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Reduced Govt purse

Publice service and education will take biggest chunk for spending

The Freundel Stuart administration will be taking the country into the new financial year, beginning April 1,  with a smaller balance of payments deficit of $1.4 billion.

The 2014 to 2015 Estimates Of Revenue And Expenditure laid in the House of Assembly this morning, project an overall fiscal balance of $1.7 billion for the current year, which finishes month-end.

The 183-page document forecasts government revenue of $2.4 billion in the coming year, but expects to spend $3.9 billion.

As the administration continues to put measures in place to close its deficit by suppressing spending, the new fiscal year should see that expenditure falling even further.

“Estimates for fiscal year 2014-2015, project total expenditure at $3,937,673,842, a decrease of 1.1 percent from the approved amount of total expenditure for 2013-2014,” the document reveals.

That total projected spending which Cabinet has approved for the coming year, is well over $74 million or 1.9 per cent less than the revised sum for the current year.

In the next financial year, the Government is also making big cuts in its bad debt expenses, subsidies, grants to individuals, non-profit organisations, public institutions and statutory boards, as well as subscriptions, statutory personal emoluments and statutory investments.

When compared to its revised spending for the current year, government’s operating expenses for the new fiscal period are projected to drop by a whopping $219.4 million or 12.8 per cent.

Taxpayers’ money may however have to go towards funding an increase in debt service next year – up by $121.3 million or nine per cent.

The Freundel Stuart administration is also expected to pump additional money in capital transfers – $7.5 million more. Most of the projected expenditure – $602 million – is earmarked for the general Public Service, with the next largest chunk – $498.2 million – going to education. Health and Economic Services are also high on the spending charts.

The smallest piece of the projected spending pie is being set aside for defence and security – $66.9 million – representing a cut of $3.1 million.

The Government’s allocation to social security and   welfare is also to be slashed substantially – a reduction of $23.6 million, while housing and community amenities and other community and social services are due to get the knife to the tune of $43.3 million.

On the revenue side, it is looking to bring in $1.2 billion from the sale of goods and services, $661.6 million from taxes on income and profits, $133.6 million – taxes on property and over $209 million from taxes on international trade. Other taxes are forecast to earn the government in excess of $13 million.

Government is anticipating an increase in revenue of $178.7 million in the next fiscal year, taking in consideration what the revised sum is for the current period.

Debate on these estimates will begin in Parliament  on Monday and will run for a week.  

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