December 7, 2007
Prime Minister lays Estimates

With an estimated capital expenditure budget of $73.75 million, the Ministry of Transport and Works
has been allocated the lion’s share of the 2008 EC$239.77 million capital budget.{{more}}

Rehabilitation of the Windward Highway at $ 35.7 million, the $18.6 million allocated for the Canouan Airport Extension, and $10 million for general road rehabilitation lead the way in projects under the Transport Ministry.

The Ministry of Education is second on this list, with $53.99 million being allocated, which is 51.4 percent or $18.33 million more than the approved capital budget for this ministry in 2007.

In addition to the capital budget, a 14.8 percent or $66.86 million increase in the recurrent expenditure takes the 2008 figure to $517, 495,950, which brings the total estimated budget for 2008 to $757,261,400. This represents a 20 per cent increase above the 2007 numbers.

Dr Gonsalves said that the estimates contain financial and human resources aimed at consolidating the gains of the education revolution, combating crime, enhancing national security and increasing the level of domestic food production and consumption.

He also pointed towards the goal of providing social safety nets for the economically vulnerable segments of our population.

On the revenue side of things, government expects to receive $447,817,950 in revenue in 2008, up 12.2 per cent from 2007.

Taxes on domestic transactions account for 63 per cent or $138.28 million of this figure.

“The Value Added Tax, the excise duty and stamp duty are important contributors to the increase in this tax type,” Dr Gonsalves said.

Dr Gonsalves said that the growth in revenue for 2008 will come principally from growth in the real Gross Domestic Product and a more efficient tax system. (KJ)