Historic spending revealed
(CNS): Despite the premier’s claims that his government has made significant cuts to public spending, the Annual Plan and Estimates reveal that government intends to spend close to three quarters of a billion dollars over this financial year. When government’s core operating expenses are added together with spending on government companies and statutory authorities, it will spend a record $713 million, according to the now published budget documents. However, as a result of the UK’s refusal to allow more public borrowing and in order to achieve a significant surplus, government is forecasting the collection of a staggering $834 million in fees and taxes via the entire public sector.
The government is projecting a surplus of some $82 million when the operating expenses and anticipated revenues of the entire public sector are taken into account.
As the legislative process on the budget continued Thursday, there was still no word from the UK that the budget currently under debate would be approved. However, government has now published the relevant documents that contain the spending and revenue earning statistics on which it has based its spending plans for the final year of this administration.
The budget documents reveal that there are few major cuts in public spending and many line items have been increased, with expenditure in some areas outstripping that of the last financial year.
Cuts in the fire service, road maintenance, services at district health clinics and spending on tourism marketing have been outweighed by some significant increases in other areas. The Turtle Farm subsidy has increased by $1 million on last year’s forecast and the premier’s National Building Fund has also been boosted by more than $1.5 million over last year’s allocation, standing at over $4.5 million compared to the $3 million allocated to it in 2011/12.
According to government’s revenue projects, core government expects to collect some $105 milllion more than it collected during the 2011/12 financial year.
Based for the first time on a projection of 75% compliance, as opposed to the 100% projection in the past, government is forecasting the collection of an extra $10 million this year from bank licences, an extra $9 million from work permit fees and a further $12 million in duty. It is also hoping to raise close to $20 million from new fees relating to directors of offshore companies. A new departure tax is expected to generate a further $3 million and an increase in tourism accommodation fees is a forecast to bring in an extra $3 million.
Legislators will begin examining the budget in more detail during Finance Committee, which was expected to begin Thursday evening.
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