Manx government deficit much lower than forecast

Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK

Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK

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The Manx government has announced a much lower deficit than it had forecast.

At £17 million the net revenue deficit at the year end – the money spent compared with the money collected in taxes and charges – was £14 million lower than estimated.

Income was higher than forecast, boosted by additional income tax receipts of £5 million, while government under-spending brought expenditure in below the estimate.

Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK announced the news today.

But he warned that the encouraging outcome was ‘no excuse to relax’ in terms of maintaining budgetary discipline.

‘The outturn for the last financial year is positive news, showing that government is succeeding in delivering significant savings while sustaining the economy, which is forecast to grow at a rate of three to four per cent,’ he said.

‘We have kept public sector pay below inflation, total staff numbers have been reduced by more than 700 over the past four years, and Departments are working hard on initiatives to cut costs.

‘Government is well on course to rebalance the budget in the 2015/16 financial year, but that does not mean we are out of the woods.

‘Government’s internal reserves need to be rebuilt, cost pressures will continue, and most importantly we still do not know exactly what the island’s share of VAT revenue will be in the future.’

He added: ‘This latest update on government’s financial position is a very welcome confirmation that we are delivering on our national priorities of rebalancing public finances, growing the economy and protecting the vulnerable.

‘But knowing that challenges still lie ahead it is certainly no excuse to relax from the task of maintaining financial discipline, and indeed it would be politically irresponsible to do so.’

Government’s accounts for the year ended March 31, 2014 are due to be published Tuesday (June 17).

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