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The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in April saw a one-fifth decline of its revenue Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on Tuesday.

Speaking on WE FM, Gonsalves said that his government was able to pay salaries to all central government employees on that day despite the economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I just want that point to be made even though in this month though I don’t have the final outturn yet on my desk, the officials in the Ministry of Finance they basically think that it would be in the order of one-fifth loss of revenue,”

He said that the figure could he higher than that, but 20% was what the officials were working with “in terms of an estimated loss because they didn’t have all the numbers in centrally.

“So despite a significant drop in revenues for the month, we have paid all salaries on time,” the prime minister said.

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He said that his government, on Friday, paid out over EC$500,000 to about 150 workers and farmers in the arrowroot industry.

“That’s in the small geographic area of Sandy Bay, Owia and Fancy,” the prime minister said.

For yet another year, the government has had to bail out the arrowroot industry amidst problems with the processing of the crop, even as over 500,000 lbs of starch remain in storage.

Gonsalves said that all the matters addressed by the EC$74 million supplementary budget Parliament approved on April 7 are on the way.

“I just want to mention that too so that persons will know all the grants of one kind or another. The PRYME (Promoting Youth Micro Enterprises) the non-PRYME for small businesses, the issues regarding the 500 additional persons down at Social Development for an interim sum of $200 per month to the end of the year. All the money is in the Minister of Agriculture to farmers and workers for farmers and fisherfolk.”

Gonsalves said he had received a report that morning from Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar about the livestock that is to be distributed as part of the stimulus package.

“Camillo’s supposed to make a statement … about all the matters and how we’re proceeding and one by one,” the prime minister said, referring to Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves.

The government later announced on Tuesday that the finance minister will hold a press conference in Kingstown on Wednesday morning.

The prime minister said that the National Insurance Services is collecting data and addressing the issue of the payments of unemployment benefits for which the government put the legislation in place on April 7.

“These are all things which are done. That’s recently you know, just in case people forget what has been the situation and the way in which we have responded,” Gonsalves said.

3 replies on “Gov’t revenue falls 20%”

  1. If we are so close already to being unable to pay wages in SVG only you and your son Camillo can be held responsible for that. You and your government ran us into debt approaching two billion dollars. I doubt we will ever be able to repay that.

    Its no wonder you are panicking, so you should. Perhaps you can go to the couple of dozen countries who were supposed to be a coalition of the willing and give us money and materials for Argyle, they melted into the background, so now ask them for the money. Unless of course it was untrue in the first place. Also forget about the few Chinese test kits Venezuela sent and ask them to pay the Cubans wages for Argyle that they reneged on. They actually owe us in excess of EC$80 million.

    You were Minister of Finance and you handed that ministry to your son Camillo, only you two have been responsible for handling our finances, spending more than receiving. You were warned so many times by so many people to stop spending. Yet in the old fashioned 20th century communist style her in 21st century SVG you have spent money like there was no ending. Well there is an ending and its around about now.

    You have screwed up comrade, so seeing as you offered the Nigerian accommodations in your house, now put some extra beds in and offer the same favour to Vincentian seamen and women.

  2. Keep in mind that most of us have been losing far more than 20%. This crisis is far more a financial crisis than a pandemic crisis. At this time in most countries, private businesses have been the biggest losers. I have been talking to businesses in Europe losing over 90%. Here in SVG, my business income has lost well above 80%. Maybe now the SVG Government has to become more prudent and frugal. THE WORST THING THEY COULD DO IS RAISE CONTINUALLY RAISE TAXES! Raising taxes puts more strain on business, causing more closures. Not to mention IT RAISES THE PRICE OF OUR GOODS AND SERVICES! Products from SVG are already WAY OVER-PRICED. That is why we do not export.

    The cost of our products compared to the quality does not match. This came about because of our continual heavy taxation. Seeing what it costs to produce in SVG,then sell at a tiny profit),…The consumer goes elsewhere!

    Prime Minister: Do not use this as another excuse to continue raising taxes, new and more fees, duties and invent new taxes, as you have been doing in the past!
    Kenton often does not publish my critical comments on economics (probably to protect ME from retribution), but i feel the need to comment before we continue our fall into even more unemployment and poverty.

    An new economic philosophy is needed. A new perspective to craft policy better suited to SVG to get the country back to work. I am sure th opposition will work with you on this. Customs policy is a mess. Corporate Tax is way too high (it should be around 15%, or at least no higher than 21%) so investment is encouraged.

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