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Quarterly Financial Report - December Quarter 2011/12 Budget

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Government of the Kingdom of Tonga
Quarterly Financial Report - December Quarter 2011/12 Budget

This report provides an overview of the Government of Tonga's budget performance for the second quarter of 2011/12 Budget Estimate covering the months of October, November and December 2011. As part of the effort to improve budget management and monitoring responsibilities, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning (MOFNP) continues to be transparent with the provisions of quarterly information regarding budget execution. This has the advantage of challenging ministries to focus more on the improvement of the quality of expenditure.

The report includes the following:

• Financial results for the second quarter 2011/12;
• Comments on fiscal performance;
• Economic performance and Debt position;
• Highlights of donor assistance and;
• Utilization of the contingency fund and unbudgeted requests;

The Euro Zone is in recession and America's economy is on the verge of another recession suggesting that the Global economy is still highly uncertain posting a significant risk to the ability of the Tongan economy to generate revenues. Remittances continue falling signifying further suppress on domestic consumption and investment. Inflation decline for the period compared to corresponding period under review, thanks to low commodities' prices, which helped ease the pressure on foreign reserves.

The overall budget performance for the quarter under review registered an operating budget surplus of $15.1m driven by the receipt of the World Bank and New Zealand budget support of $15.4m. Total receipts were recorded at $56.0m while total payment amounted to $40.9m. Debt stock is totalled to $342.2m or at 46% of GDP

At the end of the quarter under review, the total number of civil servant positions was 4,238, of which 4024 (95.0%) are occupied and 214 (5.0%) vacant posts. The implementation of the wage bill containment measures continue to help the MOFNP prudentially managing and controlling the budget ensuring resources allotted to operational activities are not redeployed to finance further recruitment.

Unbudgeted requests continue as a major budgetary concern to the MOFNP in light of the flat envelope. At the end of the quarter, unbudgeted requests totaled to $6.2m of which $2.0m has been managed internally within the requesting ministry or from the MOFNP by shifting resources at the cost of initial priorities. A balance of $4.2m is yet to be financed and MOFNP is gauging options to mitigate this cost judiciously.

Looking ahead to the March quarter, revenue growth is likely to be within the projected collection targets. Therefore, scope for growth in expenditure is limited suggesting that staying within the government means without compromising service delivery is the best and appropriate undertaking to ensure fiscal stability is achieved. The MOFNP continues to work collaboratively with line ministries to ensure proper management of budget resources is undertaken according to their priorities.

As always, the MOFNP will continue to utilize all available platforms in order to secure the interests of the country and to prepare our economy from any repercussions of another global recession.

Malo ‘Aupito

Hon. Sunia M. Fili
Minister for Finance and National Planning

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