The Government received more revenue during the third quarter of this year but ended with a higher deficit compared to the same period of 2012.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, responding in Parliament on Tuesday to a question from Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, said that during the third quarter of this year, total revenue and grants amounted to EC$137 million, compared to EC$124.2 million during the same period of 2012.
Current revenue improved by EC$2 million, moving from EC$117 million in 2012 to EC$119 million this year.
Total expenditure, which was EC$128 million in Q3 last year, rose to EC$146 million, while recurrent expenditure increased from EC$118 million to EC$124 million.
Capital expenditure registered an almost three-fold increase, jumping from EC$8 million to EC$22 million.
The current balance, a deficit of EC$$1.3 in 2012, moved to a deficit of EC$5.4 in 2013, while the overall balance moved from a deficit of EC$2.6 million last year to a deficit of EC$9.3 million.
“Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members would note that we have had about a 4.8 per cent increase in recurrent expenditure and about 170 per cent increase in the capital expenditure. That has contributed to the widening of the overall deficit,” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance.
“In the recurrent expenditure, the items which continue to show spending, continue to show robust growth, would be the pensions, from 11 million [dollars] to just over 12 million [dollars],” he further said.
“Robust in the sense that it is a growing plenty; and that is a challenge. It is a growing problem,” he further said.
“And wages show a 6 per cent increase. Unless you get a special explanation for that, sometimes it may be when the matters come to account,” Gonsalves further said, adding that salaries and personal emoluments each show about 2 per cent increase.