Budget Presentation for Fiscal Year 2017 – Friday September 30, 2016


TAXMAN COMETH
IN rolling out a series of money-making measures in the 2016/2017 National Budget, both the rich and poor were touched by yesterday’s Budget presentation.

Elite tax for high income earners
Imbert spreads economic burden around

‘A vai-que-vai Budget’
OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar hit the National Budget as “a mishmash rehash of broken promises”

T&T going into debt trap—Kamla

Economist: TT continues to run at a deficit
THE 2016 / 2017 Budget missed the fact that if Trinidad and Tobago continues to run at a deficit, it will find itself in the position of Venezuela and Barbados.

Inflation, unemployment on the rise… energy output down
HEADLINE inflation and unemployment have both increased while energy output has fallen, according to the latest Central Bank (CBTT) statistics.

Tobago gets less…but
… the Assembly is not distressed because measures in place to enhance development on the sister isle will bring in additional revenue, THA Chief Secretary Orville London says.

London gives Sandals project his blessing

Gas stations face closure
Owners: No longer economical to operate

Taxi drivers – diesel price rise, levels playing field
15 percent increase in the price of diesel but no increase in gas

Maxi-taxi drivers not pleased: Have to pay 15% more for diesel

Citizens happy at T&TEC rebate, no hit on food

WITCO slams new cigarette tax
THE West Indian Tobacco Company (WITCO) has slammed Government’s decision to implement increase cigarette taxes by 15 percent from October 20

Rise in alcohol prices does not faze drinkers

Griffith gives thumbs up for National Security allocation
…praising the $117 million allocation to upgrade intelligence gathering but questioned whether the $7.6 billion allocated was for purchasing of needed assets or just recurrent expenditure.

Branches anxious to know their share
$7.6b for National Security…

Amcham gives ‘thumbs up’
…but the business group urges the “early and meaningful consultation” before enacting legislation that might appear as a disincentive for investment.

JTUM happy about no budget job cuts

TT dodges FATCA bullet
compliance with the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act shifted to 2017

12 Responses to “Budget Presentation for Fiscal Year 2017 – Friday September 30, 2016”


  • Mr Imbert gave the layman a simple to understand budget. It was so difficult to follow a budget in the recent past.

  • “Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of power, no rule of law, no accountability, there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation.”
    Atifete Jahjaga

    I’m with you on this Abdullah. He sure did an excellent job- disguised as much of the ugly, required medicines ,might be.
    Sadly, the political clowns ,on the other side of the isle, are hoping that the people of T&T , are still the clueless , gullible idiots , that many correctly characterized them to be in the past.
    As such , they felt compelled to chatter , and interrupt the Finance Minister , during his 3 hr presentation – in much the same manner , as irritating , spoiled , High School kids, would do.
    Yep, the same jokers, who love to pontificate about how unruly dem school children today are, were unaware that all their actions , were on display across our nation , and more importantly, none would garner a single new vote to help them regain the political throne , they fervently crave.
    The Minister did a masterful job , in bringing the nation up to speed , on our present , precarious economic situation, juxtapose against a backdrop of global realities.
    He likewise, skillfully highlighted, the role played by politically inept Kamla , and her dangerous , political goons , in contributing to the mess , we are in, but more importantly, the efforts his government would take, to stop the bleeding, and move us forward, as a ‘collective.’ Emphasis should be noted. COLLECTIVE.
    As tough as the measures might be, many citizens will accede to the request for patience..
    You don’t have to be a 2nd year, UWI Economics Major , to know what a non diversified / over dependent on oil/ gas economy is folks.
    Even the biggest , High School drop out/dunce ,from Nelson Street POS,sitting on a possible 5, to 15 years, in one of our nation’s prison , or a hopeless bum, wandering around the plains of Chagurnas Central, knows, that if oil , and gas prices fell drastically , and our country cannot obtain the revenues it got five years ago, then the present regime, cannot easily achieve many of it’s lofty goals as planned, or fully service the numerous, legally binding,financial commitments , it is stuck with.
    Am I optimistic that members of the Opposition, would get their acts together , by first finding a sensible , visionary , firm leader,then proceed to purge this party of the dead weights ,they are unfortunately stuck with , in efforts to produce a more coherent policy/ political alternative, to that offered by the present government?
    Not really.
    It ain’t how these unpatriotic comedians operate. They’ll instead resort to Parliamentary gridlocks , pro Constitutional mumbo jumbo , and childish media tantrums , while pushing the typical fake narratives, by their selectively placed,well paid so call experts/ operatives ,whose sole purpose would be defend the indefensible,and push a ‘we victimize agenda.
    In the interim, Dr Keith ,and his party, will hold political sway , over this nation , for at least 2 more decades- which of course can never be good, as history would indicate, via the last breath travails ,of increasingly arrogant Patrick Manning .
    The way ahead will be challenging,and even though one cannot be happy with everything as proposed , one still can’t help , but feel reassured , that the folks, that are are presently guiding the ship of state , through these turbulent waters,are an upgrade , from the Country hating , self aggrandizing barbarians , that were kicked out 1 year ago.
    May Democracy continue to prevail, and our twin Island Republic soon take major strides along the elusive part, of Sustainable Development.
    Accountability, adherence to Rule of law, transparency in business and politics, progressive -visionary mindset, respect for the other , and is that asking too much from our (political / economic )leaders- in and out of power?
    Stay vigilant T&T!

