The Government's total Budget for 2009 stands at four point four billion dollars ($4.4 Billion SBD) representing a 27% increase on revenue and 23% on development estimates compared to the 2008 budget.

Introducing the budget on Monday, Finance Minister Snyder Rini described the Government's 2009 Budget as a responsible and fully funded.

In moving his second national budget at its second reading on Monday, Finance Minister Snyder Rini said the government's revenue estimates for next year from both domestically sourced revenue and donor support, total to just more that $1.6 Billion.

Mr. Rini said that this represents an increase of $292 Million compared to this year's revenue estimates.

He said that the increase will enable the Government to maintain existing services and meet higher payroll costs and increasing overheads such as utilities and fuel.

On the development budget estimates, the Finance Minister told Parliament that the Government is contributing $292 Million to the development budget, an increase of $10 Million dollars over this year's budget estimates.

However, the bulk of the development budget estimates come from donor support totaling nearly $2.2 Billion; an increase of 22 percent over this year's budget.

Mr. Rini said that in terms of the government's 2009 initiatives reflects the Government's focus on the need to provide better funding for existing services, improve revenue earning capacity and ensuring the stability of essential government accounting and payroll systems.

Apart from being a fully funded budget, meaning that there is no borrowing; Mr. Rini said that the budget also aims to provide further reduction in national debt.

"As a responsible Government, we continue to repay both our foreign and domestic debts. As a result Government debts have declined by around 9% in 2008. ," the Finance Minister told Parliament.

He said that majority of the decline in government debts accounted for by a large decline in external debts, which has fallen by $116 Million.

The total level of debt, at the end of this year is projected to be around $1.56 Billion.

"Virtually all debts have been regularized and we are on track to meet our target of a debt-to-GDP ration of 30 percent by 2010.

Source: National Express