Last year ‘not easy’, Solomon Islands’ Treasury reveals.

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Finance has revealed a revenue shortfall

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Finance has revealed a revenue shortfall

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Finance has revealed 2016 “has not been an easy year”, with revenue targets not being met.

Speaking to SIBC’s Distaem Nao program on Thursday morning, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Harry Kuma revealed the shortfall was, in part, because of increased expenditure in education, a rise in inflation and the low fuel price.

“2016 has not been an easy year for us,” Mr Kuma said.

“Targets of revenue were not being met, while at the same time we have had numerous demands for delivering services and implementing a number of key projects for the Government.

Mr Kuma was grilled by the Public Accounts Committee yesterday with many committee members questioning the level of spending and the processes in place.

Mr Kuma said the reasons for the shortfall, which has been covered by the reserves, were many.

“Major reason was inflation,” he said.

“We started the year with a higher level of inflation. By mid-year last year, inflation had come down, and by the end of the year it was in negatives.

“That was one of the main reasons for low collection in inland revenue. It was also influenced by the low fuel price, which is a major collection for us as well.

“Those are the key contributing factors.”

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