remier and Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Donaldson Romeo presented the Government of Montserrat’s $164.8 million dollar 2018-2019 budget, under the theme “Advancing Our Journey To Self-Sustainability Through Strategic Investments”.
Premier Romeo delivered the budget this afternoon (Monday, April 23) during a meeting of the Legislative Assembly at the Montserrat Cultural Centre where he outlined the spending and revenue expectations for 2018-2019 and highlighted a number of success over the previous year 2017-2018.
The local economy is forecast to grow by 2.22% during 2018-2019 and the Government of Montserrat’s aim is to achieve sustainable economic growth of around 3% to 5% per annum over the next 10 years. The budget presentation also highlighted increased in capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure for this fiscal year. The Capital Expenditure Programme increase to EC$33.62 million (EC$7.14 million DFID Funded Projects, EC$24.58 million EU funded projects, EC$1.90 million other funding partners) compared to the $14.95 million dollars spent in 2017-2018.
The Recurrent Expenditure for the 2018/19 financial year is one hundred and thirty-one million one hundred and fifty-one thousand three hundred dollars ($131, 151, 300), representing an increase of 2.16% over last year’s figure.
A number of sectors were highlighted by the Premier as being poised for growth over 2018-2019. These include, the Mining and Quarrying sector; the Agriculture sector; The Construction sector; Hotel and Restaurant segments of the Tourism sector; and the continued growth of the Festivals are expected to result in increased tourist arrivals.
The revenue projections for this fiscal year also show an increase compared to 2 017-2018. The revenue estimate for 2018-2019 is $131.15 million dollars compared to $124.2 million for last year.
In addition to the projections for 2018-2019, Premier Romeo also highlighted the advancements made last year. The strategic breakthroughs which were realized in 2017-2018, as highlighted by the Premier included, the signing of the fourteen million, four hundred thousand pounds (£14,400,00) financing agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for the Port Development; signing of EDF11 for eighteen million, four hundred thousand Euros (18,400,000); the Economic Growth Strategy and Delivery Plan; the approval if the Subsea Fibre Optic Cable Project which will be advanced in 2018, and the progress made in Geothermal Energy Development.
The full budget speech is available for download here —> Budget-Statement-2018
Source: Government Information Unit