Finance Minister Colm Imbert has announced a $52.4 billion Budget for the next fiscal year.
The following are some of the highlights collated by Guardian Media.
Budget Theme: Resilience in the Face of a Global Pandemic.
Assumptions for oil and gas prices for 2022 are US$65/barrel and gas US$3.75 per mmbtu for Budget 2022.
Total Revenue: $43.333B
Total Expenditure $52.429B
Ministries: Education $6.886 billion, Health $6.395 billion, National Security $5.664 billion, Works & Transport $3.577 billion, Public Utilities $2.671 billion, Rural Development and Local Government $1.656 billion, Agriculture $1.249 billion, Housing $610 million.
Real economic activity expected to contract slightly in 2021 as non-energy is expected to contract same rate as energy sector, 1 per cent.
Expect 2.3 per cent pick-up in non-energy sector growth in 2022.
13 per cent energy sector growth expected in 2022.
Plan to return to fiscal surplus in 2023.
Oil prices expected to stabilise at approximate US$66 from 2022 to 2024.
Some of the fiscal measures:
Reduction of tax rate by 5 per cent for significant exporters of local goods. Over 500 exporters to benefit at cost of $45 million - Jan 1, 2022.
Reduction of 5 per cent in tax rate for SME companies whose core business is technology solutions and digitization with that contribution more than 50 per cent of annual revenues – Jan 1 2022.
Penalties overweight trucks: Fine increase to $8,000 - Jan 1, 2022.
Reduction of 5 per cent for manufacturing sector for 2 years on qualifying projects and activities that create advancement and growth in manufacturing sector and must include digitization and technologies. This excludes energy companies. - Jan 1, 2022.
Recruitment of 100 recently qualified accountants and UWI grads to enhance revenue collection. They will graduate to the TT Revenue Authority when it comes on board.
Increase limit from $25,000 to $30,000 on mortgage interest paid by 1st time homeowners for 5 years with effect of date of acquisition – Jan 1 2022.
All customs duties, motor vehicle and VAT to be removed on importation of battery power electric vehicles with age limit of no more than 2 years – Jan 1 2022.
Removal of all VAT and customs duty on specified therapy equipment for hearing impaired, visually impaired, physical disability etc – Jan 1 2022.
Divestment of 10,869,565 First Citizens ordinary shares to raise $550 million.
Utility rebates increase from 25-35% on bills $300 or lower – 1 Jan 2022.
Removal of all duties, taxes on all remaining computer hardware, software and peripherals that still attract taxes – Jan 1, 2022.
List of basic food items to no longer attract VAT – includes biscuits, cooking oil, ketchup, bottle water, pigtail. Full list to be published soon. – Nov 1 2021
Economic Growth: Government estimates rate of decline of economy to decelerate from 7.4% to 1%, based on the energy economy.
US Dollars: US$16.4 billion at present provides Government creditworthiness and can easily cover external debt liabilities.
We anticipate higher energy revenue due to higher prices and more output.
Natural gas expected to increase to 2.77bcf in 2022 and 3.37 bcf in 2023. Oil and condensate production expected to rise to 64,000 barrels per day by end of 2021 and 86,000/day in 2022.
Bid rounds to include 11 deepwater blocks, 12 land blocks, 25 open water blocks.
A comprehensive review of our oil and gas taxation regime soon to include petroleum profits tax, supplemental petroleum tax and royalty, relevance of suite of incentives, licensing regimes and production sharing contracts to ensure motivation for bids and at same time ensure T&T citizens get fair share of resources.
Tax Amnesty: $1 billion raised in 2021 tax amnesty.
Allocation to be $2.357 billion, to include $2.075 billion for recurrent expenditure, $264 million for capital expenditure and $18 million for the URP programme. This represents 4.5 per cent of Budget.
Tobago to be given $50 million for Tobago Hotel and Tourism Support.
$30 million for farmland development in Tobago.
$788 million to be spent in Tobago by Government agencies and statutory authorities
Gambling Industry: Estimate that gambling industry is $16 billion industry and tax collection can be as high as $500 million per annum. Expect to generate first streams of gaming revenue in 2022.
Property Tax: We believe that the resumption of collection of taxes on property is long overdue and we envisage Property Tax collection as a significant revenue item for Local Govt in the years ahead.
Housing: In 2022, Govt will restructure HDC to make distinction between landlord function and developmental function. Merger of TTMF and Home Mortgage Bank for greater turnover of loans for housing. Expected by 1st half of fiscal 2022.
Liberalisation of fuel prices being finalised with due regards to impact on lower-income sector.
Kerosene and LPG will remain subsidised.
Will establish for each citizen and Digital ID account. Pilot project in 2022 for social service grants and health services.
TTWifi to rollout free internet at all schools, all health centres, transport hubs. Broadband services to be delivered to underserved facilities.
Number of ICT centres in digitally underserved communities will be increased to 50, up from the current number of 6.
100 per cent guarantee for SMEs loans. SMEs will not be required to be up-to-date with BIR and NIS payments to access loans but must give commitment to become up-to-date to 2019 and 2020 figures when disbursement is made.
$50 million for professional support to SMEs.
VAT: Accelerated VAT refunds amounted to $3.8 billion. Government intends to continue issuing more VAT refunds in next year.
1st phase of Sangre Grande Highway should be completed in 2022
Valencia to Toco Road construction to begin 2022
Pt Fortin Highway to continue
Vehicular and pedestrian bridge in Diego Martin to be completed in 2022
Macoya Interchange to begin construction in 2022
$300 million to agricultural stimulus package fund in 2022.
An access road repair programme to cover 80 kilometres, and benefit over 400 farmers at cost of $75 million.
Rice parboiling plant in Couva will begin construction in 2022 among other investments.
Some steel bands to be branded Tourism Ambassadors.
KLM Airlines to begin service before the end of the year.
Several hotels to complete construction in 2022.
750 to be employed in construction of Marriott Hotel in Tobago and 250 permanent employees when completed in 2025.
Expecting that all sporting events with fans attending will be permitted again in 2022, depending on success of vaccination programme.
Considering hosting some games of England's tour of WI in February 2022.
Labour: Moving to settle outstanding wage negotiations in Public Service. Instructed CPO to commence outstanding wage negotiations in 2022. Also regularise employment arrangements for nurses on contract arrangements.
US$18.1 or TT$123.1 million of general revenues on vaccines so far.
Over $5 billion already allocated for COVID relief.
51,493 grants given as food and income support to people who had lost jobs at value of $221.4 million.
A further provision of $200 million for COVID-19 relief made in this 2022 Budget.
Sustained vaccination programme to continue into 2022 to meet WHO's target of 70 per cent as soon as possible.
This list was compiled by Guardian Media Limited.