Top takeaways from 2022 budget

In this file photo, Liza De Verteuil does her grocery shopping at Massy Stores, Mandalay, Arima. - Photo by Angelo Marcelle
In this file photo, Liza De Verteuil does her grocery shopping at Massy Stores, Mandalay, Arima. - Photo by Angelo Marcelle

On Monday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert read the 2022 budget in Parliament.

Here are some outstanding takeaways:

Tax exemptions on select food items, electric cars, technology

VAT will be removed from more basic food items from November 1.

These include biscuits, cooking oil, canned vegetables, cornflakes, canned fish and meat, curry, juice, sausages and ham, ketchup, bottled water and pigtail. He said a full list will be published soon.

From January 1, VAT and customs duty will be removed from specified therapy equipment and communication devices for the hearing and visually-impaired, those with physical mobility disabilities, disability safety peripherals and communication devices.

All customs duty, motor vehicle and value added tax will be removed from imported battery-powered electric vehicles, with an age limit on used vehicles of two years.

Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) office courier, Daniel Ramsepaul demonstrates how to charge the company’s electric vehicle outside the RIC’s Wrightson Road, Port of Spain office. Members of the public can charge their vehicles at the charging station. Photo by Jeff K Mayers

This will be reviewed after two years and will take effect from January 1, 2022.

VAT will be removed from all remaining computer hardware and software that is not yet tax-free from January 1.

Tobago to get hotel and tour support programme

The Tobago House of Assembly was allocated $3.57 billion and Imbert said $50 million will be allocated for a hotel and tour programme, $30 million for farmland development and $20 million for "green spaces."

He said Tobago's tourism and hotel sector requires “much needed capital" for stakeholders whose businesses have been affected by the covid19 pandemic.

Sunrise over the horizon at The Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Lowlands, Tobago. Photo by Jeff K Mayers

More support for SMEs

$50 million will go towards professional services and supports to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the areas of accounting, record-keeping, training, management, inventory control and health and safety.

He also said there will be a five per cent tax reduction for SMEs focused on technology solutions, digitisation and construction.

Penalty for overweight trucks increases

The fixed penalty for overweight trucks on the roads will increase from $750 to $8,000.

Namalco Construction Services heavy-duty trucks at the company's headquarters, La Brea Industrial Estate. - Photo by Lincoln Holder

HDC to restructure

The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) will be restructured in 2022 to distinguish between the landlord function and developmental function.

Increase in tax allowance for first-time homeowners

The first-time homeowner limit will be increased from $25,000 to $30,000 per household on mortage interest paid for five years (from acquisition date).

T&TEC rebate to increase, 'cash card' for WASA customers

The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) rebate will increase from 25 per cent to 30 per cent on bills $300 and lower.

As for the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), Imbert said a "utility cash card" will be made available to low-income and vulnerable groups to access subsidies for electricity and water "once the prices for these services are regularised."

WASA's regional office at Trincity. -

TTWifi to extend reach

TTWifi's free internet services will extend to all schools, health centres and transport hubs.

Steelbands to become 'tourism ambassadors'

Imbert said "any or all steelbands" will be branded as tourism ambassadors to showcase local talent and create employment opportunities for young people.

Hadco Phase II Pan Groove Junior Steel Orchestra in performance at the 2020 Junior Panorama competition.  -

Online local marketplace for creatives

He said the government plans to develop an "online store to generate income for local craftspersons to advertise and sell their work."

National digital IDs for citizens

Imbert said in keeping with digitisation, the pilot project for digital IDs will be launched in 2022. He said this will improve the management and issuing of social service grants and access to and provision of health services.

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"Top takeaways from 2022 budget"

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