The Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, tabled a supplementary budget of $12,288,936.00 in Parliament yesterday.
Speaking about the budget, he said it was the result of a very ‘careful review’.
Sili said the government continues to promote the theme of “living within our means”.
In doing so, the government has attempted to identify various means to maintain its fiscal target of a budget deficit within the range of 3.5% of the national G.D.P.
“The Ministry for Finance has completed an assessment of previous financials for the F.Y. 2015/2016 and have since concluded that there has been a 0.4% decrease in total national spending,” he said.
“A review of the first quarter of the 2016/2017 financial period has revealed a 0.7% budget deficit of the G.D.P.
“These are clear indications that all Ministries, under the guidance of the Ministry for Finance, have been committed to ensuring prudent control and the efficient use of all Government resources throughout the course of the financial year.”
Sili made it clear that the expectation was that these ‘controls’ would not diverge from other government priorities that are currently being implemented to ensure a continued improvement in the quality of life for all Samoan.
The supplementary budget is allocated as follow:
Summary of Revenue
- $148,140 - Ministry for Revenue
- $ 204,552 - Ministry of Finance
Sili said a large portion of additional requests received from various Ministries are funded through the reallocation of savings from existing appropriations and include the following:
• $2,254,340 from Statutory Vote
• $1,352,866 reduction in Principal payments for external debt servicing
• $901,474 reduction in interest payments on external debt servicing
• $2,600,000 from the Ministry of Finance
• $1,600,000 reduction in the Government of Samoa Capital injection to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank which is currently up to date and will not be reviewed again until August 2017
• $1,000,000 reduction in appropriations for Insurance on Government Assets following the conclusion of the tendering process for this expenditure item as approved by Cabinet
• $7,081,235 from the M.W.T.I.
• $39,100 savings identified from lease and rents expenditures for the T.A.T.T.E. Building
• $48,000 appropriated for the temporary hire of a structural engineer, which will now be reallocated into personnel to finance the post for a permanent engineer
• $7,000,000 originally allocated as a subsidy for V.A.G.S.T. to the E.P.C. but is no longer required due to a change in legislation that now has electricity zero.-rated
Summary of Additional Expenditure
Additional expenditure requested and granted under this supplementary budget have been reviewed against additional resources and formulated against a backdrop of the critical developments contributing to sustainable developments.
o -$7,000,000 to the Statutory Vote♣ - $5,000,000 additional funds for VAGST refunds
o - $2,000,000 additional funds for Income Tax Refunds
o - $274,134 for the Legislative Assembly
o - $709, 885 for the Ministry of Communication
o - $1,934,828 for the Ministry of Education
o - $225,000 for the Ministry of Finance
o - $353,569.73 for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
o - $825,080 for the Ministry of Health
o - $233,962 for the Ministry of Justice
o - $161,440 for the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure
o - $680,000 for the National Health Services
The budget will be discussed when parliament reconvenes on 24th January 2017.