$3.9b budget for 2014
DESPITE THE ECONOMIC downturn, Government will be operating with a slightly bigger budget of $3.9 billion for fiscal 2014.
However, its revenues are expected to fall by a $111.7 million, down to $2.47 billion, or 12 per cent above the revised estimate of $2.20 billion and the fiscal deficit – the difference between Government revenues and expenditure – is forecast to widen from $1.23 billion in 2013 to $1.44 billion or an additional $158 million.
These projections are contained in the Estimates 2014-2015 laid in the House of Assembly yesterday by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and which will be debated over a five-day period starting Monday, March 17 at 10 a.m. on the second reading of the Appropriation Bill 2014, of which the Estimates is the Schedule.
The numbers reflect Government’s continuing struggle to contain the twin demons of the fiscal deficit and the burgeoning national debt with debt service estimated at $1.4 billion this fiscal year.
As Government tries to control its spending, its wages and salaries bill is projected to fall by $30.3 million from $823.8 million with the 19-month attrition programme firmly in place which has so far seen hundreds of temporary and other public workers being laid off. (AB)