BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
SOLOMON ISLANDS is facing a revenue shortfall of $259 million as the fallout from the coronavirus leads to a dramatic deterioration in the state’s economic outlook.
This was revealed by the Minister of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) Harry Kuma on Monday in his parliament address to answer questions by the Opposition Leader Matthew Wale on how the economy is being affected by the coronavirus threat.
Mr Kuma said this revenue shortfall means expenditure will need to be rationed or reprioritised.
Kuma said Health related expenditure was expected to increase by five percent from $2467.7 million to $259.05 million and push total government expenditure by two percent against the baseline of $3.9 billion.
“Overall, the likely impact of this global pandemic will put pressure on government finances and government’s fiscal and might deteriorate.
“Our first priority is to keep up with the difficult task of keeping our people’s health as safe as we possibly can.
“This challenge, the Government is also determined and prepared to lessen the financial and economic fallout of COVID-19 on our domestic economy,” said Kuma.
Kuma said that in this connection, the government has considered a balanced fiscal and economic policy to ensure adequate resources are available to keep our people safe, and to provide fiscal stimuli to our domestic economy in this difficult time.