  • I am a firm believer in small government (not cabinet size but over all). I prefer big business over big government. Why? Government has proven in the past that they have no respect for the tax payer and choose to flush billions down the drain. Less government means less corruption. This is not a problem unique to Trinidad but it is a global problem with governments engaged in taxation plans that are design to redistribute wealth and stifle economic growth. Business must take risk, hire employees, build buildings and along comes government with huge taxation measures. They tax like it is nobody’s business. Gas tax, electricity tax, food tax, etc all design to fund their ever growing beaurocracy.

    Here is an example of how the previous PNM administration spent your money. Tell me if tax payers got value for money or if this way just a feeding trough for the pigs. They even rehired some of these nincompoops.

    • Chaguanas Corporation administrative complex—over budget by $10 million—24-month delay.

    .world GTL $2.7 billion 33 cost over run. Nothing came out of this project. Money wasted. Jones was given a plumb position by Rowley after this colossal waste.
    • Chancery Lane complex—$300 million over budget—24-month delay.
    • Government campus and Legal Affairs tower—$300 million over budget—18-month delay.
    • Waterfront project—$1.3 billion over budget—six-month delay.
    • Education Ministry tower—$300 million over budget—20-month delay.
    • Performing Arts Centre—$234 million over budget—one-year delay.
    • South PRC—$238 million over budget—13 months overdue.
    • Beverly Hills Housing—$106 million cost overrun—65-month delay.
    • Lara Stadium—$800 million cost overrun—41-months delay. remains unused.
    • Diplomatic Centre—$200 million cost overrun—five-month delay.

    Cost Over run by the PNM most favored contractor ….
    the mighty PNM Rahael clan (almost a billion)
    —Trinity Housing owned by the Rahael group constructed 138 units at Orchard Gardens, incurring cost overruns of $50 million.
    —Corinth Hills was done by the same company, incurring cost overruns of $128 million. —-Trinity Housing projects with cost overruns including East Grove in Curepe ($64 million),
    ——Bon Air (an original $13 million contract with $19 million in cost overruns) and ——Greenvale Park ($156 million in cost overruns.)
    —-Couva Junior Secondary ($172 millions cost over run)
    —-, Barataria Junior Secondary ($149 million cost over run),
    —- Pleasantville Junior Secondary ($150 million cost over run) He said Osha laws virtually closed down the contract for the Pleasantville project due to safety concerns.

    None held to account.

    Now you see my cynicism….

