Budget Study Centre Issue 3
November 09, 2017


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

The budget will show whether the Tories really care about 'just managing' families

Frances Ryan (Thursday 9 November 2017)
In politics, there are some ideas that are good in theory but don't work in practice. Then there are those that were always going to cause harm but turn out to be more damning than even the policy's architects could have imagined. Increasingly, the benefit freeze is the poster child for the latter category. The government is rightly coming under increasing pressure to halt the roll-out of universal credit. ... Read More

NDAA busts budget caps with $626 billion for defense

By Scott Maucione (November 8, 2017)
An authorization for a nearly $700 billion defense budget, a new commercial marketplace for the Pentagon to buy from and a bigger military end strength may become a reality as the House and Senate finished negotiations of the 2018 defense authorization bill this week. The bill will now go to the House and Senate for amendments and passage before being signed into law by the president. The bill includes $692.1 billion ... Read More

Iraq cabinet plans to cut Kurdistan share in 2018 federal budget

The Reuters (November 6, 2017)
BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq's cabinet proposed on Sunday to slash the Kurdish share of the country's revenue in the 2018 federal budget, a move that Kurdish officials said was aimed to further punish them for a Sept. 25 referendum on independence. A Kurdish man sells banners supporting the referendum for independence for Kurdistan in Erbil, Iraq September 21, 2017. ... Read More

Bountiful Budget to spur activities in 2018

The Borneo Post (November 5, 2017)
Specialists and industry leaders were optimistic following Budget 2018's announcement which allocated a sum of RM280.25 billion centered on improving the lives of Malaysians while ensuring that it covers all sectors of the economy. With overall spending allocated on areas of the economy ranging from education, agricultural, tourism, social subsidies to business incentives, OCBC Bank Treasury Research ... Read More

NHC approves budget for 5-year development plan, reviews ongoing projects

Daily Times (November 3, 2017)
ISLAMABAD: Communications Minister Hafiz Abdul Karim on Thursday presided over a meeting of National Highway Council (NHC), at the Ministry of Communications. Communications Minister of State Muhammad Junaid Chaudhry,Communications secretary, National Highway Authority chairman and other members of the council participated in the meeting. The meeting gave approval ... Read More

Budget office sees higher deficit than Liberal government's forecast

CBC news (November 1, 2017)
The parliamentary budget overseer is predicting a budget deficit in the current fiscal year that's almost $2 billion higher than was forecast in the government's fall fiscal update last week. The latest report from the parliamentary budget officer says the deficit this year will be $20.2 billion, while Finance Minister Bill Morneau's last prediction was $18.4 billion. (Morneau's economic update also included a $1.5 billion ... Read More

How economic slowdown is weakening India's armed forces

The dailyo (October 31, 2017)
The debate about the turbulence in India's economic health is worrisome for defense procurement plans. The defense budget has been declining over the past decades, with this year's allocation at a record low of 1.56 per cent of the GDP. With the RBI's latest report marking down the overall GDP figure for FY 2017- 18, the amount available in the government's kitty for the next fiscal would be even lower-especially considering ... Read More

Germany to confirm size of expected budget surplus next month

The Reuters (October 30, 2017)
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany expects a budget surplus in 2017, but will not know its full extent until Nov. 9 when the finance ministry gets a new assessment of expected tax revenues, acting Finance Minister Peter Altmaier told broadcaster ARD on Sunday. A long-exposure picture shows a container ship, at a loading terminal, in the harbor of Hamburg, Germany April 6, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer Altmaier declined to ... Read More

Government proposes $6B budget for 2018

The Phonm penh post (October 30, 2017)
The Council of Ministers on Friday approved a national budget for next year that calls for more than $6 billion in spending, the largest increase ever proposed for the Kingdom, with big boosts for education, defense and the arts. In an executive summary of the draft law released on Friday, the Council of Ministers proposes raising the budget by nearly $1 billion, stating that the budget increases are necessary to run ... Read More

