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Budget Speech: Government spent $71 million more than expected in 2022-2023

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2023. 2:55 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: While collecting more than $1.356 billion in total revenues and grants in the financial year that wraps up at the end of March, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance John Briceño said some $71 million more than budgeted for, about $1.436 billion, was spent by his administration in the last 12 months.

“89 percent is tax revenue, eight percent is non-tax revenue, and three percent is capital revenue and grants. Actual revenue and grants exceeded the originally budgeted amount by $93 million, an increase of $89 million,” the P.M. said.

However, total expenditure rose by five percent more than budgeted, led chiefly by $48 million more in recurrent expenditure. A total of $178 million was expected to be sourced from domestic borrowing, the Taiwan budgetary facility, and other loans to cover the deficit.

“The bottom line for this fiscal year: Government expects a primary surplus of 0.5 percent of GDP or approximately $31 million,” Briceño said, adding that a positive primary balance is a clear signal to our fiscal strength and capacity to sustain debt.

The Government was able to continue infrastructure projects across the country, including the Caracol and Coastal Roads; projects in education, climate vulnerability, citizen security, and the Development Finance Corporation’s (DFC) MSME loan program; built new schools, polyclinics and other projects.

 

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