The economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines performed better in almost every area during the first nine months of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told reporters on Monday that total revenue and grants has increased 5 per cent from EC$383.7 million in 2013 to EC$405.9 million in 2014.
Current revenue was up almost 10 per cent from EC$341 million to EC4375.2 million.
Total expenditure also increased, moving from EC$421 million to EC$444.2 million, while recurrent expenditure also saw a year-on-year increase from EC$358.5 million to EC$379.2 million.
Gonsalves said that during the period under review, capital expenditure moved from EC$62.5 million in 2013 to EC$65 million in 2014.
And while the current balance was still a deficit, that deficit had decreased from EC$17.4 million during the first nine months of 2013 to a deficit of EC$4 million during the corresponding period of 2014.
The overall balance also increased slightly, moving from EC$37.3 million to EC$38 million.
Gonsalves said there was an increase in most categories of taxes, saying that this represents economic growth and better collection.
Taxes on income and profits, which includes personal income taxes, companies tax and withholding taxes, increased from EC$77.6 million to EC$83.3 million.
Taxes on properties increased from EC$2.34 million to EC$2.8 million.
Gonsalves said this does not mean that persons have a higher property tax burden after the reform of the property tax law.
“It is that the net has been spread wider, because there were a lot of people who were not on the tax roll,” he said.
Taxes on domestic collections increased by 2.6 per cent, while domestic VAT had increased by 7.5 per cent, from EC$48.37 million to EC$52.01 million.
“Some of that is because of the natural increase in goods, but some of it also is better collection and an uptick in economic activity.
He said while citizens ask what the government is doing about poor state of the nation’s roads, for taxes on vehicles, the government collected EC$9 million plus for all of 2013, and expect to collect just over EC$10 million this year.
At the end of September 2014, the government had collected EC$7.99 million, an increase of 4.6 per cent over the same period of 2013, when EC$7.6 million was collected.
Gonsalves said there is 500 miles of motorable road in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and it costs about EC$1 million to repair a mile of road.