Government revenues up

Government revenues up

• Expenditure down by $87.7 million

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer business writer

Friday, December 04, 2020

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Latest data from the Ministry of Finance show that government revenues and grants for the period of April to October 2020 are slightly up over projection by $2.88 billion to $298.68 billion.

In spite of government's grants and revenues being slightly up, the numbers represent a decrease of approximately 16.7 per cent relative to the $358.76 billion recorded for the corresponding period in 2019. This decline is to be expected given the slow down in economic activity during the period due to COVID-19.

Tax revenue, grants and non-tax revenue all outperformed projections during the review period. Tax revenue amounted to $261.69 billion, which is $2.42 billion more than budgeted while non-tax revenue came out at $33.46 billion.

This was $11.7 million more than budgeted. Grants amounted to $3.51 billion outperforming the projected amount by $444.50 million. Notably, there was no budgeted amount booked for bauxite levy, which is the revenue earned from bauxite companies operating in Jamaica.

The capital revenue, which is money received on an irregular or once-off basis closed the period with a provisional amount of $22.10 million, corresponding with the projected amount.

EXPENDITURE PERFORMANCE

Total expenditure for the period April to October 2020 amounted to $370.80 billion, $87.70 million less than the budgeted amount of $370.88 billion. Recurrent expenditure, which is money paid out to carry on the functions of government amounted to $343.38 billion.

Recurrent expenditures accounted for 92.61 per cent of overall expenditures in government. Of the recurrent expenditure categories for the review period, the categories above the budgeted amount were employee contribution and interest.

Employee contribution amounted to $8.28 billion and was $108.1 million or 1.3 per cent more than budgeted while interest totalled $75.71 billion. This was 0.6 per cent above the budgeted amount of $75.28 billion.

Relative to projections, the out-turn for expenditure on programmes was $138.43 billion, 0.6 per cent less than the budgeted amount. Additionally, wages and salaries in the public sector came out at $120.95 billion for the period under review.

This was 0.1 per cent less than the budgeted amount of $121.06 billion. The fiscal deficit, which is a shortfall in a government's income compared with its spending, was $72.11 billion, relative to a projected deficit of $75.07 billion.

Additionally, the primary surplus, which comprised current government spending less current income from taxes, and excludes interest paid on government debt for the period amounted to $3.60 billion, relative to the budgeted primary surplus of $210.70 million.


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