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Howai: 4 more years of deficit budgeting
President of the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), Dominic Hadeed said in order to gauge whether deficit budgeting is appropriate for the T&T economy there is need for the Minister of Finance, Larry Howai to disclose what the borrowed money would be spent on. He added if the borrowed money is spent on intiatives which would improve the productivity of the country, then it would be prudent to borrow money.
On Tuesday, Howai held budget consultations with sections of the labour movement. Howai said T&T’s revenue had declined by $10 billion over the last four years because of the global economic recession. He said: “$10 billion is a huge sum, which could make a significant difference in this country if we had it but if you lose $10 billion in income in a short period of time, you have to do something with expenses to bring yourself back in line.
“We recognise we cannot do it right away and we have to phase ourselves in.” Howai pointed out that gas and oil prices during the middle of the last decade were much higher than they were now. He said: “The gas price in the middle of the last decade was US$10 to US$12 per mmbtu (million metric British thermal units) and it is now US$2 per mmbtu and oil in 2008 was US$140 a barrel and now it is about half of what it was then.” The consultative process with different stakeholders will end on July 31.
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