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2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure approved

2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure approved

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Members of Parliament on Tuesday approved the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, which amount to $799,122,337.{{more}}

This figure represents a 0.5 per cent increase over the 2012 approved budget, which was placed at $793,911,053.

A 2.2 per cent increase in the recurrent expenditure budget accounts for this increase, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Ralph Gonsalves explained.

The recurrent expenditure, which includes the amortization and sinking fund contributions amounts to $622,224,875, with $533.9 million for the current expenditure, $82.9 million amortization and $5.5 million sinking fund contributions; last year’s figure was $528,669,213.

Capital expenditure, the prime minister said, is $176,897,462.

The funding for the 2013 budget is comprised of the current revenue, $508,538,100 and capital receipts amounting to $290,584,237.

The 2013 recurrent estimates have a current account deficit of $25.4 million and the recurrent revenue which has been budgeted is $508.5 million.

“Once again, the growth in revenue is expected to remain suppressed as a consequence of slow recovery of the international economy,” Gonsalves said.

The prime minister further explained that tax revenue is expected to contribute $469.8 million to the consolidated fund in 2013, with non-tax sources estimated to remain stable.

“Taxes on income and profits are anticipated to grow by 2.9 per cent to $126.6 million in 2013,” he said.

This growth in revenue from income tax is expected to come mainly from increased takings from individuals.

Taxes on domestic transactions are expected to contribute $117.9 million to the public revenue: Value Added Tax (VAT) with $68 million and stamp duty, $22 million are expected to be the largest sources of revenue in this category of taxes.

Gonsalves said that collections from licenses will contribute $30.1 million to the consolidated fund – vehicle, drivers’, yacht and alien holding licenses will account for 75.7 per cent, or $22.8 million of the revenue collected from this source.

A total of $38.8 million in revenue is expected to be collected from non-tax sources.

The prime minister announced that three items of recurrent expenditure would be registering increases in next year’s budget.

These include a 4.5 per cent increase in wages and salaries, which amounts to $11.3 million; 4.5 per cent in pensions and National Insurance ($2.1 million) and an 11.4 per cent increase in amortization, amounting to $8.5 million.

The salaries budget, which reflects the increments and one and a half per cent salary increase registers a 4.6 per cent increase when compared to that for 2012.

“These estimates have been crafted in continuing challenging times,” Gonsalves said.

However, he said that his government did not embrace the pessimism as expressed by those who only point out the problems and do not see solutions.

“We believe in the resilience of our people; we have a framework and we are working to that framework.

“These estimates are part housekeeping and part developmental,” he said.

“But there is also a huge amount of developmental work which takes place outside of the estimates in public enterprises and investments to the private sector and foreign direct investment,” Gonsalves said. (DD)

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