December 20, 2017

Samoa Government tables $24.4million supplementary budget

Samoa Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, tabled a $24.4 million (US$9.6 million) first Supplementary Budget for the financial year 2017/18 this week.

The Minister submitted the budget for Parliament’s consideration during the last sitting of Parliament for 2017.

The biggest expenses include $12.4million (US$4.8 million) for the Statutory Vote and $5.2 million (US$2 million) allocated for the Ministry of Prisons and Corrections.

The money will be used to complete the new facility being built at Tanugamalala.

In addressing Parliament, Minister Sili said the budget continues the theme of Equity and Fairness.

“It is committed to maintaining the fiscal target of a budget deficit within 3.5% of GDP,” he said.

“In pursuit of that target, all additional expenditures being requested under this Supplementary Budget are fully funded from confirmed additional revenues and reallocation of savings.

“The Supplementary Budget therefore is self-funded without the recourse to borrowing which means the fiscal deficit remains unchanged.”

Sili also highlighted that the economy continues to see positive growth “growing by 2.4% in 2016/17 in real terms.

“The strong growth was driven largely by the Commerce sector, Agriculture, Personal and other services as well as other Manufacturing,” he said.

“I am pleased to also report that a review of the 2016/17 Budget out turn has indicated that the 2016/17 budget deficit was 2.1% of GDP – well below the 3.5% fiscal target.

“This positive result was largely driven by improved revenue collection which was 3.7% higher than 2015/16. Tax collection was up 3.3% while other revenues, fees and charges increased by 1.1%. On the other hand, government operating expenditures declined for the third consecutive year.

“Government continues to invest in a number of essential infrastructure projects such as the rebuilding of the Faleolo terminal building and runway, new roads and bridges, the submarine cable and hydro power plants which will improve the services to the public.

“Mr. Speaker, these achievements demonstrate good governance in the management of government resources as well as the strengthening of whole of government approaches to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery, said the Minister.

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS
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