National Budget

Key Macroeconomic indicators
  • Real GDP is expected to contract by 2.3% in 2016
  • Expenditure is based on an oil price of US$48.00 per barrel and a gas price of $2.25 per mmbtu
  • Total Revenue for the fiscal year 2017 is expected to be $47.4 billion. Expenditure for 2017 is expected to measure $53.4 billion
  • A fiscal deficit of $6 billion (3.9% of GDP) is projected for 2017

Areas of interest

Tax measures:
  • The existing Property Tax Act with a flat rate of 3 percent will be fully implemented in 2017. It will be based on The Property Tax Act 2009 with minor amendments to the Valuation of Land Act.
  • A new tax bracket for high income individuals and companies will be introduced on January 1, 2017. A 30 percent tax will be charged on individuals whose chargeable income exceeds $1 million per annum and on companies with chargeable profits also in excess of $1 million per annum.
  • Excise / customs duty on tobacco to be increased by 15 percent and 20 percent on alcohol effective October 20, 2016.
  • A 7 percent tax is to be applied on purchases that arrive in Trinidad and Tobago through courier companies or are brought in directly by individuals via air freight. This is effective October 20, 2016

New Measures:

  • The Revenue Authority will be established in fiscal 2017 and it is expected to help reduce the incidence of tax evasion and to facilitate greater transfer of information between the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) and the Customs and Excise Division.
  • The price of diesel will increase by 15 percent with immediate effect. As a result, the price will now be $2.30 per litre, up from $1.98 per litre. The price of diesel is now 75 percent of the true market price.

Benefits and Incentives:

  • All approved agro-processing operations will now be tax free for only qualified applicants. The qualifying criteria will be that at least 75 percent of the processing of agricultural products must be done in Trinidad and Tobago and 75 percent of the ingredients must be produced or harvested locally. This measure will be implemented in the second quarter of fiscal 2017.
  • The government has widened the income bracket for lower income families who are seeking housing. The qualifying income for the 2 percent financing regime was increased from $10,000 to $14,000 and the property value from $850,000 to $1 million. Under the 5 percent facility, the qualifying income was raised from $14,001 to $30,000 and the property value from in excess of $1 million to $1.5 million.
  • The government will provide a 50 percent tax relief and other fiscal incentives to businesses which are able to mobilize private sector funding to provide public infrastructure and/or public facilities, amenities and services, now provided solely by the government. This measure will be implemented in the first half of 2017.
  • The government proposed to issue general savings bonds with different maturities to encourage citizens to save for specific purposes. They also intend to introduce Housing Bonds (specifically linked to the purchase of housing) and Education Bonds (linked to education expenses) in 2017.
  • Foreign yacht repair services will now be exempt from VAT, effective from the first quarter of 2017.
  • Households with a monthly electricity bill of $300 or lower, will get a 25 percent rebate on their bill amount. This measure will take effect from December 1, 2017

Imminent Plans:

  • The list of infrastructure development projects to commence in 2017, include the Pt. Fortin Highway project, the Moruga Port and the Wallerfield to Manzanilla Highway.
  • The US$10 million revolving loan facility from the EXIMBANK of Trinidad and Tobago, which is used to assist local exporters in accessing new markets, will be expanded and increased in 2017.
  • The construction of the International Airport Terminal at Crown Point in Tobago is now scheduled to start in 2017.
  • In fiscal 2017, 7 additional CNG refuelling stations would become available to the public.
  • The government intends to generate revenue from the sale of the following assets:
    • 51 percent of the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited shareholding in Trinidad and Tobago NGL Limited (TTNGL)
    • 20 percent of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) shareholding in First Citizens Holdings Limited
    • 50 percent of the industrial estates now under the remit of Evolving Technologies and Enterprise Development Company Limited (eTeck)
    • 20 percent of Trinidad Generation Unlimited (TGU) to institutional investors such as the National Insurance Board and the Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation
  • In 2017, the government intends to pursue the partial divestment of Lake Asphalt to an International Strategic Partner.

Tobago: Total allocation - $2.354 billion

  • Recurrent expenditure - $2.045 billion
  • Capital expenditure - $0.289 billion
  • Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) - $0.02 billion

National Security: Allocation -$7.625 billion

Education and Training: Allocation - $7.222 billion

Health: Allocation - $6.25 billion:

Public Utilities: Allocation - $3.293 billion

Works and Transport: Allocation - $2.087 billion

Rural Development and Local Government: Allocation - $1.919 billion

Agriculture: Allocation - $0.766 billion

Housing: Allocation - $0.664 billion

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