The government of Anguilla is banking on several projects and revenue streams to rebalance the territory’s finances.
Giving a recent update in the Anguilla House of Assembly, Premier Dr Ellis Webster recalled his assessment of the situation upon taking office a year ago that Anguilla was at a critical juncture regarding the state of the government’s finances.
He said then that they had inherited “a very serious and precarious financial state of affairs” with what he described as a detrimental revenue shortfall of over $EC 97million.
A year later, Premier Webster, who is also the Minister of Finance, says although the situation is still not “rosy”, it is nevertheless “going in the right direction.”
He was at the time presenting his administration’s Mid-Year Medium Term Economic and Fiscal Plan for this year. Anguilla is still saddled with a debt burden in the region of $EC400 million, a $EC22 million budget deficit, and struggling to collect outstanding taxes of around $EC 50 million further compounding the government fiscal challenges.
However, despite the added complication of the ongoing CVID-19 pandemic and the recent passage of the controversial General Services Tax(GST) - which several of his ministers voted against - Premier Webster has pointed to several encouraging developments.
“There are two more marina projects coming on stream and a possible third, two new medical schools are planning to open here, industries of fishing and farming are due for expansion, light manufacturing is being explored, and the construction sector is on the rise,” Premier Ellis announced linking the latter to the expansion of some hotel properties.