By Zandra Gomes
As COVID-19 continues to roam in Trinidad and Tobago, we face a great level of uncertainty regarding our country’s future economic stability. As young people, we can’t help but worry what this means for our personal, academic and professional futures.
While we ought to take personal responsibility for our own trajectory, through learning, adapting and becoming innovative during these unprecedented times, the Government has the responsibility of providing us with the necessary resources to thrive. Such resources should occur through the creation of deliberate initiatives and policies that foster increased business activity along with job creation and preservation.
On October 5th the Minister of Finance will present the national budget which will reflect the government’s plans for income and expenditure for the coming financial year. Ultimately, influencing the two crucial factors that affect our future- increased business activity and job creation.
Now more than ever, it is important that you take the time to read and understand the budget. A loaded document that charts the way forward for our twin island of Trinidad and Tobago, and as citizens and future leaders you should be knowledgeable. Your future depends on it. The following are points that further affirm why you should pay attention on October 5th.
- The national budget will identify sectors with high growth potential and new career opportunities.
The national budget highlights how much resources will be allocated towards the various sectors. The Government will extend incentives that will boost employment and business expansion in promising industries.
By identifying the sectors in which the Government is prioritizing, young people can find ways to use their own fields of expertise to contribute to these sectors’ development. This can be especially beneficial for recent graduates who are currently facing a constrained labour market.
As the government proposes the sectors that are poised to provide us with economic growth, you should identify them and start collaborating with your peers. This is the time to create new business ideas within the sectors that are greatly backed by government support.
- The measures in the National Budget will directly impact your current and future standard of living.
It is no secret that measures implemented to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in reduced economic activity and declining energy related commodity prices. This reality has significantly deteriorated our country’s financial position. Thus, the implementation of effective revenue generation and expenditure reduction measures for the Government are crucial for our economy to survive. The budget will identify these measures that the Government intend to implement.
For example, a reduction in fuel subsidies by the Government can lower Government expenditure. However, this measure will result in higher gas prices for citizens. This can lead to greater personal travel expenses as maxi fares may increase and individuals will now have to spend more at the gas station to fill their tanks.
No doubt it’s not the news you want to hear, but with the awareness of the inevitable austerity measures you can effectively prepare for a change in your current spending patterns, so that you can navigate this change successfully.
- The National Budget allows young people to hold the government accountable to their promised actions.
Being aware of the measures the government plans to take for the upcoming year gives you the power to hold the Government accountable to their promised actions. Existing in ignorance is a huge disadvantage. It leaves you incapable of making informed assessments at important moments like elections.
Furthermore, in the future, we will be able adeptly assess the impact of the measures implemented by the Government. This enables you to create an analysis on the effectiveness of varying policies. It’s no secret that one day we will have the crucial responsibility of managing our country. You should stay informed so that you make calculated decisions that fill the gaps that our current leaders may fail to address.
In conclusion, young people are a major stakeholder. Failing to address our concerns is failing to properly set our country on the right path for development. However, we must do our part and pay attention to the budget, to ensure that we thrive through these difficult times.