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Government’s Budget, setting out the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for the financial year 2018-2019, was today laid in Parliament, together with a projected forecast for the current financial year 2017-2018, and the Barbados Sustainable Recovery Programme (BSRP). These will form the basis of the Parliamentary Debate to ensue from February 12 to 16, 2018, on the Appropriation Bill.
Revised Fiscal Balance 2017-2018
On the accrual basis Current Revenue of $3,134.8 million is expected, of which $2 914.5 million is tax revenue and $220.3 million is non-tax revenue and grant income. Total expenditure is projected to be $4 479.8 million, of which $3,146.8 million is current expenditure, exclusive of amortisation, and $361.7 million is capital expenditure. The revised negative net operating balance of $12.1 million represents 0.1 per cent of GDP at market prices.
On the cash basis current revenue of $2 999.8 million is expected, of which $2 779.5 million is tax revenue and $220.3 million is non-tax revenue and grant income. Total expenditure is projected to be $4 479.8 million, of which $3 146.8 million is current expenditure, exclusive of amortization, and $206.5 million is capital expenditure. The revised deficit of $353.6 million, on the IFI basis, represents 3.7 per cent of GDP at market prices. The primary balance for the financial year 2017-2018 is estimated to be a surplus of $410.0 million on the accrual basis and $430.2 on the cash basis.
It is estimated that Government’s total expenditure for the financial year 2018-2019, on the accrual basis, will be $4 526.2 million. When converted to the cash basis, total expenditure is $4 463.3 million, a decrease of $16.5 million or 0.4 per cent from the revised figure for 2017-2018. Of the amount approved for the 2018-2019, $3 178.1 million represents current expenditure and $1 285.2 million represents capital expenditure and amortisation.
Expenditure on goods and services is expected to increase by $22.0 million to $413.9 million. Current transfers are projected to decrease by $74.0 million or 6.2per cent to $1 116.1 million.
The repayment of principal and interest on Government’s debt is expected to account for $1.8 billion compared to the revised projection of $1.9 billion. On the accrual basis, current revenue for the next fiscal year is projected at $3 233.0 million. On the cash basis current revenue is projected at $3 098.0 million, an increase of 3.3 per cent over the revised revenue of $2 999.8 million for the financial year ending March 2018.
When amortisation of $1 044.3 million is taken into account, a deficit of $321.0 million on the cash basis is expected, representing 3.3per cent of GDP.
On the accrual basis the deficit is expected to be $8.5 million or 0.1per cent of GDP. The primary balance is projected to be a surplus of $478.8 million on the cash basis and $398.1 million on the accrual basis.
The Estimates for the 2018-2019 fiscal year include provision for the following activities:
- A current subvention of $145.5 million and a capital subvention of $3.8 million is being provided to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital;
- Subventions of $87.7 million and $8.6 million have been provided to the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority respectively;
- An amount of $17.1 million has been provided to enable the preservation of investments made in CLICO International Life Insurance Limited;
- $7.0 million has been provided for the CAF Road Rehabilitation Programme as well as $7.0 million for the IDB Road Rehabilitation Programme;
- Grant funding of $20.0 million is expected to be received as budgetary support and also to assist in carrying out the following programmes:
- Renewable Energy Program;
- The Hope Agricultural Training Institute Project;
- UWI Food Security Project
- A current subvention of $26.6 million and a capital subvention of $2.4 million have been provided to the Sanitation Service Authority;
- An amount $10.8 million has been provided for the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme;
- An amount of $12.2 million has been provided to the Barbados Drug Service for the purchase of drugs;
- A current subvention of $71.3 million has been provided to the University of the West Indies;
- A current subvention of $19.0 million has been provided to the Welfare Department;
- Skills for the Future programme under the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation has been provided with an amount of $6.2 million;
- $15.0 million has been provided for the redevelopment of Sam Lord’s Castle; and
- $15.0 million has been provided to bring to account projects of the Barbados Water Authority funded by the CDB and the Canadian Commercial Corporation. (BGIS)