On Sunday, December 20, during a hamper distribution at his constituency office in Maraval, Mr. Colm Imbert, the Minister of Finance advised the population to hold back on their spending and to curb their foreign tastes. While this may be the last thing that retailers may want to hear at the beginning of the Christmas week, the advise is sound. We should keep our cash for a rainy day, which may be in the not too distant future.
When questioned about the recent utterances of the Governor of the Central Bank, he conceded that the country was indeed in a recession. The timing of this announcement may have been deliberated delayed until after the General Elections. However the recession is not due to the fact that the PNM took up office in September 2015, but rather because the oil prices had collapsed in January 2015. This subsequently has caused consecutive quarterly declines in the economy ever since. As a result the country is now in a cash crunch and foreign exchange leakage must be reduced as far a s possible.
Other issues that the Government are to address include reductions for Carnival which had ballooned from TT$8 million in 1991 to 200 million in 2015, and to ensure that 90% of items used in the school feeding program are locally produced.