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Camillo Gonsalves 1

Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves presents the Estimates in Parliament on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. He is now scheduled to present the Budget next on Jan. 10, 2022. (Photo: NBC Radio/Facebook LIVE)

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The presentation of the 2022 Budget, which was scheduled to begin today (Monday) having been postponed from December, has been postponed for another week.

The House of Assembly announced on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, that the ceremonial opening of the Second Session of the Eleventh parliament has been rescheduled to next Monday, Jan. 10, at 4 p.m.

In a post on his Facebook page on Dec. 28, 2021 Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves said that the first draft of his budget speak was  “clocking in at a (way too) lengthy 4 hours and 20 mins or so. 

“That’s about 1 word for every $35k allocated, lol. Luckily I have all week to trim it down. Looking for an editor…”

On Dec. 14, 2021, Parliament  approved Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the 2022 fiscal year, amounting to EC$1,329,340,860.

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This is a 9.6% increase over the approved budget for 2021, which did not include the volcano eruption-related appropriations of EC$117.9 million that was passed later in the year.

Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves, said that the  budget for 2022 is made up of recurrent expenditure, inclusive of amortisation and sinking fund contributions  of EC$931,876,660 and capital expenditure of ECEC$397,463,860 .

Financing for the 2022 budget is expected to come from current revenue of EC$677,586,000 and capital receipts totalling EC$651,832,860, the finance minister told lawmakers. 

The 2022 current expenditure, exclusive of amortisation and sinking fund contributions amounts to EC$727,017,441. 

Current revenue is estimated at EC$677,000,580, resulting in a current account deficit of EC$49.5 million.

The 2022 current revenue of EC$677.5 million is a 4.7% or EC$30.1 million increase above the amount budgeted in 2021. 

Gonsalves said that the improvement in revenue performance in 2022 “is reflective of what is anticipated to be a strong uptick in real economic activity projected for the year”. 

Responding to the numbers, Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday accused the government of an “old trick”.

Friday said:  

“The matter that we have here is basically the old trick of creating a large budget and not specifically indicating how it’s going to be funded. 

“And we raised this all the time, because if you’re honest in the presentation of various programmes that the government intends to implement, various sources of revenue that they intend to tap into, then we need to be able to say exactly where it’s coming from. “

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