The Estimates of Income and Expenditure for St. Vincent and the Grenadines were presented in Parliament today.
During his presentation, Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves said the proposed Estimates of income and expenditure for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) for 2020 amounts to EC$1,186,351,151.00 paving the way for the presentation of the Budget next Monday, January 27, 2020.
This 2020 figure represents a 11.2 per cent increase, over the approved budget for 2019.
The 2020 budget is made up of recurrent expenditure, inclusive of amortisation and sinking fund contributions, EC$875,583,941.00 and capital expenditure of EC$310,767,210.00 and is financed by current revenue of EC$680,039,100.00 and capital receipts of EC$506,312,051.00
Minister Gonsalves said his Unity Labour Party government, in its continued quest to lift the level of public services delivered, is continuously improving the quality and quantity of the human resource that it employs, hence a number of new positions have been created in strategically important areas of the public service to enhance service delivery to the citizens of (SVG).
The minister spoke of the main staff increase in various ministries, including 37 additional posts for the ministry of finance, 18 New posts have been created within the Customs and Excise Department, 16 posts for the Ministry of Transport, 12 posts within the Ministry of Education and 13 posts within the Foreign Affairs Department.
The current expenditure, exclusive of amortisation and sinking fund contributions amounts EC$678,033,515.00 while the Current revenue is estimated at EC$680,039,100.00.
The Minister further said, consequently, the current account balance realises a modest surplus of EC$2,000,000.00.
The 2020 current revenue of EC$680,000,00.00 is 3.6 per cent or EC$23.5 million, higher than budgeted revenue of 2019.
The improved revenue performance in 2020 is reflective of modest economic growth, projected for the year and stronger and more efficient efforts by the main revenue agencies, to collect taxes that are due and payable.
Minister Gonsalves said revenue from tax sources is expected to contribute EC$585.7 million to the Consolidated Fund in 2020, while non-tax revenue is expected to gross EC$94.4 million.
Tax revenue is expected to grow by 3 per cent, driven mainly by strong growth in taxes.
Taxes on income and profits are estimated to increase by $3.4 million dollars or 2.1%.
Taxes on goods and services, are projected to increase by $9.2 million 5%, and taxes on international trade and transactions will be up by 3.2 % or $5 million.