Montserrat’s Premier and Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Joseph E. Farrell on Monday presented the Government of Montserrat’s EC$194.03 million Eastern Caribbean dollar budget for the 2022/23 financial year.
The Government’s 2022 budget presentation was delivered under the theme ‘Investing Today To Secure Our Future: Our Montserrat, Our People’. The Minister of Finance acknowledged the challenging times the island has been operating under and how they have navigated the challenges. In his presentation, he reflected on the journey over the past two years and the achievements despite the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the budget “arrives at a moment of hope and uncertainty” given the positive accomplishments globally in the fight against COVID-19 and uncertainties concerning the events in Ukraine which have the potential to cause economic shocks.
“While it is important, Madame Speaker, to remain fiscally responsible and alert to potential economic shocks on the horizon, Madame Speaker, my government is here for the people, to make the most of Montserrat’s new dawn in a post-lockdown global economy, and to seek new partnerships and investments in our future”, stated Premier Farrell.
He further noted that the government’s budget is one “that invests in our country today, which will allow us to safeguard the future. To build upon the best of Montserrat, to double-down on the redevelopment of our island—the most resilient island in the world—and to create meaningful opportunities for our people.”
With 53.9million dollars estimated for capital expenditure this year, the Minister of Finance outlined the key capital priority areas to include further investment and progress in transformational projects across ministries and departments:
The detailed design and initial construction work for the Little Bay Port Development Project.
The completion of detailed design for the new national hospital at Glendon and early site preparation works.
The completion and commissioning of the new air traffic control tower project The structural and internal renovation of Blocks L and M at Montserrat Secondary School, together with the completion of toilet block renovations
The completion of Project Lightspeed – the customer voucher system to support all premises in Montserrat connecting to fibre optic broadband.
The commissioning of the new asphalt plant to support future road projects
The completion of social housing designs, to support the future business case for investment.
The completion of urgent works at the Drummonds and Davy Hill waste treatment sites.
The completion of the design for our new Volcano Interpretation Centre, and
The completion of well-head maintenance on the geothermal assets.
Premier Farrell in his address presented the budget outlook, and details of the estimated recurrent revenue and expenditures for the 2022-2023 fiscal period.
Budget Outlook 2022-23
The total budget allocation for the fiscal year 2022/23 is EC $194.03 million, consisting of:
o EC $140.17 million of estimated recurrent expenditure;
o EC $53.86 million of estimated capital expenditure.
Budget support from the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office is £24.12 million or EC $88.03 million, equating to 63% of the recurrent budget. This budgetary support includes a one-off £520,000 payment to support the Social Security Fund.
Local revenue collection is estimated to increase from EC $48.2 million in 2021/22 to $52.14 million in 2022/23.
Key projected growth areas include construction (4-5% supported by the implementation of major projects), hotels and restaurants (5%), transport and storage (3%), and the agricultural sector (2.75%).
OVERALL BUDGET-RECURRENT AND CAPITAL
The total recurrent expenditure for 2022/23 is budgeted at one hundred and forty million, two hundred thousand dollars (140.2m)
Capital expenditure for 2022/23 is estimated to amount to fifty-three million, nine hundred thousand dollars ($53.9m).
Total budget allocation for the fiscal year 2022/23 is one hundred and ninety-four million, one hundred thousand ($194.1m).
Full details on the 2022-23 Budget can be accessed on the Government of Montserrat website. To download and read the full Budget Statement visit www.gov.ms and click on the publications section, on the Ministry of Finance page.
Direct link for the budget statement:
BUDGET SPEECH 2022-23