TODAY Tobagonians will be glued to their televisions to hear the 2018/2019 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Budget presentation brought by Secretary for the Division of Finance and the Economy Joel Jack.
Jack will present his 6th budget at 10 am at the Tobago Legislature Chamber, uptown Scarborough. He told Tobago Newsday that his presentation will be focused on housing, tourism, agriculture, human capital development and facilitating private sector thrust, basically the same as in the 2017/18 budget presentation.
During a post media Executive Council media briefing, earlier this month, Jack said Tobago’s economy is on the way to recovery and added that because of this, he is very optimistic about Tobago’s future in terms of its human development.
Jack said, “when we look at the positive news that we continue to see emerge on the national and global scene as it relates to our economy, I can point to the price of oil and gas hovering over 60 dollars.
“Additionally, I am enthused by the recent visit of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to China, the United Kingdom and Australia. The news coming out of those visits also adds to my confidence level as well. It also point to the fact of a thrust on Trinidad and Tobago’s position in the energy sector where we get our main revenues as we continue to focus on diversification.”
Jack noted that there has been improvement in the tourism sector as well as growth in the manufacturing and ITC sectors throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The THA deputy chief secretary added further that there is a noticeable level of confidence by the private sector to invest in Tobago through the increasing number of developmental projects and major construction projects underway.
Last year, the Assembly asked for $5 billion from central government but received a little over 2.201 billion; a decrease of 6.8 percent from the parliamentary allocation for fiscal 2016/2017.
In his reading of the 2017/2018 National Budget, Finance Minister Colm Imbert stated that the budgetary allocation to the Assembly would be $2.1936 billion, of which $1.86 billion will be for recurrent expenditure, $315.683 million for capital expenditure and $18 million for the unemployment relief programme. This allocation, Imbert said, 4.34 percent of the national Budget