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Nevis Premier Brantley presents $239.7million budget for 2020

Photo caption: Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance in the Nevis Island Administration, presenting the 2020 Budget at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly on December 03, 2019

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (December 03, 2019) — Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance in the Nevis Island Administration, presented a $239.7million budget free of new taxes, when he delivered the 2020 Budget Address in two and a half hours, at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly in Chambers at Hamilton House on December 03, 2019.

Under the theme “Building Resilience, Improving Infrastructure for long-term development, a harmonised approach to economic growth,” the Finance Minister noted that the budget represented an 11 percent reduction compared to the $269.9million budget of 2019, while the no new taxes would serve as an incentive to stimulate economic expansion and encourage growth in the private sector.

“We have allocated the amount of $170.3 million to recurrent spending representing a reduction of 5.6 percent when compared to the allocation of $180.4 million for recurrent spending for fiscal year 2019. Recurrent spending for the upcoming fiscal year therefore, comprises 71.05 percent of the total budgeted expenditure,” he said.

Regarding revenue collection, Mr. Brantley noted that $139.5 million represents a projected increase of 1.2 percent when compared to the projected revenue of $137.8 million for the fiscal year 2019.

The projected revenue collection of $11.53 million will come from the Financial Services Sector and $30 million from remittances from the Federal Government from Passport processing fees under the CBI programme.

The combined total Recurrent Revenue is projected to be $169.5 million for the 2020 fiscal period. Compared to last year’s projected Recurrent Expenditure of $170.3million, the projection for 2020 provides a slight deficit on the recurrent budget of $0.8million.

For Capital Expenditure, an amount of $69.4million has been allocated which represents a 22.19 reduction compared to the amount of $89.2 million that was allocated for the fiscal year 2019.

The key areas of major allocation for expenditure are:

– The Office of the Premier is allocated funding in the amount of $8.2 million representing 3.42 percent of the total budget.  Included in this amount are funds allocated to support the security services in our fight against criminal activities;

– The Ministry of Finance is allocated funding in the amount of $79.5 million representing 33.2 percent of the total budget. Included in this amount are funds allocated to meet our Debt Servicing obligations;

– The Ministry of Communications and Works is allocated funding in the amount of $40.1 million representing 16.73 percent of the total budget. Included in this amount are funds allocated for the infrastructure development program namely the upgrading of our road network, maintaining of government buildings and other structures along with provisions for upgrading our water services;

– The Ministry of Agriculture et al is allocated funding in the amount of $11.4 million representing 4.8 percent of the total budget.

Included in the amount are funds allocated for food sustainability and security projects along the reforestation programme for the planting at least 10,000 fruit and ornamental trees in support for the environment;

– The Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs is allocated funding in the amount of $37.3 million representing 15.6 percent of the total budget.

Included in the amount are funds allocated for providing improvements in the quality and delivery of health care, an increase in remuneration for nurses, and for the completion of construction work under the Alexandra Hospital Expansion Programme;

– The Ministry of Education, Library Services and Information Technology is allocated funding in the amount of $33.1 million representing 13.8 percent of the total budget.

Included in the amount are funds allocated for the delivery of quality education to the people of Nevis, executing work under the Caribbean Development Bank Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Enhancement programme, and the development of the administration’s information and communication technology needs.

–  The Ministry of Social Development, Culture, Youths and Sports is allocated funding in the amount of $16.5 million representing 6.9 percent of the total budget.

Included in the amount are funds allocated for the delivery of the administration’s social protection agenda and improvements to sporting facilities.

Funding for the Capital budget will come from loan funding from the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, the Sustainable Growth Fund at the Federal Level, grant funding from regional and international partners; and loan funding from other financial entities at concessionary rates not exceeding four percent per annum for the completion of capital works.

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