Bigger Budget

Based on the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for the 2016-2017, which were laid in Parliament by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler earlier today, the Freundel Stuart administration will be spending more this year, including on wages and salaries.

However, the projected increase in total remuneration costs is not based on the current demands being made by trade unions for an increase in workers’ pay.

A statement issued by the Ministry of  Finance and Economic Affairs put Government’s estimated total expenditure at $4.3 billion, which amounts to an increase of $92.5 million or 2.2 per cent over the revised figure for 2015-2016. Of the total figure, $4.04 billion represents current expenditure while $1. 2 billion represents capital expenditure and amortisation.

Current revenue  is projected at $2.7 billion.

“On the accrual basis, when amortization of $821.7 million is taken into account, a baseline deficit of 5.0 per cent is expected,” the statement said.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

During the 2016/2017 financial year, Wages and Salaries are expected to increase over the revised amount for 2015-2016 by $17.8 million or 2.4 per cent to $758.7 million.  The statement said the increase was mainly due to increments.

Expenditure on goods and services is also expected to increase by $106.9 million to $459.9 million while current transfers are projected to decrease by $88.2 million or 7.7 per cent to $1.05 billion.

In terms of its  repayment of  debt, this is expected to account for $1. 7 billion, compared to the revised projection of $1.6 billion.

The Estimates also make provision for the following:

  • a  subvention of $146.3 million to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital;
  • a subvention of $89.9 million and $9.1 million for the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority respectively;
  •  $12  million and $7.1 million for the CAF Road Rehabilitation Programme and The IDB Road Rehabilitation Programme respectively;
  •  Grant funding of $26.3 million  as budgetary support and also to assist in carrying out the following programmes:- Human Resource Sector Strategy and Skills Development; Storm Water Management Plan; Amalgamated Lab (Ministry of Health)
  • A current subvention of $26.6 million and a capital subvention of $3 million to the Sanitation Service Authority;
  • An amount of $11.5 million has been provided for the Public Sector Smart Energy Programme;
  •  $71.3 million  to the University of the West Indies;
  •   $19 million has been provided to the Welfare Department;
  •  $11.9 million for the Skills for the future programme under the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation ;
  •   $12 million  to the Barbados Drug Service for the purchase of drugs;
  • $4 million for enhanced access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises;
  •  $80 million for the redevelopment of Sam Lord’s Castle;
  •  $1.5 million and $30.9 million to finance projects of the Barbados Water Authority funded by the CDB for the Upgrade of Water and Sanitation Study and the Canadian Commercial Corporation in respect of the Water Meters Replacement Project respectively; and
  •  $8.1 million to complete the Lodge School under the Edutech programmme.

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