Government releases Q1 financial details
First-quarter fiscal performance figures for 2019 were released by the Ministry of Finance yesterday.
Revenues for the three months ending in June were $266.5 million, $6.4 million higher than in June 2018.
A ministry spokeswoman said that the primary reason for the increase, was because of an increase in payroll tax collections of about $4.7 million, higher passenger tax collections of about $3.5 million and higher collections in customs duty of $1.9 million.
She added: “In general, total revenues are tracking in line with budget estimates and the strength in payroll tax, passenger tax and customs duty receipts increases the chance of meeting the total revenue target of $1,118.5 million for the current fiscal year.”
The spokeswoman said that current expenditures for the period were up $4.9 million from the same period in the last fiscal year to $235 million.
She explained the increased spending was “mainly due to salary negotiated pay awards, offset by lower expenditures in grants and contributions and insurance”.
The spokeswoman added: “In general, current expenditures, excluding debt service, are tracking in line with budget estimates.
“The $236 million spent in the first three months of 2019-20 represents approximately 25.4 per cent of the total current account budget of $929.9 million.”
Capital expenditures for the period were $17 million, $5.2 million high than in 2018.
The spokeswoman said: “This is due to structural refurbishment of bridges, refurbishing ferry docks, capital maintenance on Tynes Bay and new capital grant amounts to the Bermuda Housing Corporation.”
She said that capital expenditures were “tracking on budget”, and that the $17 million spent represented about 26 per cent of total capital account budget of $64.7 million.
The spokeswoman said total current and capital spending, excluding debt service, was $10 million, 4.1 per cent higher than last year’s spending.
She added that interest on debt for the period was $29 million; $1.9 million less than last year’s period.
The spokeswoman said: “This is primarily due to the refinancing of more expensive government bonds, in November 2018, when Government executed an international bond transaction.”
The spokeswoman said the Government had incurred a deficit of $15.7 million in the period, compared with $29.9 million last year.
She added: “This deficit was financed with working capital. No new borrowing was incurred during this period.”
The spokeswoman said that gross debt at the end of June stood at $2.58 billion and net of the sinking fund, debt was $2.461 billion.
She added: “In May 2019, $100 million of private placement notes matured. Government drew from the sinking fund to pay off these private placement notes, which reduced interest expenses on an annual basis, by $7.38 million.”
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