of results from other institutions. Leadership and self-worth are required here.

    Coming back to the subject, adjustments should be made by the present government in fiscal expenditure especially a sliding scale set up to reflect reduction in fuel subsidy to falling international prices in energy resources.

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