Sunday, 6 September 2015

Election of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Sept 2015

Every year I am excited when September approaches for several reasons, such as:

1.   The reading of the National Budget. This activity  gives some insight into what is going to happen       over the next year, whether the focus will be on:
  • Saving incentives for persons who are heading into retirement in the next 10 years or so, (See the extract from the 2015 Budget of the Republic of Trinidad and  Tobago)_
    " 9. Pensions I propose to continue the process of facilitating the ease of living for our senior        citizens. With effect from October 1, 2014:
Registered Annuities
I propose effective January 1, 2015, to increase from $30,000 to $50,000 the limit for contributions to registered annuities. This will impact 15,000 citizens at a cost of $75.0 million"
  • Housing incentives in the form of tax savings on the purchase of a home  (See the extract from the 2015 Budget of the Republic of Trinidad and  Tobago)
"13. Housing I propose to expand the existing 2.0 percent mortgage programme by increasing qualifying property values from $625,000 to $850,000 and by increasing the combined monthly income of households from $8,000 to $10,000 and to supplement that programme by introducing a new 5.0 percent mortgage programme for households with a combined monthly income of greater than $10,000 and less than $30,000, towards accessing a mortgage greater than $850,000 but not exceeding $1.2 million; this measure will benefit 26,100 applicants within the HDC framework and a similar amount in the private sector; and I propose to increase the tax allowance from $18,000 to $25,000 per household per annum on mortgage interest paid in the year of income for first time home owners for 5 years, including those years utilised by existing beneficiaries."
  • The investment in energy efficient alternatives
Also I get a chance to stop and think about  on which activities relating to the current budget that I need to spend more time and effort so as to make the best use of the opportunities which exist.  Here is a link to the 2015 Budget of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

As an individual I may think that an increase in the tax savings for pensions may be better delayed for the start of the next year, when there may be a greater reduction in personal taxation for that year if my income increases, especially if my cash flow is limited. However my knowledge of the value of time on savings may encourage me to invest today as the return on the investment may be compounded  and earn new income at the start of the next year. This will impact on the taxes which I will pay at some time in the future as well as alter the income aspect of the investment.

All of the above will also be impacted upon by the need for cash that I forsee in my short term phase.

2.  The debate of the National Budget and the opinion of the various groups, such as The Manufacturer's Association of Trinidad and Tobago. This is an area of interest as the manufacturers of the country are all keen on the various incentives. One of their areas of interest is indirect taxation which includes  Value Added Tax (VAT) the settlement of which is due and payable monthly or bimonthly. This area, has a huge impact on  the cash flows, the strategies of the companies and the planning skills of the persons who are employed with the companies.

3 The possibility of Local Government elections  being held either within the month or in another month. The excitement of this type of election comes from having a sister who is passionate about local government elections,  just as she is about Dimanche Gras (which used to take place on the Sunday night before Carnival Monday). While this type of election is conducted on a smaller scale, the results of this election adds a sense of anticipation to the country as much of the support for projects is impacted upon by the holders of the various positions and the results can have an impact on the nation.

4 The occurrence of  Divali. This celebration takes place in either October or November each year. The celebration of this festival is important to many from the view of the day on which the celebration occurs, whether there will be a three day weekend or whether it will be back to work the next day. This impacts on how long one can light and relight the deyas or how late one stays out to celebrate with friends and family.

However this year there is  an election for the House of Representatives in Parliament!  According to Wiki; "The House of Representatives is the elected Lower House of the bicameral Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. The House of Representatives sits in the Red House in Port of Spain. It has 41 members, each elected to represent single-seat constituencies." 
As a people, we have been abuzz with the activities leading up to tomorrow, either listening to the speeches, the presentation of the manifestos or attending the rallies. On a more serious note, coming out of tomorrow's election process, will be the appointment of a Prime Minister, appointments to the Senate and other appointments of a similar nature. These activities  may lead to the formation of the Cabinet comprising of persons either from the House of Representatives or the Senate.
One of the main responsibilities of members of both Houses is to review and approve drafts of Bills which will become Acts of Parliament. These Acts can have a serious impact on the future as they deal with national and multinational matters. However one of the bills will  arise from the National Budget and will be enacted through amendments to the existing Acts of Parliament or via the creation of new Acts.

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