THA Chief Secretary Hon. Farley Augustine (2022).

On Monday (September 26th), Finance Minister Colm Imbert presented a $57.6 billion budget for fiscal 2022/2023 in the House of Representatives. Tobago was allocated 4.3 per cent of the national budget which amounts to $2.521 billion. This represents an increase of $185 million more than what was allocated in the last budget.

Of the $2.521 billion allocation for fiscal year 2023, $2.194 billion will be for recurrent expenditure, $300 million for the THA Development Programme, $18 million for the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) and $9.2 million for the Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP).

THA Chief Secretary Hon. Farley Augustine, who was a guest on TTT’s Now morning show (September 27th) said more funding was needed to further Tobago’s development agenda at a faster pace. 

The substantial part of [Tobago’s] budget goes to recurrent expenditure. Recurrent expenditure will be the paying of salaries, bills, travel, the everyday operational costs of the Tobago House of Assembly…as opposed to capital development, which is used to build new schools, new roads, to invest…to put it simply, in your household, your recurrent expenditure will be the money used to pay your grocery bill, lights, water, and telecommunications, but if you need to add on a new room because some of the children are getting bigger and you need extra space or an additional bathroom…that’s capital development,” he said.

The Chief Secretary indicated it was capital development that will help drive innovation on the island.