  • Winston S. Churchill: “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

    The last budget and this budget has seen a tax net thrown across the nation. Not a dog bark. Taxes are the most important revenue generating scheme of government, at least this government. The list of taxes seem endless. Gas tax, diesel tax, VAT on food, property tax, 30% rich man tax, tax on vehicles, cuts in GATE, no laptops, scholarships gone, child grant gone… The government can legally take your money through extensive taxation scheme.

    When taxes go up extensively the price of everything rises except wages. For instance an increase in diesel prices will see transportation cost rise, food and various deliverable rise. It is the net cumulative effect of governance by taxation.

    The government increase taxes but there is no talk about reducing wages in the government services. Increases taxes seems to be the only solution.

  • Hi Mamoo, you did a great job highlighting government wastage during the last PNM rule. I would appreciate if you can give us a similar breakdown from all our governments over the past 25 years.

    To us independents, performance matters. I got an overview from Raffick Shah on governments spending over a 25 year period (1990-2015). He wrote “On the expenditure side, our governments spent $455 billion, of which $251 billion was expended between 2010 and 2015”. Can you use your excellent ability for research and give us a breakdown of the major losses on some of those embarrassing projects?

    • FISCAL YEAR EXPENDITURE
2011 $ 49 Billion
      
2012 $54.6 Billion

      2013 $ 58Billion
      
2014 $61 Billion

      2015 $ 66.4 Billion

      Total $289 Billion

      The total realized budget deficits for these years were $21billion .
      This data proves that the PNM propagandist figure of $400 billion spent is wrong.
      Where de money gorn…
Every minister under the PNM recorded a deficit. This is what the PNM left the PP to deal with:

      Here are some examples:

      CLICO $25 BILLION

      Ministry of Housing $8 BILLION

      WASA $4 BILLION

      Outstanding VAT $2 BILLION

      Owed Contractors $2 BILLION

      Loan for Waterfront $2.7 BILLION

      Outstanding Fuel Subsidy $6 BILLION

      Loan for Tarouba Stadium $500 MILLION
      
Loan for RACKET RAIL $500 MILLION
      
Outstanding Wage Negotiations $9 BILLION
      Udecott debt 7.7 BILLION

      Almost $60 BILLION in outstanding debts and that’s just a fraction, so when PNM and the so-called economists asking where the money going, they must speak the TRUTH.

      The problem Ab was not spending, anyone with a brain would see the PP spent money all over the nation. The problem is the horrible wastage of tax dollars by the PNM.

  • Why single out the PNM when all governments since the NAR have spent more than they earned.By underpricing a project there will be cost over-runs while over-pricing leads to kick-backs.

    • That is the usual excuse I hear. BUT the PP was building schools for $30 million whilst the PNM for $40 million.

  • http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Multi-destination-deal-with-Cuba–Mexico-and-Dom-Rep-close—Bartlett

    Pray someone ,explain to yours truly , why – even with their mammoth Socio- Political problems – our Yardee Hermanos , Y Hermanas, can seem to get it together, while resource laden ,members of the competing tribe , that constitute T&T ,cannot?

    We can hardly balance our Budget since oil / gas prices are still falling, or tourism industry is virtually dead, and our health care sector , is struggling ,due to lack of qualified , caring , competent Doctors , Skilled technicians , and nurses.
    So the THA get’s Sanders hotel chain on the Island Ward , to attract who , and why? Sex tourists needs more than sand ,and aqua salt .
    80 ,000 DR , Venezuelan , Columbian Chicas per year , at 4000 -8000 a pop for a 6 months , Red Light district VIsa, can translate to mucho dollars for a start. Food transport, clothing, dousing – do the Maths.
    Brain Drain from Cuba’s high end Health sector , means win/ win for T&T- more importantly our PM won’t have to do like Kamla , Mannong , and Basdeo , and run abroad every other fortnight , to get medical checkups, since there’ll be quality service right here. Translation-Health Tourism – from breast/ but enhancement,stomach reductions, geriatric services spars etc, etc. What I am saying is , our Yardee neighbors , are otra vez ,beating us to the tape,and I for one is getting sick and tried of it.
    It doesn’t matter really ,whether it’s in the glorified Political Chambers, media pages/ Radio/TV -electronic airwaves,or worst yet , Social media , the T&T bastards , will continually indulge ,in their typical , public ‘pissing contests ,’ on who is smarter, care more , is more civilize ,and did a more lofty job, in pushing our country forward.
    As for the Yardee Brigade, they have a coherent Tourism , and Foreign Policy strategy, their ever patriotic sporting / entertainment heroes, know their roles/ understands their social responsibilities towards their country,and they can bury their political differences, to extradite wanted criminals to Yankee land – Good riddance, to crime Lord ,Christopher Coke / Dudus.

