CEPEP worker cleaning up after the passage of Tropical Storm Karen

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. 


-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

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-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.


Government has allocated $7 million “in the first instance” to its bulb replacement programme which is expected to last over a two-year period, Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte said yesterday.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert says his 2019/2020 $53 billion budget presented on Monday was no “election budget”. He said, if it were, then expenditure for fiscal 2020 would have been $60 billion.

Economists have raised a red flag over Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s 2020 national budget, saying it is full of election goodies but lacking in long term sustainable measures to create revenue.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley opened a $10.8 million walkover in Diego Martin yesterday, as he disclosed that more will be built along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway.

“CEPEP workers are the hardest-working people I know. I see them out very early from around 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. I don’t know about the backpay. We would have to discuss it at a later date.”