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No New Taxes In Bahamas Budget

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

05 June 2007


Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has delivered the government's budget for the fiscal year beginning 1 July, which has committed the administration to pursuing a "balanced budget" fiscal policy.

Ingraham told the House of Assembly last week that total recurrent revenue in the 2007/08 budget is $1.490 billion against a recurrent expenditure of $1.465 billion. The Budget Debate is set to commence in the House on Tuesday, June 5.

There are no new taxes and no increases in taxes in the 2007/08 budget, and the government indicated plans to cut some existing taxes.

Ingraham said that confidence in the Bahamian economy requires that the government pursues sound fiscal policies to ensure rapid yet sustainable economic expansion, including keeping a watchful eye on public spending policies and trimming the present revenue structure with a view to closing loopholes. The government expects the GFS Deficit to be eliminated over time.

According to Ingraham: "In 2007/8 we are projecting a GFS Deficit of 1.8% largely arising as result of a 'catch up' on essential expenditures, but our projections envisage a planned recurrent budget surplus as a result of which the GFS Deficit will be on a declining trend in 2008/9 and 2009/10. Indeed, by 2012/13 the GFS Deficit should be eliminated."

Citing International Monetary Fund statistics, Prime Minister Ingraham noted that projections for economic growth in 2007 and 2008 provide confidence that the growth strategy envisaged by the government will be successful.

Also announced during the Budget Communication were plans to introduce a mid-year budget review and report to parliament, to demonstrate transparency, accountability and the orderly budgeting of the Bahamas government. This report is expected to set out the economic background of the fiscal year-to-date, the fiscal performance in the first six months of the current fiscal year, and any proposed additions to expenditure for approval.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series giving background tax and residence information on many of the key offshore jurisdictions is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report4.asp

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