When newly installed Finance Minister Gregory Bowen presents the 2021 budget in Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday) he will tell Grenadians that the coronavirus pandemic has left the island’s Treasury in financial distress.
THE NEW TODAY has obtained a copy of what amounts to be the Budget Speech to be delivered by Minister Bowen who took over the Finance portfolio just over a month ago from Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
According to the document, government intends to tell the public that the COVID-19 pandemic has eroded “public finance gains in 2020”.
“The primary surplus and overall surplus are estimated at 2.9% of GDP and 0.9% of GDP respectively. Dampened economic activity as a result of COVID-19 also contributed to the weakened outturns, preliminary estimates indicate that the economy will contract in real terms by – 12.2 percent of GDP at the end of 2020,” the document said.
In the 2021 budget speech, the Finance Minister will inform Parliament about the following:-
- Recurrent revenue is estimated at $654.2 million (23.2% of GDP) for 2020 and total Grants are estimated at $114.6 million.
- Current Expenditure (excluding principal payments) is estimated at $620.1 million (83.6% of total expenditures) or 21.9% of GDP.
- Capital Expenditure is estimated at $122.1 million (4.3% of GDP).
- A Primary Surplus (after grants) of $82.2 million (2.9% of GDP) is estimated.
- An Overall Surplus of $26.6 million (0.9% of GDP) is estimated.
- Recurrent Revenues are estimated at $654.2 million, 15.9% lower than 2019 performance of $778.0 million and 16.8% below the budgeted amount.
- All categories of Tax Revenues are expected to be less than their respective 2019 outcomes.
- Tax Revenue is estimated to be 17.2% less than its 2019 outturn. Non-tax revenue is expected to be lower than its 2019 outturn by 0.1% but above the 2020 target by 1.6%.
Following is the detailed document obtained from within the Ministry of Finance on the 2021 budget: