UNLIKE its Caribbean counterparts who have reported seeing a decline in governments’ revenue as a domino effect of Covid-19 this year, St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is reporting an increase.
Revenues and grants at the end of August increased by 3.4% compared to the same period last year SVG’s Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said.
Dr Gonsalves released information for September recently on his weekly appearance on the National Broadcasting Corporation and it was reported in iWitness News.
He said, “Declines have been, as a consequence of Covid, in all the OECS countries save and except St Vincent and the Grenadines, a decline of between 25 and 65 per cent. We have seen, year-on-year, thus far, an increase in our revenues at the central government and also in grants. I am pleased to report to you that by September 30, year-on-year, comparing this year with last year, total revenue and grants are up 8.5% and current revenue up 3.4%.”
In 2019, the figure was EC$431 million, compared to EC$468 million, as at Sept. 30, 2020.Current revenue at the end of September 2019 was EC$415 million, compared to EC$430 million this year, the prime minister said.
However, expenditure was increasing faster than revenue which was understandable because of all the Covid-19 measures put in place iWitness News reported Gonsalves stating.
Total expenditure had increased by 17% during the same period. Total expenditure had increased from EC$498 million from the end of September 2019 to EC$584 million during the same period of 2020.
The country is gearing up for its elections on November 5.
Gonsalves said, “The airline industry is practically closed and you have to have airlines to move people, tourists, but, I repeat, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in terms of economic growth, is doing better than any other country in the OECS, and, indeed, better than Barbados, and better then Trinidad and better than Jamaica. I am talking about the numbers, the real situation, and similarly, the fiscal situation. So these elections were called at a time of COVID when we are holding things together, stabilising it and going forward.”