AMCHAM: Gov't on budget
AMCHAM T&T says the Government is on budget at this point in the fiscal year.
Commenting on the Colm Imbert's Statements in the Report on the Finance Committee, AMCHAM says they note that the budget will still require significant deficit financing at the end of this period.
"The minister articulated that within current circumstances we are on track to achieve fiscal balance by 2020. That said, there is much time between today and fiscal 2020 and our expectation is that the Government will maintain the current course to ensure balance by the year 2020 or before. Further, in curtailing expenditure, our hope is that low spend is not linked to an inability to execute or non-implementation of plans and programs, but rather a result of real savings," the organisation says.
Focusing on the Property Tax, AMCHAM says within the presentation, the Minister of Finance addressed measures being taken on the implementation of the tax, however, they expressed hope that there will be adequate discussion on industrial property tax prior to its implementation.
"Earlier articulation surrounding the tax on industry suggests that there may be a negative impact on reinvestment and new investment," AMCHAM says.
AMCHAM is also urging the Finance Minister to make necessary revisions to the SPT in the 2017/2018 budget, noting that ultimately boosting oil production will lead to greater revenue.
On the issue of forex and the stated priority to be given to trade and manufacturing, AMCHAM says this is the status quo and will unlikely result in any significant change.
"The Government of Trinidad and Tobago needs to articulate a clear set of long-term plans and initiatives to address these and other issues to inspire greater confidence in the local economy," AMCHAM says.