KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, May 17, IWN – This country’s fiscal situation during the first quarter (Q1) of 2013 improved year-on-year, but Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has told Parliament that preliminary figures show a deterioration in April.
“On the face of it, for the first three months, we have an improvement in the fiscal situation. But, I have seen the preliminary numbers, which have not been confirmed to me yet in relation to April, and I see a deterioration in April,” Gonsalves said on Thursday.
“Of course, those who are familiar with the government finances [know] while it is important to keep your monthly tracks, sometimes [there are] some reportage issues and so on and so forth,” he further said in response to a question from Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace.
Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, said that in Q1 of 2013, total revenue and grants amounted to EC$114.5 million, compared to $104.5 million during the same period of 2012.
Current revenue this year was $101.1 million a slight improvement over 2012, when the figure was $100.9 million.
Capital revenue and grants in Q1 amounted to $13.4 million compared to $3.7 million, year-on-year.
Total expenditure, stood at $118.5 million, a 5.1 per cent increase over the 2012 figure — $112.8 million.
Meanwhile, recurrent expenditure stood at $110.6 million, while in Q1 of 2012 it was $112 million, a decline of 1.2 per cent.
But Gonsalves told legislators that while there was a decline in recurrent expenditure in Q1, personal emoluments had risen 3.4 per cent, 10.5 per cent more was spent on wages and salaries, and pensions had spiked 15.5 per cent.
Capital expenditure had risen sharply to $7.9 million, up from $736,000 in Q1 of 2012.
“Capital expenditure is doing much better so far,” the Prime Minister commented.
The current balance this year, while like Q1 of 2012 registering a deficit, showed some improvement.
This year, the figure is a deficit of $9.5 million, compared to a deficit of $11.1 million in 2012.
The overall deficit in 2013 ($8.1 million), however, was larger than in 2012 ($4.04 million).
“As the number will show, we are not out of the woods yet,” Gonsalves said, using what has become a common refrain when presenting the fiscal outturn.