Many citizens are fans of cricket, a fact highlighted recently by the intense attention that comes during and after CPL matches involving the Trinbago Knight Riders. That’s all well and fine, but can we please take some of that passion and direct it to issues of true national importance? One matter that deserves just as much or even more attention and discussion, is the upcoming National Budget.

The 2019-2020 fiscal package will be presented this coming Monday and what many may not realize, is just how crucial this one is. It will be the first delivered since Petrotrin’s closure or “reorganizing”, whichever term you choose to use. Hopefully it will honestly lay out the country’s economic situation in the wake of the most intense economic shakeup ever. Where do we stand? Did the shakeup of the company provide much needed change in the sector or are things just as bad? It will also hopefully lay out matters relating to other aspects of the economy. Things have been tough elsewhere as well, with job losses in sectors across the board.

The government seems to have been flip flopping between “things are looking up” and “times are tough”, depending on which narrative suits their stance on a particular decision or issue. Citizens however are just feeling the squeeze. Somehow, one can’t help but wonder if anything can be done to keep things from getting worse.

It must be noted though that this will be the last budget before the General Election, and is expected to hold some sort of appeal for the masses. Given the obvious economic difficulties though, how much pandering will possibly be done and what will the overall effect be on the national economy?

Economic matters aren’t the easiest thing to understand, but the discussion that follows the budget will shed some valuable light. So fellow citizens, we urge you to catch up with what the analysts are saying, listen to responses from the Government and the Opposition.

All sides must be heard, and you need to get involved. Because while you may not like economics, economics does affect you. And it will literally determine the future of our country. In times like these, your participation is crucial.