Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Capital expenditure 5% ahead of target, finance minister discloses

Published:Sunday | September 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott
Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service.

Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke has disclosed that the Government has so far exceeded its capital expenditure budget by five per cent.

The capital budget is the money set aside for new projects like roads, schools, and hospitals.

According to Clarke, up to recently, governments would hold back on capital expenditure because they were not sure about the prospects.

"That is our history," Clarke said.

"But this year, for the first time in a long time, for the first four months in this year we are actually ahead of budget as far as capital expenditure is concerned," said the finance and public service minister.

He was speaking on Thursday night during a meeting of the Kiwanis Club of North St Andrew at the Police Officers' Club in St Andrew.

The Government has budgeted some $60 billion to fund capital projects this year.

Clarke has cited projects such as Barbican Square, Hagley Park Road and Mandela Highway as some of the major capital expenditure.

"All of this is possible because we are moving in the right direction. It would not be possible otherwise," the finance minister said.

He maintained that the fundamentals in the economy continue to "underpin" a stable environment for economic activity.

Clarke further said that taxes have so far outperformed targets, though no new taxes were implemented this financial year.