Government is experiencing challenges in collecting the revenues required for public service departments to function properly, Financial Secretary, Glenroy Forbes has said.
He told BVI News in an exclusive interview on Tuesday (July 24) that the challenges hinge on the territory still reeling from the impacts of the 2017 disasters.
“Things are quite different than they were prior to Irma because, in most cases, you had money left over from the previous year and people could just go and spend money quicker,” he explained.
Forbes said government “basically exhausted all of the monies that were available” after the hurricanes.
“The fact remains – we have had a hurricane that compromised the government’s ability to collect revenue. So yes, some departments are not able to go out and spend the money as soon or in the amount that they would like to based on the budget that was approved for them.”
While describing the extent of the territory’s economic challenges, Forbes said whenever Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith announces government’s projected revenue for any period, the various governmental departments must then go out and retrieve the projected revenue amounts owed.
The financial secretary’s statements come amid chatter that government departments are unable to function normally because the public purse is virtually empty.
Forbes also told BVI News that government is operating with a budgetary deficit, which he projects will continue for the next three years. He, however, said government’s financial standing is likely to improve after those three years.
“When the final analysis [of the economy] is done, I know we are going to see a deficit for last year, and we are going to have one this year too, and in 2020,” Forbes said.
A deficit effectively means the money spent is more than what was received.
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