The Cayman Islands government has taken in more money than budgeted in the first nine months of 2018. The unaudited financial results for the public sector for the first three quarters show an overall surplus of $183.3 million, almost double the $92.6 million surplus budgeted for this point of the year.
“While revenues are generally lower in the second half of the financial year, the government is confident that the positive results for the first nine months of the financial year will enable us to achieve or exceed the budgeted net surplus of $81 million by the end of this year,” Finance Minister Roy McTaggart said.
Total revenues were 9 percent, or $54.4 million, higher than expected, while government spent about 4 percent or $21.6 million less than anticipated.
Statutory authorities and government owned companies contributed $11 million to the overall surplus with improved operating results of $15.2 million.
The results released by the Ministry of Finance on Nov. 9 show that higher coercive revenues, like import duties and stamp duties, tourist accommodation charges and financial services-related revenues, contributed the bulk of the surplus by bringing in $46.4 million more than budgeted.
Sales of goods and services, such as trade and business administration fees, contributed $2.6 million more than anticipated to government coffers, and government’s investment revenue was larger by $5.2 million. Meanwhile, government spent about $13.2 million less than planned on personnel and saved $15.1 million on supplies and consumables.
Government’s cash position has improved markedly. Government grew its bank balances for cash and deposits to $535.2 million, about $112.0 million higher than outlined in the 2018 Plan & Estimates.
Only expenditures on non-government suppliers bucked the trend with $9.2 million higher costs than budgeted for in the first nine months of the year.
Central government’s revenue increased by 44 percent in the past ten years from $522.2 million for 2008 to $753.2 million for 2017, according to the Economics and Statistics Office.
The revenue growth is partly the result of fee increases in 2010 and 2012 for work permit fees and other duties levied on financial services companies.
In addition to the budgeted surplus of $81 million for 2018, government expects a $59 million surplus next year.
Some of the excess cash, as well as new refinanced debt, will be used to repay a $262 million bullet loan that becomes due in November 2019.