EU Says Concerned Over Italy's 2018 Budget, Adding to Government's Woes

The New York Times (October 27, 2017)
BRUSSELS - The European Commission sent a letter on Friday to Italy's finance minister urging clarifications over the country's planned budget for 2018, adding to Rome's headaches ahead of elections due by next May. The move could force Rome to cut expenditures or raise taxes to comply with EU fiscal rules. Both are unpalatable measures before elections planned by May and amid deepening political divisions ... Read More

Liberals table budget bill to join China's Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

The Globe and Mail (October 27, 2017)
The Liberal government has introduced a second large budget bill that includes a new law establishing Canada's participation in the Beijing- based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Bill C-63, Finance Minister Bill Moreno's second budget bill of the year, enacts a wide range of measures related to his March budget. Like the first budget bill, it is more than 300 pages, repeating a practice that has faced opposition ... Read More

GB Council approves Rs 2.4b budget for 2017-18

The Nation (October 26, 2017)
SKARDU - The Gilgit-Baltistan Council on Wednesday approved a budget with a total outlay of about Rs 2.4 billion for financial year 2017-18 to Gilgit- Baltistan. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is also the Chairman of the Council, chaired the meeting. The Prime Minister in his remarks at the meeting said that the PML-N government was committed to the ... Read More

Lockheed CEO warns of potential order hit if US 'budget constraints' are not fixed

CNBC (October 24, 2017)
Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson warned Tuesday of potential order impacts if there are federal budget constraints beyond Dec. 8. A measure passed last month keeps the government operating through early December but also impacts the Pentagon's spending. The defense giant's CEO also urged Congress to address the budget caps to allow for more defenses spending that she sees as "vital to ... Read More

Budget Study Centre Issue 2
October 24, 2017


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

BRAZIL: Government to Send Congress Changes To The 2018 Budget Bill

The financial Tribune (October 22, 2017)
(RTT News) - The Brazilian government will send to Congress the changes to the 2018 budget bill by the end of next week, Planning Minister Dyogo Oliveira said Thursday after a meeting with the Senate's speaker Eunício Oliveira. "The speaker asked about the deadline for sending the complementary piece of the budget, and I said we are preparing everything to send it by the end of next week...Read More

Women farmers present 'charter of demand' to minister

The Business Recorder(October 21, 2017)
Oxfam Pakistan and Indus Consortium organized a rural women's convention where over 80 women farmers from five districts of Punjab, presented a "charter of demands" to the Minister Environment Protection Zakia Shah Nawaz.The charter demands the approval of the Climate Change Policy with proper resource allocation for smallholder women farmers and their participation in budget decision making. The convention...Read More

Budget Deficit Hits $666 Billion, an $80 Billion Spike for the Year

The flathead Beacon(October 20, 2017)
WASHINGTON - The federal budget deficit rose to $666 billion in the just-completed fiscal year, a spike that comes as Republicans are moving to draft a tax code rewrite that promises to add up to $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the coming decade. The sobering deficit numbers, released Friday by the Treasury Department and the White House budget office, followed Senate passage Thursday night of a 10-year budget...Read More

Academics want bigger budget for education sector in 2018

New Straits Times (October 19, 2017)
KUALA LUMPUR: Public universities will attract the cream of the crop when there is more money pumped into the sector. National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan said more allocation for public universities would mean better quality teachers and ultimately higher standards of instructions provided in schools.He said a larger budget for both the Education and Higher Education...Read More

Zimbabwe Says to Slash Budget Deficit despite Looming Elections

New York Times (October 18, 2017)
HARARE - Zimbabwe plans to cut its budget deficit by half next year to 4 percent of GDP, the national Treasury said, an ambitious goal at a time when the country is expected to hold a presidential vote that veteran President Robert Mugabe is set to contest. The southern African country has over the last four years failed to cut its deficit despite promises to do so, mainly due to high government spending on public sector...Read More

