Finance Minister Chris Sinckler today conceded the island’s debt level remains unacceptable, though he insisted it was on the decline.
As he laid the 2016/2017 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, Sinckler said a true picture of the deficit was not be given due in part to the accrual system of accounting being used by the Government.
He estimated the deficit was just over three percent.
“But whether the deficit is four per cent, 4.2 per cent or three percent or whatever it is, the fact of the matter is our programme is working, that is the real point. Whether we report it at 4.2 or 3.2 per cent, it is going down and down each year”.
He however acknowledged that the Government was a long way off from correcting the problem, which has drawn the criticism of the International Monetary Fund and international rating agencies.
“The reality Sir, is that our deficit is still too high, we believe it is still a bit too high and our GDP growth is not high enough in order for us to see a downward movement in the debt that we have.
“We have to ensure as a country that at worst our deficit is no higher than the rate of growth of our economy and at best that it is lower thereby not contributing to debt net creation.”