Excerpt from PM Pierre’s Statement on the 2024-2025 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that the Government’s performance improved over the fiscal year 2023/2024 despite the challenges that I spoke of earlier. With consumer and investor confidence on the up, total revenue of $1.68 billion was raised to finance government operations and capital projects. The elements of which are as follows:

  1. Domestic revenues – $1.38 billion
  2. Loans – $140 million
  3. Grants – $73.0 million
  4. Bonds and T-bills – $82.6 million

2023-2024 Expenditure Performance

Mr. Speaker, on the Expenditure side, the government, through prudent management, will have kept well within the 2023-2024 Budget ceiling of $1.856 billion. Preliminary data up to February 2024, points to the Government spending approximately $1.68 billion for the fiscal year 2023-2024, an estimated 9.3 percent below the approved estimates of $1.856 billion.

In 2023/24 Expenditure on Government Operations fell by 9.0 percent moving from $1.44 billion to $1.31 billion due to a reduction in project operation costs. Additionally, there was lower expenditure on capital projects of $259.6 million as compared to the project expenditure of $302 million. Delays experienced in procurement and administrative processes were the main reasons for the shortfall. Capital expenditure increased over last year by $68 million or 4%.

 Analysis of Ratios

Mr. Speaker, this year there was a primary surplus of $104 million, $42 million more than last year, and $62 million more than the approved estimates.

Current account surpluses of $156 million or $47 million over 2023 and Recurrent Account Surplus of $46 million or $39 million over 2023.

Overall Mr. Speaker the Primary Balance is 1.5% of GDP as compared to 1% last year.

The analysis shows that the results of this fiscal year were better than last year illustrating an improvement in the performance of the Saint Lucian economy.

These surpluses are not to be interpreted as the government having extra cash. Instead, it is the result of the prudent fiscal management of the country’s finances, which allowed it to more than meet its recurrent expenditure, leaving excess revenue to cover in part, the country’s debt obligations in interest payments and principal payments.

Mr. Speaker, had we not been able to do so, the government would have had to borrow to meet some of its recurrent expenditures: salaries and wages, rent, utilities, and the like. We have responsibly avoided this scenario and will continue to avoid it through prudent fiscal management of the government’s finances.

Moreover, Mr. Speaker the Primary Surplus Balance indicates that the country is developing the capacity to reduce its level of debt over time.

A deficit on the primary account would have indicated that revenue and grants would be inadequate to pay the interest on debt. As a result, no contribution would have been made towards any reduction in the debt expenses.

Mr. Speaker, I hope this explanation has debunked the idea, by some who may wish to mislead the public, that the government has generated more cash than it needs.

Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding those current account surpluses the government will experience an overall deficit in 2023-2024 of $111 million or $65 million less than last year indicating a lowering of the deficit gap.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the day when our Revenue and Grants will be sufficient to cover both Current and Capital expenditure, leaving us with an overall surplus. If this country is kept in the hands of responsible men and women to administer, as is the case now, it may one day get there.

Wages and Salaries

Mr. Speaker, wages and salaries for the fiscal year 2024 of $517 million are anticipated to fall below the approved Estimates of $531 million by approximately 2.6% or $14 million. This reduction primarily stems from lower-than-expected project management expenses emanating from delays in project implementation. Wages and Salaries for 2023 were $535 million or $18 million more than this year due partly to the payment of retroactive payments to public servants last year.

Debt Service Payments

Mr. Speaker, the debt payments are the first call on the consolidated fund and every effort continues to be made to honour those obligations in a timely manner.

Mr. Speaker, for the year-end outlook, we anticipate $326.2 million will be paid toward our debts, $215.1 million in interest payments, and $111.1 million in principal payments. Last year, we spoke about the increases in interest payments due to the significant upward trend in the SOFR rates because of the steady increases in the Federal Funds Rates during 2023. Although the rates remained high, the estimated amount projected fell below the approved estimate for 2023-2024.


Mr. Speaker, for the year-end outlook, this government would have paid $231.5 million in transfer payments, 3.2 percent lower than the approved figure of $239.1 million, but 10.5 percent above the payments made in 2022-2023. These payments went to subsidise the operations of state-owned entities, increases to organisations supporting the poor and marginalised, public assistance to the most needy in our society, and the payment of school facilities fees.

Goods & Services

Mr. Speaker, expenditure in goods and services will amount to $309.9 million for 2023-2024, approximately $95.9 million below the amount approved for the same fiscal year.

Mr. Speaker, in this category of expenditure, are rentals of government premises, utilities, training, consultancy services, operation and maintenance, and purchase of supplies and materials.

The lower expenditure, than what was approved, is mainly due to reduced payments for consultancy services related to capital projects and other Government initiatives.

Development/Capital Expenditure

Mr. Speaker, in the 2023-2024 Budget year, we approved $302 million in capital expenditure with $19.2 million being non-project capital and $282.9 million for capital projects.

Non-Project capital items refer to the purchase of government assets such as vehicles, furniture and other equipment not associated with projects.

While Project Capital refers to the buildings, infrastructure, and equipment associated with specific projects.

Mr. Speaker, we are projecting an overall spend of $259.6 million in capital expenditure for the year 2023-2024, a 14.1 percent decrease from what was approved in the Estimates.

