Age Bakker (Cft): ‘Saba runs a stable budgetary process’
Saba looks forward to 2016
THE BOTTOM - By setting up and implementing a balanced and organized budgetary process, Saba is able to control its public finances. This can be concluded from the first execution report and the budget amendment. The execution of the 2015 budget is going according to plan.
On June 26th, 2015, the Board of financial supervision of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Cft) met with the Executive Council and the Island Council of Saba, a few members of which have recently assumed office. The annual accounts of 2014, the execution of the 2015 budget and the preparations for the 2016 budget were discussed.
Budget execution and liquidity
The budget year 2015 is going according to plan. In its first amendment Saba proposes to increase the budget total by almost USD 1 million in a budget-neutral way. This is related to the inclusion of budgetary plans which are to be financed with special transfers.
The liquidity position of Saba remains vulnerable. The interest free loans taken out recently to reinforce the infrastructure will have to be paid back within ten years. This creates pressure on the liquidity position, hence, Saba should remain alert to not incur deficits in the long run. In consultation with the Cft, Saba acknowledged this risk, and indicated that if necessary an additional budget surplus would be run.
The public entity probably closed 2014 with a surplus. Because of its delicate liquidity position, Cft advised Saba to use said surplus to boost its financial resilience instead of applying it towards new government policy. Should the government have new policy aspirations, the existing budgetary space will clearly have to be reprioritized.
During the past years Saba made vast progress in the area of financial management.