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National budget is less $130M due to spending cuts


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For the first time since Independence the national budget is being cut.

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Dr. Kenny Anthony in presenting the budget estimates to Parliament last week, said the national deficit stands at 9 percent of the GDP and to address the economic crunch, the 2013/2014 estimates is being reduced by $130.4 million.

Government’s total recurrent expenditure is expected to decline by 1.6 percent which amounts to $947.1 million. Recurrent revenue is projected at $839.9 million with grants totaling $137.9 million.

Dr. Anthony told the House that government’s fiscal operations are expected to generate a deficit of $107.2 million and an overall deficit of $286.1 million.

The strain on the public purse is also owed to the cost of wages and salaries. The prime minister stressed that the issue is a major thread throughout the budget. This year, $450.9 million has been allocated for wages and retirement benefits. It is an increase of 0.8 percent over last year.

He said 110 public officers will retire this year and the proposal he informed, is that very few of the positions would be filled.

VAT, which will not be increased, is expected to generate $256 million for this fiscal year.

Government’s revenue from income tax is expected to gross $94 million, a 3.1 percent increase over last year.

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