House approves second supplementary estimates

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke, speaks in the House of Representatives Tuesday (Feb 4).

The House of Representatives has approved the Second Supplementary Estimates, which shows additional spending of $7.966 billion for this fiscal year.

This has increased the budget to $859 billion, with non-debt expenditure moving to $541.4 billion and public debt servicing at $317.6 billion.

In his remarks in the House on Tuesday (Feb 4), Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, noted that the fiscal year to the end of November 2019, recorded better-than-budgeted performances on both the central government’s primary balance and fiscal balance indicators. He said provisional data indicate that central government operations at the end of November 2019 generated a fiscal surplus of $11.4 billion, which is $16.9 billion better than the programmed deficit of $5.5 billion.

Meanwhile, the primary surplus of $94.1 billion is $14.2 billion or 17.71 per cent more than the $79.9 billion anticipated in the first Supplementary Estimates.

“This favourable fiscal performance resulted from a combination of higher-than-projected revenue and grants and lower-than-programmed expenditure. Revenue and grants were ahead of the first Supplementary Estimates by $4.8 billion or 1.2 per cent, driven mainly by the strong performance of tax revenues, which was $5.1 billion better than the first Supplementary Budget,” Clarke said.

He added that capital revenue, which was forecasted at $0.813 billion, exceeded projection by $0.013 billion. Grants, however, were behind the first Supplementary Budget of $3.6 billion by $0.282 million or 7.7 per cent, while non-tax revenue, projected at $39.6 billion, was broadly in line with the Budget.

The main areas that have benefited from the additional spending space are Ministry of Transport and Mining, $1.765 billion; Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, $1.608 billion; Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, $1.598 billion; Ministry of National Security, $1.709 billion; and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, $1.106 billion.