Trinidad and Tobago - Public finance
After three years of deficit, the 1973 budget registered a surplus, primarily attributable to increased revenues resulting from higher petroleum prices. The budget generally remained in surplus until 1982, when a deficit was registered. The budget continued in deficit, although at decreasing levels, until 1990. In 1988, the government began an adjustment program which included currency devaluation, debt reschedulings, and the adoption of an austere budget that included public service wage reductions and decreased transfers to state enterprises. These reforms resulted in an improved budget by 1994 which lasted until 1998, when expanded infrastructure and industrial projects drained revenues.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 1998 Trinidad and Tobago's central government took in revenues of approximately $1.5 billion and had expenditures of $1.6 billion including capital expenditures of $117.3 million. Overall, the government registered a deficit of approximately $60 million. External debt totaled $2.2 billion.
The following table shows an itemized breakdown of government revenues and expenditures. The percentages were calculated from data reported by the International Monetary Fund. The dollar amounts (millions) are based on the CIA estimates provided above.
|REVENUE AND GRANTS||100.0%||1,540|
|General public services||15.7%||252|
|Public order and safety||7.0%||111|
|Housing and community amenities||8.9%||143|
|Recreation, cultural, and religious affairs||0.9%||14|
|Economic affairs and services||11.7%||187|