Some suggestions for budget 2022/23

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The following are suggestions for Budget 2022/23: 1. Increase the disposable income of citizens by increasing the personal tax allowance to $100,000 because of the diminishing purchasing power of the TT$ and high food price inflation.

2. Utilise all the government-owned housing stock in T&T; several units built but not occupied 3. Utilise all non-occupied school stock in T&T, put them to use for the learning purpose for which they were built; several remain unoccupied for political reasons. Some can be converted to trade schools for agriculture, construction, science, mechanics and cultural learning and development.

4. Develop and maintain an ongoing food sustainability forum of and for farmers that would continuously monitor and guide the direction of agriculture; the use of agricultural lands for agricultural purposes, the understanding and monitoring of crop rotation and seasonal crop growth, best practice in harvesting and getting food to market, workable incentives that would sustain the agricultural industry and reduce food imports.

5. Better and more sustained use of the Lake Asphalt company product in the repair and maintenance of roads.

6. Implementation of National Health Insurance, to include the private medical services stock. 7. Equity in the payment of NIS pensions and the increase that is due to those who have paid more than the required contributions 8. Free Internet services and IT education for all senior citizens (who wish to avail these services) to facilitate their banking and payment of bills etc.

9. As a pilot project, free mini-bus call and respond service for senior citizens who must register for these services which will operate in a defined area of their district. They could be used for essential shopping trips … supermarket, banks, pharmacy etc with their respective areas.

10. Full implementation of the Procurement Legislation and Regulations with no reporting or investigative exceptions.

11. The establishment of a fully functional and fully autonomous and funded constitutional reform commission.

12. A recall of the intended property tax.

13. Strong emphasis on agriculture and food production-redirect CEPEP workers to agriculture work.

14. Create a national service obligation-all citizens MUST participate/ register in national service programme to enjoy State benefits (viz housing, medical, financial grants, etc.)

15. Have severe penalties for crimes against the State; damage/pilfering of State property (including $$$).

16. Privatise non-strategic State entities.

17. Start a progressive programme to reduce/remove all subsidies. 18. Reduce the size of the civil service, government & cabinet.

19. An accelerated divestment programme.

Gordon Laughlin
Westmoorings