Shortly before 5p.m Finance Minister Colm Imbert took his seat after delivering a three and a half hour Budget presentation that will benefit senior citizens, single mothers, senior citizens, low income earners and farmers.
THE BUDGET HIGHIGHTS
-Total revenue 2020- $47.74 billion
-Oil revenue- $11.004 billion
Non-oil revenue $35.795 billion
-Capital revenue- $0.95 billion
-Total expenditure $53.036 billion
-Fiscal deficit 5.28 billion
-Imbert to introduce shelters for women who have been displaced due to family conflict, domestic violence, crime and other issues
-Gov’t proposes to introduce daycare centres to cater for children under three years old.
-15% wages increases for CEPEP and URP workers. 15% increase in fees to CEPEP contractors. Measures to take effect from December 1, 2019.
-Minimum wage to be increased from$15 to $17.50 per from December 1, 2019
-Personal allowance at airports: value of personal goods that can be imported without incurring customs duties to be increased from $3000, to $5000 effect December 1, 2019.
-Retired daily daily paid workers in public service to be eligible for pension of $3500 per month. New plan to take effect in 2020.
-Gov’t to ban the importation of Styrofoam for use in the food service industry and require manufacturers of food containers to introduce additives to make their products biodegradable
-Ban use of plastic bottles in public offices, to take effect from January 1, 2020
-Gov’tTo extend the promotional expenses allowance provision to first time exporters into the CARICOM market
-No taxes for registered farmers
-VAT refunds: Propose to offer in the first instance $3 billion in interest bearing Government bonds to all eligible VAT registered businesses to meet their VAT arrears. VAT bonds to have a tenure of five years and bear interest of 1.5% per annum.
- 6 million tax allowance for companies that sponsor sporting activities.
- Removal if all taxes and duties on LED bulbs and appurtenances
-Gov't to increase the solar water heating equipment
- Tax credit from 25% to 100 % of the cost of the Solar Water
- Heating Equipment up to a maximum of $10,000. Initiative to benefit
- Approximately 12,000 households and will take effect from January 1 2020.
[-OJT stipends to increase by 10 % from December 1, 2019.