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Gov’t records $3.6m surplus in 2009

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THE Government has recorded a surplus of $3.6 million last year in the face of challenges brought about by the global financial and economic crisis.

The Ministry of Finance yesterday released the unaudited preliminary report noting the reported figures are the best currently available and may change marginally as more information comes to hand.   

The results recorded a surplus of $3.6 million made possible by total Revenue collected of $1,566.3 million, which exceeded total Expenditure of $1562.7 million in 2009.

Revenue collected was $1,566.3 million against a revised estimate of $1,504.8 million.

This is $61.4 million higher when compared to the revised budget estimate due to unanticipated additional revenue collected by Inland Revenue, Customs and Fisheries. 

Revenue also includes donors consolidated development of $99.2 million.

Actual expenditure was $1,562.7 million against a revised estimate of $1,873.2 million leading to an under spend of $310.5 million.  

Expenditure included Standing and Special Imprests payments (advances) of $21.6 million and $12.1 million respectively. 

 Expenditure also includes donor consolidated development of $91.7m.  

The budgeted expenditure figures included an additional $79.5 million authorised by Parliament through Supplementary Appropriations; $14.0 million for Development and $65.5 million for Recurrent budgets.  

At the end of the financial year, Inland Revenue (IRD) collected $924.6 million exceeding the revised annual estimate of $902.0 million by $22.6 million. 

Goods tax of $327.2 million was the major revenue collected, followed by Personal Taxation of $222.6 million and Company Taxation of $221.0 million.  

Other IRD related taxes include Withholding Tax of $95.8 million, Sales Tax of $38.9 million and Stamp Duty of $13.9 million. 

Motor and driving licence collection for the year was $5.2 million.

Customs & Excise collected $375.6 million against a revised target of $380.0 million, resulting in a shortfall of $4.4 million. 

Export duty of $164.9 million on log/timber was the major revenue collected by Customs.   

Total Import Duty was $124.1 million while total Export Duty was $171.7m with tobacco and beer attracting high excise duties of $78 million.  

Export duty on logs make up 44% of Customs revenue and 96% of export duties.

Other Ministries contributed $166.7 million in revenue.  This was against a revised annual estimate of $140.4m, providing $26.3m in extra revenue.  

The main revenue from other ministries comes from overseas fishing license fees of $57.6 million. 

Also reported against other ministries revenue is a one off payment from the sale of Home Finance Ltd amounting to $13.8 million and Telekom Licence fees of $6.3 million.

Revenue from donors, which form part of the Consolidated Development Revenue, was $99.2 million.  

Taiwan is the primary donor of these funds with an annual budget of $81.9 million including $48.9 million for Parliamentary Constituency Funding and $19.0 million in grants for Tertiary Scholarships and free education.  

In 2009 Taiwan also contributed $8.0 million to pay out Telekom’s exclusive licence.   

On Expenditure, The Ministry of Finance and Treasury introduced a number of expenditure strategies and controls to ensure that cash flow was maintained at a level that enabled the continuous delivery of basic services and implementation of government policies. 

At the end of the year $472.0 million against the annual estimate of $563.5 million was expended on the government payroll with a 4.5% Cost of Living Adjustment awarded to all public officers and backdated to 1 January 2009.    

A total Development Expenditure of $179.0 million was recorded against annual estimates of $312.5 million. 

The significant under spend resulted from cash flow difficulties with a number of projects not being implemented while other development projects have been reprioritized and carried forward into 2010. 

On Government Donor Consolidated Development expenditure, a total of $93.1 million was expended. 

This is mostly Taiwan funded projects and comprise of RCDF, Micro Project payments and Taiwan funded tertiary scholarships. 

Other Charges expenditure, excluding Debt Servicing, was $626.1 million against a revised annual budget of $815.3 million. 

The revised budget includes supplementary appropriations and a 10% reservation on Other Charges expenditure budget estimates. 

Major expenditure includes utilities $80.6 million, house rentals $60.0 million, scholarships $35.6 million, fuel $10.0 million, staff travel $13.0 million, overseas travel $11.8 million, office accommodation rent $10.2 million, various grants of more than $100 million and SOE debt assistance of $21.0 million. 

On National Debt Servicing a total $96.9 million against estimates of $99.5 million was expended. 

Debt payments in some cases are determined by Debt Settlement Deeds agreed between SIG and creditors and expenditure reflects these agreed payment arrangement and as a result in 2009 SIG did not default on any of its debt obligations. – Government Communications Unit