Legislators are expected to begin debate on the 2023 budget today, December 20 in the House of Assembly (HOA) at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duffs Bottom.
The $399.33 million budget is the first for Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr Natalio Wheatley and his Government of National Unity since taking over as the territory’s leader earlier this year.
More than 83 per cent of the budget — some $335.08 million — is expected to be directed towards the territory’s recurrent expenditure, with just $41.59 million being allocated for capital expenditure, the Premier said.
Premier Wheatley announced during his budget speech weeks ago that the Health Ministry will receive the largest share of the recurrent allocations at $73.07 million or 18.3 per cent.
According to the territory’s leader, estimated revenues for 2023 are $373.03 million with some $352.64 million of this amount coming from taxes. The remaining $20.39 million is expected to come from other revenue sources.
The Premier further noted that next year’s inflation rates are expected to be lower than 2022 (6.4 percent) and are projected to be in the region of 4.2 per cent.
For the past few weeks, lawmakers met with members of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) where they were expected to meet with all government departments and statutory bodies to examine their operations for the year ahead.
In his budget speech, the Premier expressed that the people of the BVI have done a remarkable job at economic development and financial management.
He said this success has come despite the list of difficult circumstances experienced over the past five years such as the Commission of Inquiry
), and its damning report. He also alluded to the ‘demanding requirements’ of the implementation of the COI
recommendations, among other reforms committed to by his government.