Mr. Speaker, a significant portion of funds allocated for capital expenditure comprised of Design Finance Construct (DFCs) commitments. For the year 2023/2024, the Government was obligated to pay $106 million to settle DFC commitments, limiting the government’s investment in new infrastructure to only $153.6 million for that year. The government’s priority now is to significantly reduce these DFCs to provide the fiscal space for the implementation of key infrastructural projects.

Mr. Speaker, the enactment of the Procurement Bill is proving to be unnecessarily onerous and has resulted in an impediment to the government’s level of project implementation, as it relates to the procurement of goods and services. There is, therefore, a need to revisit the Act with a view to finding an optimum balance among the essential elements of Good Governance.

Mr. Speaker, there is an urgent need to remove some of the administrative bottlenecks that continuously undermine the level of implementation of government projects. We shall be addressing those bottleneck issues in the 2024-2025 fiscal year so that we can deliver the much-needed services to the people of Saint Lucia.

Mr. Speaker, despite the challenges, this Government will continue to deliver on its capital portfolio. I shall provide more details on these projects during my Policy Address. Public Sector Projects this year 2023-2024 include

  1. Renewable Energy Sector Development Project
  2. OECS Tourism Competitiveness Project
  3. Community Tourism Project
  4. Disaster Vulnerability and Reduction Project
  5. St Jude’s Reconstruction Project
  6. Construction of Northern Police Headquarters
  7. Custody Suites

2023-2024 Revenue performance

Mr. Speaker, allow me to discuss Government revenue performance for the fiscal year 2023-24.

Mr. Speaker, there has been much misinformation and exaggeration, from the Opposition, of the impact on the local economy, regarding the implementation of the Health and Security Levy. For the purpose of clarity, the Health and Security Levy provided a relatively small but important collective contribution to the huge demands that health and safety places on the resources of the country. Mr. Speaker, the projected collection from the Health and Security Levy was approximately $35.0 million, designed to finance in part rising healthcare costs and the security needs of our country. However, given the delayed implementation of the levy, we are estimating a collection of $18.0 million by the end of the fiscal year- 48% less than projected.

This means Mr. Speaker that from the increase in revenue of $118M over last year only $18M can be attributed to the Health and Security Levy.

Mr. Speaker, an analysis of the country’s health and security obligations should place into context the need for the levy and the need to be proactive in taking measures that would help the government keep pace with rising costs, especially in health. Let us take a closer look at what the government spent in this fiscal year 2023-2024.

  1. Direct Cost of Health Care: a. Provision of health care services $160.0 million
  2. Capital Expenses: a. St Jude Hospital reconstruction project:

$17 million

  1. Health System Strengthening Project: $ 5.3 million
  2. OECS Regional Health Project: $ 2.3 million
  3. Universal Health Coverage: $ 0.7 million
  4. Other projects under Health: $ 3.4 million

Total Capital Expenses $ 28.7million

Total Expenses $188.7million 3

Other expenses – The government is indebted to several private local and foreign healthcare facilities that provide medical care to citizens.

  1. National Security:
  2. Provision of national security services: $84.7 million
  3. Capital projects: $ 1.5 million

Total Expenses $86.2million

  1. Other expenses relating to the purchase of vehicles and equipment will be outlined in the Policy Statement.

Mr. Speaker, note that expenses for Bordelais have not been included.

Mr. Speaker, Direct Government expenses on Health and Security $275 million for the fiscal year 2023/2024. However, only $18 million was collected from the health and security levy to fund the needs of the country.

Mr. Speaker, although we will fall short of our Projected Total Revenue target for 2023-24, revenue collection continues to indicate an upward trend because of increasing economic activity, resulting in improved performance in several revenue areas, notably, personal income tax, taxes on goods and services, and excise tax on petroleum products.

Mr. Speaker, grant receipts are normally tied to the implementation of projects. With the less-than-desirable level of project implementation, only $73.0 million has been anticipated, a 50.3 percent decline in the amount approved for 2023-2024.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, non-tax revenue is projected to perform below the approved amount by approximately $29.9 million due to lower receipts of voluntary transfers.

Based on the foregoing, Mr. Speaker, total revenue and grants fell short of the targeted receipts by $121.0 million or 7.8 percent.

Mr. Speaker, when compared to last year’s, recurrent revenue increased by $124 million and total revenue increased by $118 million.


As previously indicated, the Government anticipates an enhancement in its fiscal operations, leading to a narrowing of the fiscal deficit from the approved estimate of $176.4 million or 1.8 percent of GDP to an estimated $111 million or 1.6 percent of GDP by year-end. Additionally, the primary surplus is forecasted to exceed the approved amount of $42.4 million, reaching a total of $104 million.

The projected outturn entails disbursements toward the following items of expenditure:

– Loans: $139 million, reflecting a strategic utilisation of borrowing to meet critical funding requirements for development projects and infrastructure enhancements.

– Treasury bills and Bonds: $82.6 million, demonstrating an approach in utilising debt instruments to manage liquidity and meet short-to-medium term financing needs.

This includes the issuance of treasury bills and bonds to efficiently raise capital while maintaining financial stability and market confidence. The government’s ability to raise capital relates to high investor confidence in Saint Lucia since this government took over the management of this country. This was evidenced by the Debt Unit recording over 92.0 percent rollover of Treasury Bill Instruments.

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