(Barbados) Government reports savings

GOVERNMENT, which said it is committed to reducing Transfers and Subsidies, has registered some savings from that expenditure item over the course of the last year. 
Information published on Government’s fiscal position shows expenditure on those allocations totalling $719.8 million at the end of last year.

When placed alongside the previous year’s amount, it is shown that savings amounted to around $57.6 million, according to the information highlighted by the Central Bank of Barbados in its year end report on the local economy. The 2013 allocations were $777.4 million, said the Bank’s data. 

Lower allocations were reported for all the specific areas which benefit from the transfers, a principal expenditure item.

Grants to Public institutions totalled $445.7 million compared to $501.1 million a year earlier; those to individuals were $239.3 million for the just ended year, as opposed to $235.2 million a year earlier; subsidies came in at $21.8 million, down from $36.8 million in 2013; subscriptions and contributions $13.0 million, compared to $13.3 million in 2013; and $21.9 million was allocated to non-profit agencies last year as against $27.8 million the previous year.

The reductions are part of Government’s fiscal consolidation measures undertaken to stabilise Government’s fiscal position, which at the start of 2014 was running at double figure. However, a combination of expenditure cuts and increased taxation has led to encouraging results, with Dr. Delisle Worrell indicating that the measures resulted in savings of $181 million at the end of last year.

Spending on wages and salaries declined to $603.6 million from $656.1 million a year earlier.

However, there was higher spending on Goods and Services in the review period. The Bank figures revealed that whereas in 2013 Goods and Services accounted for $228.2 million, that amount was higher by $6 million in 2014.

Interest payments were also higher last year when compared to those in 2013.