CDB & ECCB want aggressive debt reduction for A&B

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The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is urging the government of Antigua & Barbuda to implement more “fiscal consolidation” policies to halt the accumulation of national debt and bring down existing arrears.
The CDB’s advice comes even as the government boasts of an approximate 13.7 percent reduction in the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio from 89.7 per cent at the end of 2015 to 76 per cent at the end of 2016.
According to Director of Economics at the CDB, Dr Justin Ram, “there needs to be some consolidation there to ensure that debt levels do not spiral into levels where we think there can be debt distress”.
According to Prime Minister Gaston Browne the nation’s debt stock at the end of 2016 was $2.9 billion and was a reduction from a $3.1 billion in 2014.
In January, Browne said public debt and interest payments for 2017 amount to $476 million. Recurrent revenue projections for 2017 were budgeted at $935 million and the total 2017 budget was $1.2 billion.
 
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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