COVID-19 Wrecks Budget

COVID-19 is to cost the Government of Jamaica some 120 billion dollars ($120-B) this financial year.

Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke told Parliament Wednesday, May 13, that preliminary estimates for April, the first full month since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Jamaica Taxes were that government revenues declined by approximately 18 percent.

The Minister said he expected revenue and grant flows to be down by $81 billion dollars or 12.3 percent lower than the approved Estimates of Expenditure.

Reduction was from tax revenue, $13.4 Billion and Non-tax revenues $2.3 Billion.

Debt servicing costs, because of exchange rate depreciation was now estimated to increase by nearly $8 Billion.

At the same time, there would be an added $34 Billion in Government spending brought on by COVID-19.

He said the challenge to the Government and People of Jamaica, brought on by COVID-19 was $120 Billion.

Mr. Clarke was presenting the first Supplementary estimates to the 2020/21 Budget.

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