Colm Imbert

Finance minister: Colm Imbert

SOME of the new measures that were announced by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in the 2020 national budget have come into effect on Sunday.

In a full page advertisement yesterday, Government reminded citizens of the measures that took effect from December 1.

From this month, employees of the Unemployed Relief Programme (URP) and the Community-Based Environment Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) will get a 15 per cent increase in their wages.

Trainees of the On-the-Job Training Programme will see a ten per cent hike in their stipends while the intake for the programme will be increased from 5,000 to 8,000 trainees.

The new minimum wage of $17.50 also takes effect from this month, up from $15 per hour.

Some other measures announced in the budget will take effect from January 1.

They include:

• Increase in the solar water heating equipment tax credit from 25 per cent to 100 per cent of the cost of the solar water-heating equipment up to a maximum of $10,000

• Increase in the value of personal goods that can be imported without incurring customs duties from $3,000, which was set in 2005, to $5,000.

• Capital allowance for energy companies involved in exploration and development to be computed on a straight-line basis of 20 per cent over five years, instead of 50 percent for the first year, 30 percent for the second year and 20 percent for the third year.


Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (RFHL) reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $9.73 for the year ended September 30, 2019, a 19.2 per cent year on year (YoY) increase from an EPS of $8.16 recorded in 2018.

CONFUSION greeted reports that appeared in most of the daily papers last week about the interpretation of an award delivered by the Industrial Court in Complaint no. GSD-IRO 36 of 2018 between OWTU and Trinidad Cement Ltd.

FOR making the most progress over the past year, Scotiabank has been named Trinidad and Tobago’s Bank of the Year 2019 by The Banker magazine. The Banker magazine is a monthly international financial affairs publication owned by the Financial Times Ltd of the United Kingdom.

THERE was a time when the economy was so bad, people could not even buy Crix. So says chairman of the Bermudez Biscuit company, Robert Bermudez, as he insists T&T is not a failed state.