Chamber: It's unfortunate much attention being given to just one comment from post-Budget forum

The Chamber of Industry and Commerce says it is unfortunate that much national attention is being focused on a comment made from the floor at its post-Budget forum on Tuesday, rather than on the substance of what was shared at that forum.

The Chamber has issued a statement urging all citizens to work together against the challenges the country currently faces.

The following is the statement by the Chamber:

Seepersad-Bachan: 12.5% royalty can affect direct foreign investment in energy sector

Former Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan believes the announcement of a 12.5% royalty rate in the energy industry, can negatively impact direct foreign investment in the sector.

Seepersad-Bachan issued a statement today, saying the government is not taking into consideration the what this means for global competitiveness.

The following is Seepersad-Bachan's statement:

Imbert: "Sterile debate" comment was targeted at one person, not entire Chamber audience

Finance Minister Colm Imbert is insisting that a statement he made at a Chamber of Industry and Commerce's post-budget forum was taken out of context by the media.

Minister Imbert says what was highlighted in the media was a total misrepresentation of what occurred at the chamber.

In a release Minister Imbert says, "One of the two invited speakers, Ms Marla Dukharan, spent most of her contribution demanding an immediate devaluation of the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, as well as huge cutbacks in government spending and increases in utility rates".

Growing call for anti-Budget protest outside Parliament on Friday

Citizens are being called to protest the measures announced in the 2018 budget presentation by Minister of Finance Colm Imbert.

A video making the rounds on Whatsapp, calls on people to gather in front of the Parliament building on Friday.

The video says citizens will gather to take a stand against the Budget measures, and highlights "extreme taxation, high tuition fees, high food prices and high gas prices".

The advertisement calls for patriotic and concerned citizens to "wake up" and says that "doing nothing is not an option."

Hike in fuel prices will save government $550 million

Monday’s cut in the fuel subsidy will see government saving $550 million.

This was revealed by Finance Minister Colm Imbert following the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s annual post-budget analysis meeting with the business community.

With the price of super gasoline moving from $3.58 to $3.97 per litre and diesel increasing from $2.30 to $3.41per litre at the pumps with immediate effect, Imbert was asked how much money government expected to save having steadily removed the subsidy over continuous budgets.

SWMCOL welcomes $20 tax on imported tyres

The Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL) is welcoming Government's proposal to implement an environmental tax of $20 per tyre on all imported tyres to be put towards the cost of their proper disposal.

Some casinos announce decision to close down following Budget taxation measures

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Members Club Association (TTMCA), Sherry Persad has announced that some casinos have decided to immediately close their doors as a result of the new tax measures introduced in the 2018 Budget.

Persad said the decision came at a meeting held at 1pm today to discuss the measures.

They are also calling on the Opposition to withhold support for the Gambling Bill.

Persad issued the following statement after today's meeting:

ECA: Budget was fairly balanced

The Employers Consultative Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ECA) says its initial assessment of the Budget is that it is balanced.

The ECA is pleased with measures directed towards the strengthening of small businesses and measures to encourage more tripartite consultation.

The ECA issued the following reaction to the Budget presentation: