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Wednesday, April 26 2017 @ 07:53 AM AST

Super gasoline and diesel prices to rise 15% in Trinidad & Tobago: Finance Minister Colm Imbert


Above UPDATED Saturday, April 8, 2016

Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced this today during his 2015/2016 budget statement in Parliament in Port of Spain.

Restoring Confidence and Rebuilding trust - let's do this together! -- was the budget theme

Budget calculated on a US$45 per barrel of oil price; and US$2.75 per mmbtu (Henry Hub) gas price, and US$8 per mmbtu gas price in Indonesia.


FOREX

"Current (forex) situation is untenable": Imbert said

Central Bank asked to re-establish forex distribution system of prior to 2014: Imbert said

Central Bank asked to clear backlog of requests for US dollars: Imbert said


IMF WAS HERE:

IMF team visited just after the election at invitation of govt: Imbert


MORE from Imbert:

- Output declined in energy sector and in non-energy sector too

- Energy exports fell in 2015 to US$7.5 billion from 2010-2014 average of US$12.7 billion

- "Sharp decline in export receipts"

- Overdraft of Central Bank was 90% "over limit" but crisis was averted.

- Corporation taxes from energy companies will be nominal this year when it exceeded $18 billion previously.

- "Continued and sizeable deficits over next 3 years" must be avoided: Imbert

- Energy sector contribution to GDP fell to 37.2% in 2014 from 40% previously: Imbert

- On diversification, Imbert promises:

- - to re-take up the international financial centre (IFC)

- - create a ship building industry using existing dry dock facilities

- Tobago gets $2.772 billion allocation or 4.4% of national budget - above the legal limit.

- Government to increase business levy; commence reduction of fuel subsidy; phase in property tax and more.

- Free internet coming throughout country, starting with free hotspots, and free broadband internet in schools.

OVERALL:

Trinidad and Tobago presents $63 billion (an almost US$10 billion) budget 2015/2016.

Imbert aims to balance budget by 2018.

EXPENDITURE:

Expenditure in 2015/2016 projected at $63 billion (including $5 billion in one-off arrears payment to public sector workers)

REVENUE:

Revenue projected in 2015/2016 at $60.28 billion

- Revenue from oil in 2015 was $13 billion, which is $8 billion less than budget estimate

DEFICIT:

Deficit for FY 2015/2016: 2.8 billion or 1.7% of GDP

Deficit for FY 2014/2015: $7 billion or 4.2% of GDP

- Imbert wants "to get out of the trap of spending more than we earn."


GDP:

GDP forecast: 1%-1.4% per year over next three years

In March 2016 government will do mid-year review of budget.


TAX:

- VAT reduced to 12.5% from 15%

- Threshold for (merchants) paying VAT raised from $360k income per year to $500k income per year effective January 1, 2016

- Property tax will be introduced from January 1, 2016


FUEL SUBSIDY

Trinidad and Tobago government will reduce its fuel subsidy, and increase the prices of super gasoline from $2.70 per litre to $3.11 per litre, and of diesel, also by 15%, from $1.50 per litre to $1.72 per litre immediately. Imbert said this measure will reduce annual fuel subsidy by $340 million, yet the fuel subsidy in 2016 will still exceed $1 billion.

Gas stations were filled with people filling up this evening.

For the full budget documents visit: http://finance.gov.tt/budget-statemen...sentation/

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