New Finance Minister Presents 2018 Budget Estimates

 The 2018 Current Expenditure (exclusive of Amortization and Sinking Fund Contributions) amounts to six hundred and seventeen million, four hundred and twenty–one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven dollars ($617,421,847). In respect of Current Revenue, a total of at six hundred and twenty-one million, six hundred and fifty-eight thousand, one hundred and thirty-eight dollars ($621,658,138), is estimated to be collected by the various revenue agencies of Government.  As a consequence, there is a modest current account surplus of $4.2 million in these Estimates.

 Current Revenue

The 2018 Current Revenue of $621.7 million is 5.2 percent or $30.9 million higher than 2017. Inflows from tax sources are projected to generate $532.0 million for the Consolidated Fund in 2018, while Non-tax Revenue is estimated to yield $89.7 million.

The improvement in the revenue performance in 2018 is reflective of the modest real economic growth projected for the year and the planned improvements in administration at the main revenue collecting agencies.

Tax Revenue is projected to grow by 5.2 percent. All the major tax types are expected to contribute to this performance as follows:

  • Taxes on Income and Profits is estimated to increase by $10.8 million or 7.4 percent;
  • Taxes on Property is projected to rise by 16.4 percent or $7.1 million
  • Taxes on Goods and Services are expected to go up by $4.8 million or 2.9 percent; and
  • Taxes on International Trade and Transactions by 1.5 percent or $2.2 million

Non- Tax Revenue collection is budgeted at $89.6 million for 2018. This figure is 5.2 percent more than the sum budgeted in 2017.

  A quick review of the revenue estimates reveals that eighty-eight (88) percent of the total revenue will be generated from four (4) principal sources. These are:

  1. Taxes on Goods and Services – $170.1 million;
  2. Taxes on International Trade and Transactions – $151.9 million;
  3. Taxes on Income and Profits – $155.8 million; and
  4. Sales of Goods and Services – $67.0 million

Recurrent Expenditure

The total estimated Recurrent Expenditure, inclusive of the amortization and sinking fund contributions is $776.9 million. This figure is 3.9 percent or $29.5 million over the amount budgeted in 2017.

Two (2) components of recurrent expenditure are budgeted to increase in 2018 when compared with the 2017 budget, these are:

  • Current Expenditure an increase of $15.7 million or 2.6 percent;
  • Amortization up by $15.8 million or 13.0 percent;

 Turning attention to Current Expenditure, all five (5) major categories of this component of recurrent spending are projected to increase in 2018.

Compensation of Employees and Pensions, taken together, account for 56.4 percent or $8.8 million of the increase in 2018.

Interest Payments and Loan Charges, which amount to $62.2 million, are expected to rise by 7.6 percent or $4.4 million; while the purchases of Goods and Services will increase moderately by 3.1 percent or $2.2 million.

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