The Minister for Finance David Adeang has delivered a balanced budget with a small surplus, noting that modest economic growth is expected over the next two years.
In handing down the 2017/18 budget, Mr Adeang told Parliament it provides for $128.7 million in revenues and $128.6 million in expenditures.
He said Nauru’s development partners are expected to inject another $28.8 million during the year ahead.
The minister added that despite a downturn in the economy, the Government does not plan to introduce any new taxes to maintain current services or to fund 50th independence anniversary celebrations in 2018.
$3.3 million has been set aside for those celebrations, $5.5 million has been allocated for the Nauru Community Housing Scheme, and $1.2 million will fund the school toilet maintenance program.
Another $500,000 will go towards completing the Learning Village phase 2 project.
The budget has been aided by a slight increase in fisheries revenues to $43.4 million, while customs earnings are expected to remain the same as this year at $17.1 million.
Those earnings will help offset a forecast $6.5 million decrease in taxation revenue from the loss of foreign workers at the Regional Processing Centres, plus a $12.7 million drop in government revenues caused by uncertainty surrounding the number of refugees who will be resettled in the United States.
Mr Adeang said the budget implements major reforms in public financial management that are consistent with international financial management best practice.
“This budget maintains fiscal responsibility in an environment of economic contraction,” he said.
“It provides for a fitting celebration of our 50th year anniversary and manages to lock in significant proportions of the budget for future investment in the community.
“It is consistent with the Government’s ongoing fiscal strategy and shows continuing resolve to both the people of Nauru and our development partners.”