Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

Bahamas government orders spending cuts
Published on February 12, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Candia Dames
Nassau Guardian News Editor

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Bahamas government has ordered its various departments and agencies to cut 10 percent from their budgets in response to serious challenges facing public finances, The Nassau Guardian has confirmed.

michael_halkitis.jpg
State minister of finance, Michael Halkitis. TNG file photo
“We think we can do the spending cuts without cutting back on essential services,” said Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis.

Halkitis said critical agencies like the police and the Department of Social Services won’t have to cut their budgets.

The government is expected to formally announce the spending cuts in its mid-year budget statement to be presented in the House of Assembly on February 20.

“The revenue is off a bit and we don’t want to overshoot,” Halkitis explained.

“We’re trying to bring down the $550 million deficit.

“A part of our problem is that we give so much concessions, not only to the hotels, but duty free concessions and other concessions.”

The projected GFS deficit for 2012/2013 is $550 million or 6.5 percent of GDP, as revealed last May in the prime minister’s budget communication.

Government debt is forecast to stand at $4.6 billion or 54.5 percent of GDP at the end of the fiscal year.

Recurrent expenditure in 2012/2013 is projected at $1.82 billion.

Recurrent revenue for 2012/2013 was projected at $1.55 billion, up from $1.45 billion at the end of 2011/2012.

Various credit rating agencies and the International Monetary Fund have repeatedly pointed to concerns regarding the government’s fiscal position.

When it downgraded the country’s credit rating in December, Moody’s cited limited growth prospects and weak recovery in tourism and construction; significant and rapid deterioration of the government’s balance sheet exacerbated by a low revenue base, and high and rising levels of debt and weakening of debt sustainability relative to other countries.

“The Bahamas has a limited revenue base and the government relies disproportionately on volatile trade-related tax revenue and property taxes. One-time revenue inflows, the divestment of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company and stamp duties on several large tourism projects financed by foreign investment, masked a decline in recurrent revenue in 2011, and will not be credit supportive going forward,” the agency said.

“We do not expect reforms necessary to increase recurrent revenues, most importantly the introduction of a value-added tax and a modernization of the property tax system, to materialize before 2014/2015.”

Halkitis told The Nassau Guardian on Saturday that the government does not intend to raise taxes but will focus heavily on improving its tax administration system.

He said there are many areas where tax collection improvements can be made including at the Department of Road Traffic, the Post Office, the various ports and in the area of real property tax.

Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian
 
Reads: 3187





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code



Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g. att.net, bellsouth.net, sbcglobal.net, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: