The Mia Mottley Administration will increase its expenditure as it targets a six per cent primary surplus for the financial year 2020-2021 as outlined in the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue laid in Parliament today.
Debate on the Appropriation Bill, commonly known as the Estimates will begin on Monday, February 24.
Government is anticipating total expenditure of $3,309.0 million, an increase of $421.5 million or 14.6 per cent from the $ 2,887.5 million spent during the last fiscal year.
“Of the amount approved for 2020-2021, $2,589.6 million represents current expenditure and $719.4 million presents capital expenditure and amortization,” the Government statement said.
The bulk of expenditure will go towards debt payments – accounting for $910 million compared to the revised projection of $578.7 million.
While expenditure on goods and services is expected to increase by $60.8 million to $433.5 million, current transfers to state-owned agencies are projected to increase by $15.7 million or 1.6 per cent to $981.1 million.
The Estimates come mere weeks after Governor of the Central Bank Cleviston urged the Government to maintain its fiscal consolidation programme while projecting that the economy would grow between 1.25 per cent and 1.75 per cent this year.
He also noted that Government was on track to meet its ambitious target of six per cent primary surplus this fiscal year.
Earlier this month, a visiting team from the International Monetary Fund headed by Bert van Selm said the country had made good progress in implementing the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme and all targets under the Extended Fund Facility had been met.
For the upcoming fiscal year, Government is expecting a 3.1 per cent jump in revenue that is projected at $3,043.9 million over the $2,952.8 million for 2019-2020.
“When amortization of $544.8 million is taken into account, a surplus of $279.7 million on the cash basis is expected, representing 2.6 per cent of GDP.
“The primary balance is projected to be a surplus of $645.6 million or 6.0 per cent on the cash basis,” the statement added.
A breakdown of spending shows that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital ( QEH) and the University of the West Indies ( UWI) will be among the big benefactors this fiscal year.
The QEH will receive a subvention of $116 million while a subvention of $114 million has been provided to the UWI.
In addition, the Welfare Department will be allocated $21.8 million and $18.5 million has been provided for the Public Sector Smart Programme.
The sum of $3.5 million will be allocated for the IDB Road Rehabilitation Programme and the Government says it will receive grant funding of $11.5 million as budgetary support and also to assist in carrying out the Renewable Energy Programme.