Log In

Reset Password

Serious choices in the year ahead, finance minister warns

First Prev 1 2 Next Last
The Minister of Finance, Curtis Dickinson (File photograph)

The finance minister yesterday insisted that price controls were unlikely to be introduced to combat inflation.

Curtis Dickinson said that the Covid pandemic would continue to hit the economy, but that he did not expect next year’s Budget to be a “harsh” one.

But he added that, because the island needed to bring in so much from overseas, it was “importing inflation”.

Mr Dickinson said: “I don’t see price controls coming forth. What I do see is that most of our goods are imported from Canada, the US, the UK, who are all experiencing inflation.

“And so, inasmuch as we continue to import from those countries because we do not have the natural resources to develop goods on our own, we will actually be importing inflation.”

Mr Dickinson added: “I wouldn’t say it’s going to be a harsh Budget. I haven’t finished developing it yet.

“But we are operating in an environment where the pandemic is continuing. We have seen it have a negative impact on our economy for the past two years. It would be unreasonable not to expect a similar impact going forward.

“Plus we have all the other challenges that we have to face with respect to refinancing debt – real fiscal challenges around balancing our budget.

“So we are going to be making some serious choices in the year ahead.”

Mr Dickinson earlier repeated much of the financial update he delivered in the House of Assembly last Friday, which can be found here.

He told the House of Assembly that estimated revenues for the year would be $8 million higher than predicted, but that expenditure would be $56.9 million higher than anticipated.

Cannot foresee Covid-19 lockdown

Mr Dickinson said he could not foresee another lockdown at this stage.

He highlighted that booster shots helped to reduce the impact of the Omicron variant and that people should consult their doctors if they had not been vaccinated or had still to get a booster shot.

Mr Dickinson told MPs that he was confident the Government could meet the budget deficit target of $124.7 million by cutting back on capital spending.

He added that $92.9 million had been allocated for capital expenditure but the finance ministry has proposed a $25-million reduction.

Mr Dickinson said today a pre-Budget report would be delivered next month, which would expand on how he would meet budget targets despite increased Covid-19 expenditure.

He added a decision not to leave vacant Government posts unfilled would not affect people’s everyday lives.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published December 21, 2021 at 9:30 am (Updated December 21, 2021 at 9:30 am)

Serious choices in the year ahead, finance minister warns

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon