Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves today reported on the Central Government fiscal operations at the end of November 2017 noting that while more revenue was collected in 2017 more money was also spent when compared to the same period in 2016.

In providing a provisional summary of the Fiscal Operations as at November 30, 2017, the Prime Minister said Total Revenue and Grants amounted to $554.2 million or 6.1% increase over 2016 with Total Expenditure of $583.3 million an increase of 9.6% over the comparative period in 2016.

He said Current Revenue increased by 4.1 percent to $523.4 million, while Current Expenditure which increased by 8.6 percent settled at $522.3 million.

There was a Current Account Surplus of just over $1.078 million dollars compared to $21 million in the same period in 2016.

Consequently, the current account recorded a deficit of $29 million compared to 10.3 million in 2016.

Dr. Gonsalves said that the fastest growing item on the Current Expenditure is Pension and Retirement benefits. He noted that reforms will have to be done to address this issue.

“We have reached a stage now where both the non-contributory pension, that is from the State, and the NIS (National Insurance Services) pension, both of them together, more than the salary which you get at the time of your retirement. Lots of people that is beginning to happen to and it will become the norm by 2025-2030, and that’s clearly not stainable,” the Prime Minister said.

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