Education gets lion share of government’s 928.1 Million Dollar budget

Social distancing assembly at Antigua Girls’ High School.
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ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – 28th January, 2021……..Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne on Thursday announced a $928.1 Million dollar budget with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology receiving the highest budgetary allocation in the amount of $143.1 million. 

Prime Minister Browne in his budget highlighted his government’s commitment to improving all levels and modalities of education in Antigua and Barbuda which he said that is a platform for high levels of economic growth.

The country’s leader announced that his government expects revenue to improve gradually over 2020’s.  He said that Recurrent Revenue is estimated at $872.5 million for 2021, which is a 17% increase over the $745.8 million generated in 2020.  The components of recurrent revenue are Indirect Tax Revenue – $604.2 million;  Direct Tax Revenue – $98.5 million and Non-Tax Revenue – $169.0 million

PM Browne said that the Customs and Excise Division and the Inland Revenue Department are tasked with the all-important responsibility of delivering this revenue performance.  The amount budgeted for capital receipts is $7 million, while grant funding for Fiscal Year 2021 is budgeted at $82.1 million.

The components of recurrent expenditure are:

  • Wages and Salaries – $402.8 million
  • Transfers and Grants – $154.4 million
  • Pensions and Gratuities – $70.9 million
  • Goods and Services – $157.9 million
  • Interest Payments – $103.2 million
  • Statutory Contributions – $39.0 million

Government’s Capital Budget for 2021 is $167.2 million, which is a 62% increase over the $103.3 million spent on capital projects in 2020.

Prime Minister Browne said that the increase in capital spending is part of Government’s strategy to promote economic activity while the country awaits a rebound in the tourism sector.

He said that spending on road works will amount to $31.9 million in 2021 and $43 million has been allocated for major repairs and maintenance to government buildings and to improve climate resilience of critical government infrastructure.

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