Last update: 10-Dec-2013 12:37 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Time to rethink our transfers and subsidies
In presenting the 2014 budget yesterday, Minister of Finance Larry Howai said he proposes to spend $61.4 billion and collect $55.04 billion, leaving the country with an estimated deficit during the 2014 fiscal year of $6.35 billion, or 3.6 per cent of GDP. The revenue assumptions are based on economic growth of 2.5 per cent in the 2014 fiscal year and on oil and gas price assumptions of US$80 per barrel and US$2.75 per mmBtu.
The oil and gas assumptions may seem conservative, given current global energy prices and the likelihood that these will remain at their current elevated levels, given the recoveries in the United States and Europe. But one of the issues that Mr Howai may face in the 2014 fiscal year, which begins on October 1, is whether the amount that the Government proposes to spend next year appropriately safeguards the economy from the predictable price volatility of T&T’s main petrochemical exports.
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