My Trinidad and Tobago budget thoughts

The Trinidad and Tobago budget will be read next month on Monday September 26th. I am thinking about this and the future of Trinidad and Tobago and I decided to share quickly my thoughts in this blog post. What does the country need? The country needs more productivity. We need efficient systems. We need foreign exchange earners. All of these things can be achieved through the use of technology. I would like to see attention paid to the vulnerable in society. I want to see the disability grant increased from $2000 to $2500.

In my mind there are some focus areas such as crime, health, infrastructure, digital transformation and education. Dealing with crime demands a multistakeholder approach with particular attention to root causes and prevention. Prevention is better than cure. We have to study the link between socioeconomic problems and crime in our country. While the country was locked down for Covid we noticed some reduction in the crime statistics but as the country opened up we are seeing the full extent of the problem.

Health like crime also means we have to focus on prevention. Sports and exercise and balanced and nutritious meals. We have to adopt a holistic approach to living healthy. Local government elections is coming later this year so I expect the government to try to win over voters with local government related announcements. It is known that roads get paved most around election time. I would like to see the parks in my area improved and maintained. This will encourage active lifestyles and healthy living. Gas price is expected to rise with a reduction in the gas subsidy. We need an improvement in public transport and more persons should be car pooling.

Education is a competition where the brightest compete for the high paying jobs. There is a lot of emphasis on beating books. But the truth of it all is that no matter what, some persons will always be left with the lower paying jobs. We need to change to creating all rounded upstanding citizens. We need to provide many pathways to success. We need to create contentment and have equitable distribution of the spoils. We need to guide persons away from a life of crime. I believe in God and think faith in God can help.

Finally, the focus area I am most interested in is digital transformation. Let us diversify the economy through strategic technology use. We need to develop foreign exchange earners while at the same time reducing our import bill. We should be looking at smart farming in the agriculture sector. The Ministry of Digital Transformation is working on the National Digital Transformation Strategy. So while the budget will not mention many ICT related items, the strategy is where we are going to decide a lot of what takes place at the national level. Follow the ministry on social media and you will see where they are asking for suggestions. What are your thoughts on the budget? Let your voices be heard and together we can build a better Trinidad and Tobago.

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