NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (February 20, 2023) – Premier Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Finance in the Nevis Island Administration delivered the 2023 Budget Address on Monday, February 20, 2023, outlining an estimated $261,650,850 in government expenditure for fiscal year 2023.
The Premier tabled the Nevis Appropriation (2023) Bill 2023 for a first reading in the Nevis Island Assembly, which contains the Draft Estimates for expenditure for 2023 .
In his Budget Address themed “Charting The Pathway To Socio-economic Transformation: Investing to Accelerate Growth”, he revealed the budget allotments for the various government ministries.
The Office the Premier is allocated $11.3 million, representing 4.33 percent of the total budget.
The Ministry of Finance is allocated $89.2 million, representing 34.09 percent of the total budget.
The Ministry of Communication and Works is allocated $35.9 million representing 13.75 percent of the total budget.
The Ministry of Agriculture et al is allocated $17.6 million, representing 6.73 percent of the total budget.
The Ministry of Health, Gender Affairs, Social and Community Development is allocated $49.4 million, representing 18.88 percent of the total budget.
The Ministry of Tourism is allocated $9.6 million, representing 3.67 percent of the total budget.
The Ministry of Education, Library Services, Information Technology, Youth and Sports is allocated $43.7 million, representing 16.69 percent of the total budget.
“I wish to make it abundantly clear that annual budgets are merely projections for revenue and expenditure. Even though we have made these projections, we are fully aware that our ability to undertake this expenditure will naturally be limited by our ability to gain access to funding…I further wish to assure the public that we will not be reckless with our spending and will only seek to undertake capital projects if the funding becomes available and can be accessed at low cost in accordance with our debt management strategy,” the Premier said.
As it relates to fiscal matters, the Minister of Finance pointed out that the budget is free of any new taxes, as the NIA supports the view of economists that increasing taxes above the optimal level will serve as a deterrent to increased economic growth, business expansion and prosperity.
“We also subscribe to the notion that it is the duty of every government to sustain growth in the economy through the creation of good high quality paying jobs and expand opportunities for entrepreneurial development in a manner that improves the livelihood and standards of living of our people. While we have not sought to implement any new taxes, we will however make a concerted effort to collect any and all arrears of taxes due.”
The Budget Debates will take place starting Tuesday, February 21, 2023.