Jude Bissoon

HEALTHY CHOICE: Vendor Jude Bissoon sells a pineapple and watermelon to Lu Ann Lewis on Charlotte Street, Port of Spain, yesterday. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY

AS THE countdown to Monday’s budget day presentation by Finance Minister Colm Imbert intensifies, Port of Spain vendors and Charlotte Street shoppers said they are hoping for a drastic reduction in food prices and an increase in minimum wage to about $18 or $20 an hour.

Several pensioners said they would like an increase in their pensions. While some people are also clamouring for houses, others are hoping there would not be an increase in gas prices. The consensus among people was they were disgusted with escalating crime. The population is also expecting local government and general election dates to be announced soon.

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This week, we at Bourse review some of the highlights of the fiscal year 2020 (FY2020) budget, as presented by the Minister of Finance last week Monday. We also take a look at some of the main fiscal stimulus measures mentioned and the investor opportunities which might be on the horizon.

A POLITICAL fight has broken out between Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Finance Minister Colm Imbert over the sale of CLICO/BAT traditional insurance portfolios.

FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert said the Board of Inland Revenue targeted the “big taxpayers” in the recent tax amnesty, which netted $2.38 billion for the Government’s coffers, over than four times more than was predicted.

US-based travel and hospitality conglomerate, Apple Leisure Group, has been chosen to run Tobago’s 198-room Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort. Finance Minister Colm Imbert revealed yesterday that Apple Leisure was chosen from among a few foreign hotel operators.