On behalf of KPMG, we present our views as to the unparalleled disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic during this year. It is our hope that we provoke thought and inspire action in our readers, as we believe like everything else in life, we have the power to change the narrative, and the power to overcome the challenges that lie ahead as we navigate these unprecedented times. Our behaviour and actions today will help shape our future tomorrow.
Following the August 10, 2020 general election, The Honourable Minister Colm Imbert returned to the Red House in his successive term as Minister of Finance to present the 2021 budget statement, fittingly themed “Resetting the Economy for Growth and Innovation”. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on societal vulnerabilities embedded in advanced and developing economies alike – public sector inefficiency, societal inequality, food insecurity and poverty among the most common. In the context of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region, the pandemic has demonstrated how heavy indebtedness from past fiscal indiscipline places financial constraints on the ability of present governments to react to external shocks. This year’s budget, therefore, must seek to invest the country’s scarce resources into the areas which matter the most and into policies which will deliver the ‘reset’ desperately needed in the medium to long term.
The Honourable Minister Colm Imbert proposed the following Fiscal Measures for 2021: