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Joel Jack

Budget Day in Tobago is carded for Monday (June 22).

The announcement was made by Tobago House of Secretary for Finance and the Economy Joel Jack at yesterday’s post-Executive Council news conference.

Jack said in preparation for the 2020/2021 THA fiscal Budget estimates there were wide consultations

“To assist us in the upcoming budget presentation and to assist in identifying our fiscal priorities for the budget year 2021, we will again be conducting a pre-budget survey and we have expanded the numbers to 1,600 participants. We have also engaged in discussions with our key stakeholders,” Jack said.

He said in light of the economic impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, this year’s fiscal package will focus on strategies to protect those who are vulnerable on the island

“This year’s budget would focus on primarily on measures to stimulate the Tobago economy,” Jack said.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic stimulus package will focus on strategies for job preservation and creation, as well to stimulate aggregate demand, as we seek to protect the vulnerable groups in our society.”

He said some of the main areas of focus will be economic stimulus, support for critical economic sectors such as agriculture, tourism and the SME sector, as well as ICT and promoting Tobago as an intelligent island.

Jack said social safety nets support and continued investment in Human Capital Development and strategic investment in infrastructure, as the THA seeks to attract domestic and foreign investments to Tobago, will be the focal points.

In 2019, the THA requested $5 billion from the Central Government but was given $2.283 billion, with $2.033 billion allocated for recurrent expenditure, $231.6 million for capital expenditure and $18.0 million for the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP).