The Mia Mottley administration’s plans for Government spending and revenue in the new fiscal year are to be laid before Parliament on Tuesday, the Prime Minister has announced.
Civil servants in the Ministry of Finance are now putting the final touches on the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for the 2021-2002 financial year which begins on April 1.
Prime Minister Mottley told lawmakers: “I think many of you are aware that we are trying to settle the finishing pieces of the Estimates so they can be laid in this honourable Chamber on Tuesday.
The year-long COVID-19 pandemic is expected to dominate the 2021/2022 Estimates. But it is not immediately clear if Government will be seeking to further reduce its primary surplus target, which was shifted to -1 per cent of gross domestic product for the current fiscal year, which will end on March 31.
When Government started the International Monetary Fund-backed homegrown austerity programme – the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) – in October 2018, the aim was for a six per cent primary surplus by the end of this fiscal year.
But with a dramatic increase in spending, triggered by the global pandemic around mid-March last year, Government has had to review that target several times.
For the first nine months of this fiscal year, Government’s revenue declined by an overall 12 per cent to reach $1.87 billion by the end of December 2020 while spending rose slightly by five per cent during the nine-month period to reach $1.8 billion. (MM)