WEAK ECONOMIC GROWTH OUTLOOK IMPACTED GOV’T REVENUES: HOU

Finance Minister Rick Hou. Photo credit: Courtesy of Pacific Policy.

Finance Minister Rick Hou. Photo credit: Courtesy of Pacific Policy.

The caretaker Minister of Finance and Treasury, Rick Hou has confirmed on Tuesday that the weaker economic growth outlook for this year has impacted government revenues.

Minister Hou says this is the result of the April floods and subsequent closure of Gold Ridge Mine (GRM) which reduced revenue collection from the Inland Revenue Division (IRD) and Customs and Excise Division to be around $150 million lower than the 2014 Budget estimates.

Minister Hou explains the total IRD revenue for 2014 is expected to be around $1.7 billion which is $120 million lower than the original 2014 Budget estimates.

Mr Hou adds the significant downward revision was mainly on the estimates of goods tax, personal tax, and company tax.

Meanwhile, Mr Hou says on a more positive note, he indicated that revenue collections over the last couple of months since the mid-year review, was stronger than the revised forecasts.

He says, this appears to be consistent with the non-mining sectors of the economy bouncing back somewhat since the difficulties experienced following the floods in April.

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