Here are the big figures and announcements of Budget 2023.
Budget theme: "Tenacity and stability in the face of global challenges."
Expenditure: $57.685B (Oil Revenue - $25.019B, Non-Oil Revenue - $30.150 & Capital Revenue - $1.006B)
Oil price assumption is US$92.50 and natural gas US$6 per MMBtu.
As of today, the prices of Premium and Super fuel to raise by $1/litre and Diesel by 50 cents. Premium fuel will now be $7.75 per litre, Super $6.97 per litre, Diesel $4.41 per litre and Kerosene $4.50 per litre.
Increasing personal income tax from $84,000 to $90,000/year, meaning anyone earning $7,500 or less will be exempt from paying income tax from January 1, 2023. A total of 300,000 to benefit and will cost the government $450M per year.
$1,000 one-time transport grant to all recipients of social grants. A total of 175,000 people will benefit.
Airbridge to increase from $150 to $200 one-way. Increase will be $50 million to Caribbean Airlines.
Seabridge, people over 60 to pay $25 one-way. Standard ticket to be raised from $50 $75 one-way. Premium cabins will increase from $100 to $150 one-way. Effective January 1, 2023.
GATE to be provided to anyone who already accessed it at lower levels - diploma, associate degree or lower levels to be allowed to pursue GATE.
VAT registration threshold to increase from $500,000 to $600,000 per year from Jan 1 2023.
Rebates up to $25,000 for investment in renewable energy.
One-time manufacturing tax credit for companies that make investments in new machinery, production lines and equipment up to a maximum of $50,000. It will cost $50M if 1,000 companies utilise this tax credit. Effective January 1, 2023.
Increase investment tax credit from 25% to 30% to stimulate exploration and development. The loss will be $20M annually.
Decrease petroleum profit tax from 35 per cent to 30 per cent for companies in deep water exploration.
Fine for illegal timbering to rise from $20,000 to $100,000 from January 1.
Scrap iron fines for stealing and other offences to increase from $15,000 to $100,000.
To increase by 100% all firearm user licence fees with the exception of assault weapons which will now have significantly higher license fees. Will restrict the ownership of assault weapons from January 1, 2023.
Tax amnesty on penalties and interests in taxes owed up to December 2021. The amnesty will run from November 14, 2022 to February 17, 2023.
People in Port-of-Spain
T&T has $US6.8 billion in reserves or over 8 months of import cover.
Economy expected to recover with real GDP growth of 2 per cent.
The fiscal deficit has been reduced to $2.43 billion, down from $9.1 billion at the time the last Budget was read.
Deficit of 1.3% of GDP expected in 2022.
US$163 million deposited into Heritage and Stabilisation Fund.
Based on the current borrowing and repayment schedule, Government expects no significant increase in our debt from December 2021 to 2022.
The decline in natural gas production that began in 2020 has been reversed. T&T to end the year with production at 2.75 million standard cubic feet per day.
Government will adjust the Supplemental Petroleum Tax Regime to motivate more companies to produce more oil.
People & Jobs:
In Fiscal 2023, Government to allocate the sum of $210 million as a special payment to be distributed to health workers in T&T, involving ex-gratia payments to over 20,000 health workers.
The Minister announced that over 90,000 persons in Public Service have kept their jobs and paid salaries on time and that over 50,000 jobs in the wider sector have been kept whole.
Government expects to have the full operation of Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Bank in early 2023, a merger between T&T Mortgage Finance and Home Mortgage Bank.
Government intends to begin collecting Property Tax in 2023. Legal framework already in place but simple amendments required before the end of 2022.
A gas station attendant fills a container at the NP Service station at the corner of Park and Edward Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. 3/10/22
The fuel subsidy will cost taxpayers $2.2 billion in the coming year. "We are firm in our view that this level of expenditure on fuel is not productive and that taxpayers' money could be better spent elsewhere." Money spent on fuel subsidy should be capped at $1 billion. A further adjustment in fuel prices is required. Premium fuel will now be $7.75 per litre, Super $6.97 per litre, Diesel $4.41 per litre and Kerosene $4.50 per litre.
Public Sector Wages:
"We are firm in our view that our current offer of 4 per cent over 2014 to 2019 for the mainstream Public Service, although it would be a challenge to raise the required funds, is practical and equitable."
Fuel subsidy could cost up to $50 billion if union demands are met. Our offer of a 4 per cent increase is the best we can do. Even at this level we will have to dig deep to find the $4.6B in back pay stemming from this.
A further $100 million has been allocated to Road Repair company, making immediately available, a total of $200 million for the repair of secondary roads. Additional allocations also provided to 14 municipal corporations. Also raised $250 million for PURE for Fiscal 2023 and Ministry of Works given $1 billion in development programme in 2023.
Additional sum of $300 million for agriculture incentives, infrastructure and programmes in this year's Budget.
Small and medium-sized businesses:
Government to allocate $500 million - in partnership with commercial banks - for a new long-term loan guarantee scheme for small and medium entities. First Citizens will manage in collaboration with other commercial banks. Govt guarantee will be 80 per cent of loans for up to 10 years.
HDC apartment Vieux Fort #1 George Cabral Circular Street, St James, Port-of-Spain.
Government will provide $1.5 billion to the HDC in 2023 to refocus on its mandate to construct affordable housing. The sum will come via three loan guarantees - $500 million for the restart of stalled projects, $500 million to settle debts owed to contractors and a further $500 million for the construction of new units.
Tobago to be given $2.521 billion which represents 4.3% of the total Budget. This breaks down as $2.194 billion for recurrent expenditure, $300 million for development, $18 million for URP and $9.2 million CEPEP. This represents an increase of $185 million over last year.
Also $125 million is accessible through loan financing finalised earlier this year and a further US$15 million in loan financing arranged.
A total of $735.5 million allocated to various ministries and state agencies to undertake and execute major programmes in Tobago under Sixth Schedule of THA Act. This means the overall allocation of expenditure in Tobago exceeds $3 billion.