Education tipped to get biggest allocation in Budget

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EDUCATION is likely to get the biggest allocation of the 2018 national budget, with emphasis on quality rather than just quantity, Institute of National Affairs director Paul Barker says.
He said health would also get a substantial allocation to ensure the reliable supply of drugs and medicines.
He said the Government would try to shore up maintenance and transport restoration, including the Highlands Highway (with Asian Development Bank funding).
Barker said the State was trying to secure funding from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, and using funds accumulated by various government organisations in trust funds.
It will restrain the level of short-term and costly borrowing to sustain firm expenditure in 2018, he said.
Barker said debt servicing would continue to take up well over K1 billion to K1.5 billion. But the Government will also want to sustain the District Services Improvement Programme under pressure from MPs.
“There will be limited room for the Government to manoeuvre with revenue tight, and development partners setting some restraint to encourage greater sustainability, as a likely condition for their funds being provided,” Barker said.
“There may be some measures to apply the tax review recommendations.
“But there may be caution over increasing the GST, and applying inflationary costs, although some redistribution of the GST may be in order, to improve performance in revenue collection and to support national revenue, while enhancing revenue provinces which may have felt worse off or neglected over recent years.”