Estimates laid in Parliament
Government’s Budget, setting out the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for the financial year 2023-2024, was today laid in Parliament, together with a projected forecast for the current financial year 2022-2023.
These will form the basis of the Parliamentary Debate to ensue from February 20 on the Appropriation Bill.
On the cash basis current revenue of $3,236.9 million is expected, of which $3,047.0 million is tax revenue and $189.9 million is non-tax revenue and grant income.
Total expenditure is projected to be $3,504.9 million, of which $3,033.7 million is current expenditure, exclusive of amortisation, and $471.2 million is capital expenditure.
The revised deficit of $268.0 million, on the IFI basis, represents 2.2% of GDP at market prices. The primary surplus for the financial year 2022-2023 is estimated to be $233.0 million or 2.0% of GDP on the cash basis.
It is estimated that Government’s total expenditure for the financial year 2023-2024, on the accrual basis, will be $4,249.3 million. When converted to the cash basis, total expenditure is $4,160.6 million, an increase 13% from the revised figure for 2022-2023. Of the amount approved for the 2023-2024, $3,849.5 million represents current expenditure and $311.1 million represents capital expenditure.
Expenditure on goods and services is expected to decrease by $0.3 million to $576.5 million. Current transfers are projected to increase by $10.4 million to $1,099.1 million.
The repayment of principal and interest on Government’s debt is expected to account for $1313.6 million compared to the revised projection of $1,124.9 million.
On the accrual basis, current revenue for the next fiscal year is projected at $3,499.9 million. On the cash basis current revenue is projected at $3,318.7 million, an increase of 2.5% over the revised revenue of $3,236.9 million for the financial year ending March 2023.
When amortisation is excluded, a deficit of $179.9 million on the cash basis is expected, representing 1.4% of GDP. On the accrual basis, the operating deficit is expected to be $89.3 million or 0.7% of GDP. The primary balance is projected to be a surplus of $474.2 million or 3.7% of GDP on the cash basis.
The Estimates for the 2023-2024 fiscal year include provision for the following activities:
(i) A current subvention of $139.0 million is being provided to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital;
(ii) $27.6 million has been provided for the CAF Road Rehabilitation Programme;
(iii) Grant funding of $4.1 million is expected to be received to assist in carrying out the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme;
(iv) An amount $8.1 million has been provided for the Smart Energy Fund;
(v) A current subvention of $95.2 million and $27.6 million has been provided for economic costs and tuition fees respectively to the University of the West Indies;
(vi) A capital transfer of $30 million has been provided to the BTII to facilitate the construction of a new Geriatric Hospital;
(vii) A current subvention of $32.5 million has been provided to the Welfare Department;
(viii) A current subvention of $20.6 million has been provided to the child Care Board. (PR/SAT)