    How did that Tivoli Gardens Bruce Golding guy, die again? Just checking.
    Again , we in still backward T&T ,have White color ,UNC financial supporting bandits, such as Ish/Steve, or Jack- FIFA-Warner, and his one time pal Basdeo Panday , stinking up the joint- and don’t forget one time CJ Sharma , slamming his gate shut, and releasing his hungry pit bulls , on warrant serving Commissioner Paul , who wanted to put him in Prison Blues , to join the High School drop out , illiterate, criminal, low caste bums ,he sent away through de years, while on de Bench,si?

    The self loathing, ungrateful bastard , that is English – White man wannabe – VS Naipaul , achieved world fame , and gives the country the middle finger , but equally prolific Booker winning writer, Marlon James in contrast ….? Well nuff said.

    What’s dat, Anti Islam VS , only got literature rewards , for lambasting Muslims, and the James guy , since it helped bolster the Gay agenda? Well , perhaps so .
    Don Quarry didn’t have no plane named after him, or accepted any glorified Sports Ministry post ,like our Olympian Halsly Crawford.
    Merlene Ottley , just like Don Qurray ,paved the way for Jamaica’s modern day heroes , such as Usain Bolt , and Elaine Thompson.
    She most likely ,never got a big house,and political vote getting bribe , like UNC appointed Senator, Ato Bolton, but who is checking? ‘Where you at,’ Hussain?
    Let me guess. Hanging out in your newly purchased homes in Miami , Canada, or Northumberland? Nope , non, Nunca ,Neyt, for that ain’t how these Yardees roll.
    He is instead ,giving ‘Props,’ to the land of his birth , on every opportunity ,and better yet ,still looking to place same further on the global map.

    http://atlantablackstar.com/2016/09/24/usain-bolt-launches-restaurantentertainment-venture-in-ocho-rios-looks-to-expand-globally/

    ‘Where you at,’ Basdeo Panday? Let’s see, showing some gratitude , that you, and CJ Pal Justice Sharma , as well as ultra White Color HCU bandit Harry Harinarine , ain’t doing jail time ,for your well documented criminal activities?
    Is it attempting to build the Trini Brand, to the global political/ business community , so that more folks , might view job deficient T&T,as a more desirable place for investment, or rather, trying to grab all the glory for every thing that’s great in La Trinity ,since White Massa departed , while simultaneously , looking for the right spot ,below Kamla’s color bone , to slip the carving knife , between her ribs, and pounding heart , the result of which ,can quickly end her political career, so dat your still clueless Princess , or worst yet , that comedian- eat ah food -lawyer brother of yours , can be the next PM?
    Sorry Baz, but that ain’t happening .You might quicker see a copulating South of de Caroni Water Buffalo , and a Charlotville Donkey , dancing in a Couva Temple , than another Panday , as PM in this country.
    Tell you what folks ,I would be tempted to make Jamaica my home , if Jamaica didn’t have 5,000 murders per year ,as opposed to our paltry 315, or didn’t have to cower in fear, every Hurricane season, unlike our T&T , where- since “God is ah Trini”- we don’t have to worry,about Storms named Matthew, except for an occasional , La Romain South flood flood.
    There is another reason why I won’t leave T&T for de Yardee fiefdom. In Jamaica , an adventurous Trini woman disappeared , and is found murdered in gruesome fashion, some time later , no one suspected Human trafficking , or pointed fingers at the police . Matter solved , someone paid a price, wham bam ,slam dunk, & let’s move on!
    Not sexy enough , some say.

