Finance Ministry On 2015/16 Budget Performance

February 3, 2016

The Ministry of Finance today reported on nine months of fiscal performance to December 2015 saying they believe the “deficit for fiscal year 2015/16 will be approximately $213 million, slightly better than its original estimate of $220 million.”

The statement said, “The headline numbers for the 2015/16 National Budget is as follows: a revenue target of $931 million; current expenditure of $1.08 billion, including debt service; capital expenditure of $68.7 million; and a projected deficit of $220 million.

“Revenue for the nine months ending December 2015 was $685.8 million; this was $36 million [5.6%] higher than in December 2014.

“The increase in revenue was due to a larger collection in Customs Duty, Payroll Tax and Passenger Tax which more than offset lower receipts in other revenues sectors such as Foreign Currency Purchase Tax, Aircraft Registration Fees and Shipping Registration Fees.

“Overall, total revenue is tracking ahead of the budget projection and the strength in the two main revenue drivers, Payroll Tax and Customs Duty receipts, has meant that the Ministry of Finance forecasts total revenues to be between $930 million and $940 million for the fiscal year.

Contact:

“Current expenditures, excluding debt service, for the first nine months ending December 2015 were $680.2 million; this is $8.3 million [1.2%] lower than the amount spent during the same period last fiscal year.

“Government current account spending to date has been reduced in spite of the fact that the furlough initiative, which accounted for a significant amount of savings last year, has ended. The current year reduction is due to proposals and other budget reduction measures taken in the 2015/16 Budget.

“In general, current expenditures, excluding debt service, are presently tracking slightly below budget projections. The $680.2 million spent in the first nine months of 2015/16 represents approximately 74.5% of the total current account budget of $912.7 million.

“Capital expenditures for the period ending December 2015 are $1.3 million lower than in December 2014.

Contact:

“Total current and capital spending to date, excluding debt service, is $9.7 million lower [1.35%] than last year’s spending.

“Spending pressures have continued in the social areas with increased demand for financial assistance and legal aid with expenditures in these areas being above budget in the first nine months of 2015/16.

“Above budget expenditures have also been reported in the Ministry of Tourism Development and Transport and the Ministry of National Security. The additional expenditures are being managed appropriately by finding savings in other areas, such as staff costs.

“In general, current expenditures, excluding debt service, are presently tracking 0.5% below budget estimates. The Ministry of Finance anticipates current account expenditures to register in the region of $920 million – $930 million.

Contact:

“Debt service costs for the first nine months ending December 2015 were $127.4 million. This represents $88.2 million in interest payments and a $39.2 million contribution to the Government Borrowing Sinking Fund. Debt service to date is $6.5 million [5.4%] more than last year’s period. This is due to the Government having to borrow more money in order to finance the fiscal deficit.

“For the first nine months of 2015/16 Government incurred a current account surplus of $5.6 million, compared to a deficit of $38.8 million for the corresponding period in 2014/15. The Government ran a fiscal deficit of $151.9 million, which was $39.2 million [20.5%] lower than the same period in 2014/15.

“Gross debt increased by $125 million as the Government drew down on its credit facility in order to finance the fiscal deficit. At the end of December 2015, total Government debt was $2.31 billion and debt net of the Sinking Fund was $2.194 billion.

“Taking all of the above in aggregate, the Ministry believes the deficit for fiscal year 2015/16 will be approximately $213 million, slightly better than its original estimate of $220 million.”

- All charts courtesy of the Ministry of Finance

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Comments (7)

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  1. Justin says:

    Refreshing to see that we have a gov’t that actually sticks to the budget. Depressing that this country is now more than $2.3bn in debt. Here’s to hoping for a balanced budget in 2016/17 and budget surpluses thereafter!

  2. Reality Check says:

    Balanced budget by 2016/17? Hardly likely as that would mean slashing spending by something in the region of $180 – $200 million and that would cause havoc in Civil Servant pay.

    Balance by 2018/19? Still unlikely, and for the same reason.

  3. Onion says:

    Excluding debt payments the budget was almost balanced.

    Remember, that’s the brutal legacy of the PLP’s folly into debt.

  4. Kevin says:

    i know its easy to lay blame …but we are where we are and no matter how we got there we have to find a way forward …Government expenses must hold to budgeted numbers and we have to find avenues to increase revenue …yes its easier said than done but unless we all and it must be all buy into the future and get out of the past its pretty hard to swim with concrete shoes …lets shed the past lets move forward

  5. Dr. The Hon Edward N.Case. BMF hons. says:

    Anyone who votes PLP is truly insane.

  6. Mary says:

    After all we been through and where we have to go , we still have a bloated civil service what are they all doing ?

  7. brigadooner says:

    Excellent job of increasing revenues by 36m while still being able to decrease expenses; all the while tied up by all the legacy issues handed to them by the PLP.

    Really encouraging news.