National Budget

Key Macroeconomic indicators
  • Real GDP growth of 1.9 percent is expected in 2018
  • Expenditure is based on an oil price of US$65.00 per barrel and a gas price of US$2.75 per MMBtu
  • Total Revenue for the fiscal year 2018 was $42.7 billion. Expenditure for 2018 is expected to measure $48.9 billion
  • A fiscal deficit of $6.2 billion (3.9 percent of GDP) is estimated for 2018
  • Total Revenue for the fiscal year 2019 is expected to be $47.724 billion. Expenditure for 2019 is expected to measure $51.776 billion
  • A fiscal deficit of $4.052 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) is projected for 2019
  • The intention is to finance the $4.052 billion deficit from the domestic capital market ($3.826 billion) and external sources ($0.226 billion).

Areas of interest

Fiscal Measures

Social services All measures effective January 1, 2019
  • Increase in value of the food card
    • Households with 1-3 persons: from $410 per month to $510 per month
    • Households with 4-5 persons: from $550 per month to $650 per month
    • Households with 6 and more persons: from $700 per month to $800 per month
  • Disability grant
    • Children under 18 will now receive a disability grant of $1,500 instead of other types of grants.
    • The disability grant for recipients 18 years and over to be increased from $1,800 to $2,000
  • Increase in public assistance grant
    • For 1 person from $1,150 to $1,300
    • For 2 people from $1,400 to $1,550
    • For 3 people from $1,600 to $1,750
    • For 4 or more people from $1,750 to $1,900
  • Cap on senior citizens’ pension increased from $5,000 to $6,000. This will allow a person in receipt of both an NIS pension and a Senior Citizens’ pension to receive $3,000 a month from NIS and up to $3,000 a month in Senior Citizens’ pension.
  • All fines in connection with the prevention of cruelty to children as detailed in the Children’s Act to be increased by 100 percent
  • Health centres at Grande Riviere, Blanchisseuse and Cedros to remain open on a 24/7 basis from January 1, 2019
  • Point Fortin hospital to be operationalised by September 2019 and Arima hospital to be completed by July 2019
  • Stamp duty threshold for residential property to be increased from $850,000 to $1.5 million, effective January 1, 2019
Fuel Subsidy
  • Effective immediately, the fuel subsidy will be reduced on super gasoline, resulting in an increase in the price from $3.97 per litre to $4.97 per litre. The cost of diesel will remain unchanged at $3.41 per litre.
Compliance with the Board of Inland Revenue All measures effective January 1, 2019
  • Penalty/fines to increase from $3,000 to $10,000 for submission of incorrect information on TD1s
  • The threshold for a self-employed person to be subject to Business Levy, to increase from $200,000 to $360,000
  • Penalty for fraud to increase from $50,000 to $250,000
  • Rate of interest for late payment of taxes to be increased from 15 percent to 20 percent

Agriculture: Financial support programme for farmers, with grants up to $100,000, to be launched on October 3, 2018.
The $77 million Moruga Agro-Processing and Light Industrial Park to be completed by March 2019


Procurement: Capacity is being built in the Office of Procurement Regulation, and the new procurement regime could be in place by the first quarter of 2019.

Property tax: The current plan is for the Board of Inland Revenue to issue notices to property owners for the payment of property tax in 2019. Only, 10,000 residential properties have been inspected thus far.

  • Refinery operations losing approximately $2 billion a year
  • Based on short-term loans outstanding, unpaid taxes levies and royalties, maintenance and upgrade costs along with other costs, Petrotrin will require an immediate cash injection of $25 billion and will continue losing $2 billion a year.
  • Settling termination packages for severed workers is expected to cost approximately $2.6 billion.
  • Aggressive exploration and production activity is to be pursued to increase the current level of crude oil production from 40,000 barrels per day to 60,000 barrels per day.
  • The petroleum-based products previously produced by the refinery will now be imported.
Major Allocations

Tobago: Total allocation - $2.229 billion

  • Recurrent expenditure - $1.979 billion
  • Capital expenditure - $0.231 billion
  • Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) - $0.018 billion

Education and Training: Allocation - $7.392 billion

National Security: Allocation - $6.120 billion

Health: Allocation - $5.695 billion

Public Utilities: Allocation - $3.182 billion

Works and Transport: Allocation - $3.546 billion

Rural Development and Local Government: Allocation - $1.760 billion

Housing: Allocation - $1.033 billion

Agriculture: Allocation - $0.780 billion

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