#Providenciales, April 18, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Proposed spending for the new fiscal year has spiked by several million dollars as Premier and Finance Minister Sharlene Robinson on Tuesday during a special and succinct session of the House of Assembly announced a bigger budget than had originally been projected.
“The 305.9 million forecast is approximately 26.2 million or 9.3 percent greater than the approved estimates for 2018/19 and 12.3 percent lower than the audited performance. Mr. Speaker, we continue to deliver bigger and bigger budgets,” said the Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade, Hon Sharlene Robinson.
In February, the country was informed that the UK-approved Financial and Strategic Policy Statement for the upcoming fiscal year was projecting an historic $301 million budget, that figure is up and so is the forecast surplus.
“Given our commitment to the future generations to remain economically independent we continue to forecast a fiscal surplus; a position many countries are struggling to achieve. The primary surplus, Mr. Speaker, is estimated at $11.5 million from which $6.3 million will be transferred to reduce our enviable debt portfolio of $9.4 million,” said the Premier on Tuesday morning.
No longer $7.9 million, the Turks and Caicos Islands is looking at a possible $11 million surplus, more than half of which will be used to pay down on debt.
The Premier was the only parliamentarian speaking on Tuesday as the Appropriations 2019-2020, Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and the Constitutional and Statutory Bodies estimates of Revenue and Expenditure 2019-2020 were laid.
The House of Assembly meeting lasted less than an hour.
The PDM Administration announced earlier this year that the Budget would be late and had hoped for debate on the financial plan to begin this month, April. Traditionally, the Turks and Caicos marks its new financial year on April 1.
Premier Robinson, on Tuesday conveyed that the Budget debate is set for Wednesday May 1, 2019; which reflects a further delay.