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The 2018-19 Montserrat Budget Premier Romeo presents $164.8 million

Premier Donaldson Romeo

There had been much ‘to-do’ about the budget delay, which, explained by the Premier was due to an ‘inordinate delay in approval by DFID”.

Last year the budget was not presented until June, constitutionally potentially due to be delivered by March 31 each year.

This year reportedly coming out of a social media post “Deliberate Breach of the Constitution by Government”, it was suggested that Government was in contradiction of the Montserrat Constitution when it did not present the budget by March 31, end of the financial year.

The offending section 92.—(1) The Minister of Finance shall cause to be prepared and laid before the Legislative Assembly before the beginning of each financial year estimates of revenues and expenditure of the Government for that financial year…”

From our understanding, the section does go on to speak to conditions that can be effected in the circumstances. The discussion which was rampant at the time just for a short moment died quickly, but it was obvious that those who took on the matter did not do enough research before seeking legal opinions etc. When they got the final word, yes there seems to be some breach, “then so what?” It appeared like so often it became stuck in thick mud. Throughout this issue there will be featured much of the previews and/or reviews of the budget.

Thus, beginning on April 23, 2018, as promised, as a release informed: Premier and Minister of Finance and Economic Management, the Honourable Donaldson Romeo presented the Government of Montserrat’s $164.8 million dollar 2018-2019 budget, under the theme ‘Advancing Our Journey To Self-Sustainability Through Strategic Investments’.  

Premier Romeo delivered the budget this afternoon (Monday, April 23) during a meeting of the Legislative Assembly at the Montserrat Cultural Centre where he outlined the spending and revenue expectations for 2018-2019 and highlighted a number of success over the previous year 2017-2018.

The local economy is forecast to grow by 2.22% during 2018-2019 and the Government of Montserrat’s aim is to achieve sustainable economic growth of around 3% to 5% per annum over the next 10 years.   The budget presentation also highlighted increased in capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure for this fiscal year. The Capital Expenditure Programme increase to EC$33.62 million (EC$7.14 million DFID Funded Projects, EC$24.58 million EU funded projects, EC$1.90 million other funding partners) compared to the $14.95 million dollars spent in 2017-2018.

The Recurrent Expenditure for the 2018/19 financial year is one hundred and thirty-one million one hundred and fifty-one thousand three hundred dollars ($131, 151, 300), representing an increase of 2.16% over last year’s figure.  

A number of sectors were highlighted by the Premier as being poised for growth over 2018-2019.  These include, the Mining and Quarrying sector; the Agriculture sector; The Construction sector; Hotel and Restaurant segments of the Tourism sector; and the continued growth of the Festivals are expected to result in increased tourist arrivals.

The revenue projections for this fiscal year also show an increase compared to 2 017-2018.  The revenue estimate for 2018-2019 is $131.15 million dollars compared to $124.2 million for last year.

In addition to the projections for 2018-2019, Premier Romeo also highlighted the advancements made last year. The strategic breakthroughs which were realized in 2017-2018, as highlighted by the Premier included, the signing of the fourteen million, four hundred thousand pounds (£14,400,00)  financing agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for the Port Development; signing of EDF11 for eighteen million, four hundred thousand Euros (€18,400,000); the Economic Growth Strategy and Delivery Plan; the approval if the Subsea Fibre Optic Cable Project which will be advanced in 2018, and the progress made in Geothermal Energy Development. 

The full budget speech is available for download or viewing at www.themontserratreporter.com, or at www.gov.ms, click on the publications section, then Ministry of Finance and select Budget Speech 2018.

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Premier Donaldson Romeo

There had been much ‘to-do’ about the budget delay, which, explained by the Premier was due to an ‘inordinate delay in approval by DFID”.

Last year the budget was not presented until June, constitutionally potentially due to be delivered by March 31 each year.

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This year reportedly coming out of a social media post “Deliberate Breach of the Constitution by Government”, it was suggested that Government was in contradiction of the Montserrat Constitution when it did not present the budget by March 31, end of the financial year.

The offending section 92.—(1) The Minister of Finance shall cause to be prepared and laid before the Legislative Assembly before the beginning of each financial year estimates of revenues and expenditure of the Government for that financial year…”

From our understanding, the section does go on to speak to conditions that can be effected in the circumstances. The discussion which was rampant at the time just for a short moment died quickly, but it was obvious that those who took on the matter did not do enough research before seeking legal opinions etc. When they got the final word, yes there seems to be some breach, “then so what?” It appeared like so often it became stuck in thick mud. Throughout this issue there will be featured much of the previews and/or reviews of the budget.

Thus, beginning on April 23, 2018, as promised, as a release informed: Premier and Minister of Finance and Economic Management, the Honourable Donaldson Romeo presented the Government of Montserrat’s $164.8 million dollar 2018-2019 budget, under the theme ‘Advancing Our Journey To Self-Sustainability Through Strategic Investments’.  

Premier Romeo delivered the budget this afternoon (Monday, April 23) during a meeting of the Legislative Assembly at the Montserrat Cultural Centre where he outlined the spending and revenue expectations for 2018-2019 and highlighted a number of success over the previous year 2017-2018.

The local economy is forecast to grow by 2.22% during 2018-2019 and the Government of Montserrat’s aim is to achieve sustainable economic growth of around 3% to 5% per annum over the next 10 years.   The budget presentation also highlighted increased in capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure for this fiscal year. The Capital Expenditure Programme increase to EC$33.62 million (EC$7.14 million DFID Funded Projects, EC$24.58 million EU funded projects, EC$1.90 million other funding partners) compared to the $14.95 million dollars spent in 2017-2018.

The Recurrent Expenditure for the 2018/19 financial year is one hundred and thirty-one million one hundred and fifty-one thousand three hundred dollars ($131, 151, 300), representing an increase of 2.16% over last year’s figure.  

A number of sectors were highlighted by the Premier as being poised for growth over 2018-2019.  These include, the Mining and Quarrying sector; the Agriculture sector; The Construction sector; Hotel and Restaurant segments of the Tourism sector; and the continued growth of the Festivals are expected to result in increased tourist arrivals.

The revenue projections for this fiscal year also show an increase compared to 2 017-2018.  The revenue estimate for 2018-2019 is $131.15 million dollars compared to $124.2 million for last year.

In addition to the projections for 2018-2019, Premier Romeo also highlighted the advancements made last year. The strategic breakthroughs which were realized in 2017-2018, as highlighted by the Premier included, the signing of the fourteen million, four hundred thousand pounds (£14,400,00)  financing agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for the Port Development; signing of EDF11 for eighteen million, four hundred thousand Euros (€18,400,000); the Economic Growth Strategy and Delivery Plan; the approval if the Subsea Fibre Optic Cable Project which will be advanced in 2018, and the progress made in Geothermal Energy Development. 

The full budget speech is available for download or viewing at www.themontserratreporter.com, or at www.gov.ms, click on the publications section, then Ministry of Finance and select Budget Speech 2018.