NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government settled $52.3 million in payment arrears in the nine months ending March 2021, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The ministry, in its nine-month report on budgetary performance for the period July to March of fiscal year 2020/2021, noted that approximately $289.6 million has been settled to date versus the total scheduled $315.6 in government arrears payments.
The Minnis administration has argued the value-added tax (VAT) rate hike from 7.5 to 12 percent it introduced after taking office was necessary to pay off the past-due government arrears it inherited, which had no budgetary allocation.
Elsewhere, it was noted that government subsidies, which represent transfers to government-owned and/or controlled entities or private sector partners who provide goods and services to the general public, increased by $19.2 million (6.2 percent) to $330 million and represented 89 percent of the budget allocation.
“Subsidies to public non-financial corporations were elevated by $22 million (7.6 percent) over the comparative period to $310.6 million,” the report noted.