Government’s Budget, setting out the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for the financial year 2020-2021, was today laid in Parliament, together with a projected forecast for the current financial year 2019-2020.
These will form the basis of the Parliamentary Debate to ensue from February 24th 2020 on the Appropriation Bill.
Revised Fiscal Balance 2019-2020
On the cash basis, current revenue of $2,952.8 million is expected, of which $2,756.1 million is tax revenue and $196.7 million is non-tax revenue and grant income. Total expenditure is projected to be $2,887.5 million, of which $2,403.9 million is current expenditure, exclusive of amortization, and $151.8 million is capital expenditure.
The revised surplus of $390.8 million, on the IFI basis, represents 3.7% of GDP at market prices. The primary balance for the financial year 2019-2020 is estimated to be a surplus of $644.0 million or 6.1% of GDP on the cash basis.
It is estimated that Government’s total expenditure for the financial year 2020-2021, on the accrual basis, will be $3,372.6 million. When converted to the cash basis, total expenditure is $3,309.0 million, an increase of $421.5 million or 14.6% from the revised figure for 2019-2020.
Of the amount approved for 2020-2021, $2,589.6 million represents current expenditure and $719.4 million represents capital expenditure and amortisation.
Expenditure on goods and services is expected to increase by $60.8 million to $433.5 million. Current transfers are projected to increase by $15.7 million or 1.6% to $981.1 million.
The repayment of principal and interest on Government’s debt is expected to account for $910.8 million compared to the revised projection of $578.7 million.
On the accrual basis, current revenue for the next fiscal year is projected at $3,142.6 million. On the cash basis, current revenue is projected at $3,043.9 million, an increase of 3.1% over the revised revenue of $2,952.8 million for the financial year ending March 2021.
When amortization of $544.8 million is taken into account, a surplus of $279.7 million on the cash basis is expected, representing 2.6% of GDP.
On the accrual basis, the surplus is expected to be $489.3 million or 4.5% of GDP. The primary balance is projected to be a surplus of $645.6 million or 6.0% on the cash basis and $652.1 million on the accrual basis.
The Estimates for the 2020-2021 fiscal year include provision for the following activities:
- A current subvention of $116.0 million is being provided to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital;
- $3.5 million for the IDB Road Rehabilitation Programme;
- Grant funding of $11.5 million is expected to be received as budgetary support and also to assist in carrying out the Renewable Energy Programme;
- An amount of $18.5 million has been provided for the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme;
- A current subvention of $114.7 million has been provided to the University of the West Indies;
- A current subvention of $21.8 million has been provided to the Welfare Department