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SVG sees fiscal surplus, but ‘not out of the woods,’ warns PM

SVG sees fiscal surplus, but ‘not out of the woods,’ warns PM

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The Central Government has recorded a surplus on the current account as at the end of August.

However, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is cautioning the Vincentian public that despite this improvement in the fiscal situation, we are still ‘not out of the woods’.

“…We have to be very careful with what we spend, we have to be careful about issues of efficiency, {{more}}do not waste things, waste money and we have collect our taxes, collect our revenues, because we are still suffering from the continuing deleterious effect of the global economic meltdown from late 2008 and continuing,” he said Tuesday at a press conference at Cabinet Room.

As at August 31, 2016, there was an 8.4 per cent increase in total revenue on grants, moving from $353.3 million at the end of August last year to $382.9 million this year.

There was 9.5 per cent increase in current revenue, moving from $333.1 million last year to $364.7 million this year.

“The taxes on incomes and profits went up, taxes on property, taxes on goods and services. Not every single category under each of these headings would have gone up, but I am talking about the global number under each of these headings. Taxes on international trade went up….The domestic VAT went up by about nine per cent, the VAT on international trade went up by about three per cent,” Gonsalves noted.

He added that there was an increase in capital grants, going from $9.3 million at the same time last year, compared to $17.1 million at the end of August 2016.

Total expenditure saw a 2.7 per cent increase from $383.3 million at the end of August 2015, compared to $393.5 million.

There was slight increase of 3.8 per cent in current expenditure, which at the end of August was $349.1 million, compared to $336.2 million at the same time last year, which was party due to an increase in wages and salaries of 4.4 per cent.

A decrease in the capital expenditure was recorded, moving it from $47 million in 2015 to $44.4 million.

As a result of all this, the current account now has a surplus of $15.5 million, compared to a $3 million deficit at the same point last year.

There was also a decrease in the deficit which moved from $30 million at the end of August 2015 to $10.6 million at the end of August 2016.

“People take for granted the disasters which we have had. When houses for instance are damaged and destroyed this Government has had a policy of helping. Previous governments used to shrug their shoulders, but unfortunately, I am not made that way,” Gonsalves said.

He said it hurts if he cannot help to the fullest extent when houses are damaged, but he has to do the best he can.

“Which is a vastly different thing to people not caring… I am made different I have to help, to find ways and means of helping, the best way I can, the best way the Government can.”

Gonsalves noted that since 2010 and before the most recent storm, 33 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product of this country went in loss and damage through storms.(CM)

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