    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Taximan-gets-life-in-prison-for-murder-of-Trinidadian-teacher_17229955

    ‘A parliamentarian, Coudray said that she was impressed with Jamaica’s justice system……’
    “What Trinidadians are surprised about is the fast rate at which this trial took place (within two years). They really expressed pleasure that they were quite pleased that within two years they were able to get a verdict…
    … I think that augured well for everything. In Trinidad cases drag on and on and I keep saying the manner in which the whole team — the police officers, the DPP herself — pulled together [despite] difficulties in getting certain evidence. And to me everyone did their best to get this case to trial. And it happened quickly, given the justice system all over.”
    Pay attention folks, as to what this political comedian said , in praising the Jamaican justice system , over that of her own country. So naive ,or more so still traumatized , that she might not be even aware as to why the Yardee Justice appeared on the surface , to be so quick. Won’t happen if the shoes were on the other foot , trust me.
    How ever I digress.
    In La trinity , a Bollywood Wannabe , fake Blond ,34 year old mother disappeared , and suddenly , it’s WW3 . First wrongful arrest of suspended Police officer , and his sister ,as if another PP Unconstitutional Curfew was in progress – no vacation for hundreds of law enforcement blokes ,to get instant justice, and more importantly , escapist conversations about Human Trafficking / Sex Ring, coupled with the usual Pro Victimhood – lamentations ,about Police Negligence , in not solving this case before it was planned. Yep , right up there with Auntie Dana Setahal matter,si?
    Oh , and by de way folks, we have our 6th Minister of National Security, and 4 Commissioner of Police in some 6 years – one of which was lilly White ,and not from St Anns like pre Borroughs / Britannia holdover Tony May, but rather Alberta Canada.
    Last we checked, our once feisty AG Al Awi, was also talking up a storm ,about all dem corrupt politicians, cronies , and family members that raped / plundered our underachieving Pais , over the previous 5 Kamla – PP years, but to date, not a single soul was questioned, arrested, charged , or convicted.
    Go figure!
    What’s dat, he should be given a pass, since an Appeal Court case is still looming, and he is not too certain, if he’ll have a political career- based of course on the actions of dem past PNM Judicial appointees?
    Got that.Point taken , as we like to say on de streets. Just wish fro some real action , that would take de stupid smirk off the face of this super trolling – Mayaro , drunken Tomcat, called Mamboo, dat’s all.
    In time. It did take some time to banish to prison, and confiscate domestic / foreign assets of PNM pro Hart bandits, did it not ?
    I luv this land , Y tu?

    • “Last we checked, our once feisty AG Al Awi, was also talking up a storm ,about all dem corrupt politicians, cronies , and family members that raped / plundered our underachieving Pais , over the previous 5 Kamla – PP years, but to date, not a single soul was questioned, arrested, charged , or convicted.
      Go figure!”

      The PP worked harder than any other government in the history of TNT. For the first time since Eric, rural communities received their due. Eric under the county council program made sure roads were repaired, schools were built and truck borne supply of water reached rural communities.

      After Eric passed rural communities were abandoned. This during the years when billions passed through the treasury. Panday came with low oil dollars and paved some roads but Kamla exceeded them all, paved the roads developed access roads and made sure the people were looked after.

      The accusations of tiefin is just that, a major distraction to the reality of a none performing PNM administration. Over $60 billion collected and not a major project undertaken. Only Lara they fixin. Whilst their Syrian friends await for contracts to pillage the treasury with massive cost over runs and long delays. Name me one contract with massive delays and millions in extra payment by the PP??? I can think of none. Yes the PP is far better at getting value for money and managing the public purse.

