PORT OF SPAIN – Finance Minister Larry Howai today presented the biggest National Budget in the country’s history, and detailed how Government intends to spend more than $58.4 billion in fiscal year 2012/2013.
In presenting the “People’s Budget” in the House of Representatives at the Port of Spain International Waterfront Centre, Howai projected a deficit of $7.69 billion.
The People’s Partnership coalition’s third fiscal package saw Government reducing the fuel subsidy.
As a result, the price of premium unleaded gasoline has been increased from $4 a litre to $5.75 a litre.
The price of super unleaded gasoline and diesel remains unchanged.
The Budget has been pegged at an oil price of US $75 per barrel of oil and US $2.75 per thousand cubic feet of gas.
Howai concluded, “we have established a roadmap to bring our budget into balance by 2016, if not before. We would balance the need for creating the confidence and trust of our citizens in our fiscal position with the need for supporting growth and development and for generating quality jobs and prosperity. Our state enterprise sector will have to do more with less resources. They must do so through a greater focus on higher performance standards and higher worker productivity.
“The maintenance of stimulus would underpin our growth dynamics which are being anchored on an increasing private sector involvement in the economy and improving competitiveness. Central to this process is our commitment to consultation with all our stakeholders. Growth will be further supported by high educational standards, by an increased credit flow from our financial institutions and generally, by a commitment of our national community to hard work, discipline and increased productivity.” (Trinidad Express)