2008/2009 Trinidad and Tobago Annual Budget Summary

September 27, 2008 at 4:44 am (Politics, Trinidad, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Trinidad is doomed. We are in the age of darkness, i.e. the political lifespan of Patrick Manning and Basdeo Panday. The oblivious fool of a Finance Minister by the name of Karen Nunez-Tesheira, who possesses absolutely no qualifications in finance or economics reminded the world of this fact and delivered the most ridiculous budget in the history of the country. Here are the highlights :

“To reduce traffic congestion (and the resultant road rage and stress), Nunez-Tesheira increased the motor vehicle tax on imported private vehicles according to engine-size as of today in a move that would raise $525 million in revenue.”

What a fucking idiot. As if we need to kill people with taxes to increase revenue given the current price of oil. The majority of the country relies on the ever so unreliable public transportation system. How about improving it so that people who rather not act like uncivilized brutes and animals to fight for a seat in an old shitty Nissan Urvan with no seatbelts at City Gate are not forced to buy their own car? How about improving the fucking road and transport infrastructure to accommodate more vehicles? Are we now being punished for wanting to escape being at the mercy of taxi drivers who arbitrarily hike their fares and other stresses of the public transportation system? Are we being punished for working hard and buying a personal motor vehicle? Where is the “rapid rail” transport??

The price of premium gasoline used by “high end” cars will be raised from $3 to $4 per litre bringing “savings” of $200 million, while retaining the old price for diesel and super- unleaded so there would be no fare-hike by maxi-taxis and other public transport vehicles.

Asshole. A 1994 Nissan B13 Sentra uses premium as well as pretty much every other car, so moot rationale of this price increase. Also, you assume all taxi drivers will be honest enough to say “oh well that doesn’t apply to me because I don’t use premium”….what a dunce.

The disability grant rose from $1,110 to $1,300 at a cost of $40 million. The public assistance grant from a current range of $650-to-$1,250 up to a range of $850-to-$1,450, to benefit 21,000 people at a cost of $50 million.

That whopping $200 in each case should really help with a 12% inflation rate, and funny the name of the grant is the “public” assistance grant as its only given to “private” party hacks.

The senior citizens grant increased from $1,650 to as much as $1,950 (to help 80,000 people at a cost of $240 million), the same new level of the retired public servants pension which benefits 27,000 people at a cost of $70 million.

Fair increase, but thats still only $300 with a 12% inflation rate that will get worse this year.

Water taxis start POS/San F’do service early December with a 45 minute travel time.

You said this last year and we’re still waiting. You (your political party) also said that the rapid rail system is to come on stream soon as well.

Free ferry passes for people 65 years and over for travel between T&T from October 1.

Nothing special.

Increase in stamp duties. For example, properties valued over $850,000 but less than $1.2 million will have stamp duty of three per cent and those over $1.7 million will have a stamp duty of seven-and-a-half per cent.

Its already so expensive, why? As if the middle class needed more problems.

Public service vehicles to be converted to CNG usage.

Don’t believe it, and with only like…10 CNG-equipped gas stations in the country or something, it wouldn’t make sense anyway.

Scholarships for honours students at local/foreign institutions.

Oh fuck it, second class honours is good too.

The Interchange’s Phase Two overpass comes on stream in early 2009.

Hard to believe since it was already delayed like 2 years and the workers are currently on strike, evidenced by me witnessing noone working on it when I passed by today.

A restructured National Lotteries Control Board will use its wide network to process Government transactions including selling bus, ferry and water taxi tickets.

Don’t believe it. Just a random insert of something good similar to the promise last year to fix the 5-10 minute waits for some of the traffic lights on the highway.

Pension reform recommendations being considered include introduction of employee contributions for public servants

Nothing special, its standard all over the world.

Review of a “reverse mortgage” system for Government housing sector.

“Review” in public service terms means long process and nothing done at the end of it.

Tucker Valley mega farm on stream by year end

Downright lie I am in strong disbelief it will be completed anytime soon.

Construction of Alutrint aluminium smelter starts in first quarter of 2009 costing (US) $600 million.

You mean the smelter the population is strongly against? The one all the marches and protests were about? The one for which the public is denied information about concerning the price of gas Alcoa will be buying from us? The one numerous independent studies showed will be totally destructive to the environment and is not for a country as small as Trinidad? Downright insulting to even mention that.

University of T&T and Natural Gas Institute of the Americas to partner in (US)$1.2 billion methanol project with the opportunity for virtual pipeline to supply energy to other Caribbean islands.

Doesn’t mean a fucking thing to the average person.

Establishment of T&T Revenue Authority merging the Inland Revenue Division and Customs Division

Oh, even more bureaucracy? Interesting to see if this happens.

Hyatt Hotel becomes profitable in 2009, four more hotels in the works.

Noone cares. Do we benefit from this profit in any way whatsoever?

$2.46 billion in Heritage/Stabilisation Fund for 2008.

Could have been used for a new highway or maybe some hospitals

Unemployment level at 4.2 per cent, external reserves of (US)$8.5 billion.

No meaning

Government aims to reduce inflation to six per cent

..by increasing government spending via numerous mega-projects and doing nothing about the price of food, incidentally those are 2 strong factors which increase inflation but I guess lawyers never did Intro to Economics I.

Between 2002-2007 there has been a 65 per cent decline in AIDS cases

Well with the murder rate at the 10th highest in the world, which incidentally you did not in any way address in the budget there’s pretty much a decline in everything.



  1. Susan Kishner said,

    Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  2. Sarah said,

    Agree completely with everything you said. Governments always fail their third world countries. I guess that’s why we’re third world in the first place.

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