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T&T expects budget deficit

marciadottin, [email protected]

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PORT-OF-SPAIN – Expect a budget deficit for 2011. This was the word from Acting Prime Minister Winston Dookeran on Saturday.But Dookeran, also the finance minister, gave the assurance that the deficit would not be as large as the 2009/2010 budget deficit of TT$8.4 billion under the People’s National Movement.“I think last year’s budget was in the order of about $45 billion, I am hoping that we can at least get there as well,” he said to the media following the 48th independence anniversary celebrations at the Holy Trinity Spiritual Baptist Church at Trinity Avenue, Chinapoo Village, Morvant.“I think there will be [a deficit] but not as large as we had first anticipated,” Dookeran added.Asked whether the proposed salary payment of TT$132  916 to Police Commissioner Elect Dwayne Gibbs and TT$106 333 salary to his deputy fellow Canadian Jack Ewatski would affect the budget, Dookeran said:“Obviously any increase in cost will affect the budgetary situation, but we can return to growth during the next economic year and during that period we hope to build back the hopes in the country and also build back the fiscal accounts.”He did not give a date for the budget reading. “We will announce that shortly. Let’s wait and see; the prime minister will be back and we have to have discussions,” he said of the date. (Trinidad Express)