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Mar 7, 2014

Budget by the Numbers

The thrust of the Prime Minister’s budget presentation was on education, healthcare and infrastructure. And then Prime Minister Barrow turned to the real meat of the budget, the numbers contained in the draft estimates for fiscal year 2014/2015.

 

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

Dean Barrow

“The proposed budget targets a preliminary primary surplus of 1.0 percent of GDP and an overall deficit of 1.7 percent of GDP. Total expenditure is estimated at $1.0 billion while total revenue and grants are projected at $956 million. When taken together, this results in the projected overall deficit of $57 million, the equivalent of 1.7 percent of GDP. To this figure we must add a further $70 million for loan amortization requirements, and so arrive at the Total Financing Needs of $127 million.These financing needs will be met from the following sources:

 disbursement of $48 million from loans already contracted with our multi-lateral development partners to fund our Capital III Expenditure Program; disbursement of $20 million in budget support financing from the Republic of China (Taiwan) under the on-going bilateral economic cooperation program; and a further draw-down of PetroCaribe financing in the amounts of $59 million. I should point out Mr. Speaker that the Government is aggressively seeking to attract foreign direct investment into our country. Accordingly, we are in contact with our cooperation partners to share with us human and financial capital, scholarship and other educational and training opportunities, modern technology and best management practices. We consider these to be essential inputs for the successful modernization of our nation. The draft estimates has total revenue and grants amounting to $956 million for fiscal year 2014/2015 and this is comprised of $905 million in recurrent revenue, $5 million in capital revenue and $46 million in grants. The draft estimates of recurrent expenditure is proposing a total of $822 million in recurrent expenditure up by $42 million over the projected outturn of $780 million for fiscal year 2013/14. Of this proposed amount, some $332 million is for personal emoluments, $58 million for pensions, $197 million for goods and services, $143 million for subsidies and current transfers, and $92

million for interest payments on debt. As much of the current transfers is to the education sector, used in turn to pay wages by the grant-aided institutions, it would be safe to say that of the $822 million in current expenditure, approximately $460 million or some 53 percent is used to fund wage or wage-related expenditure.”

 

Where recurrent revenue is concerned, Barrow is predicting a boost in collection from tax sources and a robust performance from acquired registries. Another important note is that for this fiscal year, government is proposing to allocate one hundred and ninety one million to its capital program. We also note that government has spent nine million dollars in professional and legal connected to the debt restructuring and to the ongoing litigation on the nationalization of the two utility companies. Now the budget is expected to be debated in the next two weeks, when the Opposition will have a go at the numbers. 

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2 Responses for “Budget by the Numbers”

  1. karla says:

    So in other words, if it were not for Taiwan and Venezuela, Belize would not be able to pay for its own expenditures. In what sense is that a cause for celebration? In what sense does that make Belize and independent nation if it is totally dependent on foreign investment and aid? The more things change, the more they stay the same. But instead of being beholden to Britain or the US, now it is these countries. New colonial masters. And with the situation in Venezuela with their own people protesting, how can we celebrate Venezuelan bounty at the expense of its own citizens?

  2. Lord LOL says:

    I am sure they can reduce some necessary spending especially with bureaucracy

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