Financial secretary: ‘Above projections’ revenue details in coming weeks

PM boasted of improved revenue performance during national address

Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson said yesterday that the details of the government’s “above projections” revenue performance for the second half of the fiscal year 2020/2021 would be revealed in the coming weeks as the Ministry of Finance finishes its full year fiscal snapshot report.

His comments come after Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis boasted of improved revenue performance ahead of projections during his national address on Wednesday.

The government had projected it would collect $1.76 billion in total revenue for the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

Given that up to March 31, the end of the third quarter, revenue receipts totaled $1.22 billion, that means revenue is ahead of the approximate $54 million expected to be collected in the final quarter of the year.

Johnson said the fiscal snapshot of the full year will be issued by the end of August.

“Clearly from what we are seeing in the numbers it’s a lot stronger than what we projected,” he said.

“When the fourth quarter report is out, the government will likely provide some indication of what the first month of the new fiscal year looked like and that is in the context of what the prime minister already put in the public.”

During his national address, Minnis said those numbers performed over budget, signaling a strengthening economy.

“Over the last six-month period, from January to June 2021, we have seen our revenue numbers beat their budget targets by tens of millions of dollars. This is after the revenue numbers had fallen substantially behind their budgeted numbers in the prior six months,” the prime minister said.

“I am pleased to advise that with still a few days left, the preliminary revenue numbers for the month of July are millions ahead of our budget projections. In fact, they are not far off the similar point in July 2019, before Hurricane Dorian and the pandemic. The recent revenue performance points to an economy that is gradually but certainly regaining its footing. While we are still not back to full economic capacity, The Bahamas has set a course for and is headed toward economic recovery.”

Johnson stayed away from pinning the revenue performance on any particular area of economic activity. However, in recent months tourism has seen an upswing, with visitors through Lynden Pindling International Airport making up nearly fifty percent of the numbers registered before the pandemic and with major hotel properties reporting pre-pandemic occupancy and forward bookings for the summer.

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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