Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photo)

The economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines improved during the first third of 2014, compared to the same period of 2013, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament on Thursday.

“The fiscal outturn on the numbers presented are better than last year but I want to give a few details which would show positive signs and for us to issue a caution that we are not yet out of the woods,” he said in response to a question from Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace.

Gonsalves said total revenue and grants for the first third of 2014 was EC$174.86 million, compared to EC$147.9 million in the same period of 2013.

Current revenue was EC$174 million, EC$30 million more than the same period of 2013, while total expenditure was EC$179.26 million, 5.6 per cent more than 2013, when the figure was EC$169.7 million.

Of the total expenditure, recurrent expenditure in the first third of 2014 was EC$161.5 million, compared to EC$159.79 year on year.

Capital expenditure increased by 78.3 per cent — from EC$9.9 million to EC$17.9 million.

The current account reflected a balance of EC$12.86, compared to a deficit of EC$14.85 million in 2013.

The overall balance was a deficit of EC$4.4 million, while it was a deficit of EC$1.8 million in 2013.

Gonsalves said there was substantial improvement in stamp duties and in alien land holding licenses, accounting for the month of April being “a pretty good month”.

He said, however, that May is not such a good month for revenue, adding that some months are better than others.

Gonsalves further told Parliament that earnings from taxes on international transactions, international trade, and value-added tax on international transactions increased by 4 per cent, 1.6 per cent, and 2.9 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, earnings from taxes on domestic transactions, and VAT on domestic transactions increased by also registered increases, Gonsalves said, adding that this would indicate an uptick in economic activity.

Gonsalves further noted that his government had promised to provide to the Carnival Development Corporation the increase in excise duties on certain alcoholic beverages.

However, excise duties are actually down in the first third of the year, he told lawmakers.

Gonsalves said that while consumption of alcoholic beverages has not decreased, there is an effective contraband system that has to be addressed for improved collection of excise duties.

6 replies on “St. Vincent economy improves during first third of 2014”

  1. urlan Alexander says:

    Says who? The man who to lie at certain time. A good reporter must check the source for. Truth. The PM is lying to his teeth.

  2. Ralph Gonsalves must try explaining to the tens of thousand of Vincentians who can’t buy food or pay their bills, who can’t find a job, whose business places have to be closed and workers laid off, many of whom are dying like flies from stress, the relevance of his statement that the economy has improved. And please show us where this improvement took place in the face of all these unbearable hardship facing the Vincentian people.

  3. When you are at rock bottom and cant go any further down anything is an improvement , can someone explain that to the greater number for vincentians please .

  4. Hahahaah. Lol sometimes I just have to laugh, Vincentians you all should pat yourself on the back, you all sit down and take nonsense from this guy because his skin is light? Hahh. the guy isn’t even that smart, every single industry destroyed or going under, and this guy is talking about growth? hHAAHAH. What growth is he talking about? It can’t be the same Vincy we taling about, it has to be a Vincy on TV, because that hard place where people balling everyday did not grow in no period for a while now.Lmao Sometimes I laugh my belly full at my country.

  5. Peter Binose says:

    Don’t forget if you hungry and need a roof over your head, everyone is welcome at the Gonsalves mansion at Goss Mountain, its an open house to one and all. Just turn up and say Peter sent you.

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