In keeping with the requirements of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 and the Public Debt Management Act, 2021, the Ministry of Finance has released both the 2021 Fiscal Strategy Report (2021FSR) and the 2021 Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy (2021MTDMS) to the public today on the Ministry of Finance’s Budget website.
The Government previously advised that the presentation of these reports would be delayed to avoid clashing with the presentation of the FY2021/22 Supplementary Budget. The Minister of Finance would formally table these reports during the FY2021/22 Mid-Year Budget debate.
The FSR and MTDS are important documents which outlines the Government’s medium-term fiscal framework, however, this administration believes that tying the formal presentation of these documents to a Parliamentary debate is unnecessary and would be making the legislative change to discontinue this requirement.
The nation’s fiscal health is in a perilous state. As outlined in the 2021FSR, The Bahamas’ fiscal health will be restored by improving Government efficiency through digitization, continued economic diversification, and improvements in revenue policy & administration to achieve revenues of 25 percent of GDP by fiscal year 2025/26. Containing expenditure will be equally important in achieving fiscal targets and Government intends to limit recurrent expenditure to 20 percent of GDP and capital expenditure to 3.5 percent of GDP by the end of the same period. The planned result is the achievement of a modest budget surplus by fiscal year 2024/25.
The MTDMS outlines the Government’s strategy to manage the stock of existing debt which has ballooned in recent years, refinance maturing debt and achieving an optimal debt portfolio. The prudent management of Government’s debt obligations is essential to achieving fiscal sustainability and build resilience to withstand future exogenous shocks (such as weather-related events and health pandemics), contribute to stable long-term economic growth, and protecting The Bahamas’ creditworthiness among investors.
The Ministry invites and encourages the public to visit the national Budget Website (www.bahamasbudget.gov.bs) to view the various statistical reports available to the public.