  • “The PP worked harder than any other government in the history of TNT…….the PP is far better at getting value for money and managing the public purse.”
    ‘When it comes to Rural Communities, and necessary infrastructural initiatives,Papa Deffy Eric was good, Basdeo Panday, aka National Divider in Chief was better, but Siparia Queen , Auntie K,and her PP, were de Best.’
    Yeah, we get that Mamboo, so Hooray!!!
    Just curious ,and so would like to ask 3 questions,but knowing the ‘hit ,& run , yellow belly coward,’ that you are, I don’t expect to see a response, before the next 4 swearing in ceremonies , for the PNM Administrations.
    Here they are:- 1. Is de stalled ,Point Fortin , Debe-to-Mon Desir Highway project area, within a rural community,& if so, who get’s the bigger blame, for it’s long delay in completion, the Sandhurst,Coup School/Oxford educated,Socialist,Dr. Kublalsing,of ‘Highway Re-Route Movement’ fame, or your Carbal manipulated trickster PM Kamla,and her UNC dominant PP Gang?
    2.If the African dominant PNM , as stated by you ,is so terrible, how do you explain , that they have won some 95 , out of 100 elections,in this country , (with obvious -Indo/Afro Trini-cross tribal support )since White Conniving , evil , Divide ,& Rule Massa departed , in 1962?
    3. If Afro Dominant party A , over said decades,collectively stole $US900 million, but Indo Dominant party B, stole $US899 million , during three terms in office , which is worst, and if both are terrible-in the interest of garnering some,much needed ‘credibility Brownie points’-why only have a humongous hard on for one?
    Listen closely folks . Do you hear dat? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s the echoing sounds, of squeaking Crickets , making their joyful noises, since Mamboo,as expected ,is so loud ,in his silence , re my questions- and of course , you know why?
    With citizens like these , who needs enemies,hmmmmmmm?
    Tell you what folks. There are those who choose to deliberately misconstrue my motives for placing certain admonitions , at the end of my blogging/commentaries.
    One such is -‘ Luv Humanity,& forget the tribe.’ I also take great pains to also add, dat ‘failure so to do , can have dire consequences-‘which isn’t some abstract theory , but is borne out by historical data – especially since the end of the divisive 4 decades old Cold War, between rivals ,USSR,& Pax Americana, where Proxy wars reign supreme.
    Care to guess why Dr Kublalsingh, as a T&T , globally adored environmentalist ,is chiefly concern about the plight of specific issues,as it affects some areas, but not others , at a much wider ,national level?
    Well, if you said , that he too is a tribalist ,and is doomed to fail – for obvious reasons- then you might be correct, since he too is human , brought up in a particular social yes, ..environment. Sociology 101.
    Now if a push for ‘neo tribal fractionalism ,’ reach it’s breaking point , and thousands , unfortunately , die across our land , due to communal violence ,as played out in similar fashion , to places such as Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Kashmir, the Gaza, Rwanda,Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Syria,Yemen , Burundi,Liberia, Sierra Leone,Sudan,Bangladesh,Somalia,Congo ,and Columbia,then perhaps I,as opposed to Dr Kublalsingh , might be the recipient of our country’s 1st Nobel Peace Prize, hmmmmmm?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/world/americas/nobel-peace-prize-juan-manuel-santos-colombia.html?_r=0

    It’s something to work on,but maybe I’m wrong, and hopefully nada comes to this, si?
    Nation Building ain’t easy Mamboo. Listen to the great, crafty , Dr. Kublalsingh,as he builds a case against too much rural development as you are clamoring for.
    Political activism at it’s finest. For the purpose of my point ,notice in this speech folks, who he conveniently gave credit to , for halting development in these neighborhood- A dead African from 300 plus years ago, and his Trinidadian ,great , great, grand daughter , Mrs Ashby,a slave descendant.

    http://tedxportofspain.com/portfolio/dr-wayne-kublalsingh/

    Our interests, are inexplicably linked- and contrary to what some might believe think- you aren’t going to excel/ succeed, at my expense, and vice versa – if you too, are strong enough.
    Long live the Republic of Tobag.., oooops …., lo siento , Trinidad & Tobago.
    I luv this land, Y tu?

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