Chairman of the Tobago Business Chamber Martin George has described the island’s $2.585 billion allocation in the 2024 national budget as “fairly consistent.”
On Monday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert presented the budget in the House of Representatives. For Tobago, he said $2.298 million has been allocated for recurrent expenditure, $260 million for the development programme and $18 million for the Unemployment Relief Programme.
He said the allocation was $64.2 million more than last year's.
In June, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) requested $4.54 billion.
Responding to Newsday via a pre-recorded WhatsApp video on Wednesday, George said the allocation given to Tobago “appears fairly consistent with the allocation from last year, except that it is a little bit more than what was given....
“We see recurrent expenditure taking up at least about 88 per cent of the budgetary allocation. That indicates that all you are doing is spending money on wages, salaries, expenses, bills, paying rentals and all things that really are just your essentials to continue running operations.”
He said the Tobago House of Assembly is not investing or developing anything, and needs to find new and more creative ways to ensure it can access funding and financing for development projects and infrastructure on the island.