Colombia's Congress Approves $80 Billion Budget for 2018

US News (October 18, 2017)
BOGOTA (Reuters) Colombia's congress approved an $80 billion budget for 2018 on Wednesday, in a bid to retain the country's 'BBB' credit rating, and the finance minister said the government would not issue more international bonds. Policymakers have been grappling for over two years with the twin pressures of a weak economy, caused by the global drop in oil prices, and inflation...Read More

Financing Framework for dealing with climate change unveiled

The Dawn (October 17, 2017)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) unveiled on Monday a 'Climate Change Financing Framework' (CCFF) structured to respond to climate change and promote rationalizing climate finance, starting from the planning stage and creating a robust monitoring system that can gauge the adequacy and effectiveness of financing. The framework aims to make existing responses to the...Read More

Greek January-September Government Budget Surplus Slightly Below Target on Lower Revenues

The New York Times(October 16, 2017)
ATHENS- Greece's central government attained a primary budget surplus of 4.5 billion Euros (£4 billion) in the first nine months of the year, slightly below target due to lower tax revenues, finance ministry data showed on Monday. The government's target was for a primary budget surplus - which excludes debt-servicing costs - of 4.556 billion Euros for the January-to-September period, meaning the surplus missed the...Read More

J&K government issues guidelines to accelerate development works, streamline budget spending

The Indian Express (October 16, 2017)
To streamline departmental spending in order to accelerate the pace of development works in the state, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday told all its department heads that all unutilized funds above 30 per cent of their respective budgetary allocation would get automatically forfeited after December 31...Read More

The Republican budget is a gift to billionaires: it's Robin Hood in reverse

The Guardian (October 16, 2017)
After failing to pass a "healthcare" bill that would have thrown up to 32 million Americans off of health insurance, a bill that was more unpopular than the Wall Street bailout, Donald Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress are back. Now, they are pushing one of the most destructive and unfair budget and tax proposals in the modern history of our country - a plan that would do incalculable harm to tens of millions...Read More

Speakers for educating on Budget tracking process

DAWN News(October 16, 2017)
SWABI: Speakers at a workshop here on Sunday said that it would be difficult to use the available resources for solution of people's problems without educating them on budget tracking process and enabling them to play their role in utilization of funds. The workshop was organized by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) under the European-funded project titled...Read More

State budget compromise remains elusive

The CT post(October 14, 2017)
HARTFORD - Legislative leaders say they are making steady, if slow, progress in negotiations on the long-stalled state budget for the two fiscal years that started July 1.Gov. Dannel P. Malloy isn't so sure. The governor is concerned that a compromise document on which he might be asked to sign off before an anticipated special session during the week of October 23 may contain unacceptable...Read More

Portugal draft budget sees 2018 growth of 2.2 pct

Kitco News (October 13, 2017)
LISBON, (Reuters) - Portugal's Socialist government expects economic growth to slow to 2.2 percent in 2018, down from 2.6 percent this year, the government's draft budget showed on Friday. The document forecast the budget deficit to fall to 1 percent of gross domestic product next year from 1.4 percent this year...Read More

Budget 2018 criticized for leaving Louth citizens with disabilities behind

Dundalk Democrat (October 12, 2017)
"The report revealed that according to summary results by the Central Statistics Office, based on last year's census, there are as many as 20,662 citizens or 13.6% of the population of Louth/East Meath recorded as having a disability."As the number of people affected by specific types of disabilities is not currently available - (this data from the 2016 census is expected in early November)-the Oireachtas Library used data...Read More

Gross debit to soar to 68.7 percent of GDP in 2018: IMF

The Business Recorder (October 12, 2017)
The International Monetary Fund has projected an increase in Pakistan government gross debt - by 0.7 percent - to 68.7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018 against 68 percent in 2017. According to the IMF "Fiscal Monitor, tackling inequality," it has been projected that the government gross debt would rise to 68.7 percent of the GDP in 2018 and then decline to 68.2 percent in 2019...Read More

Ahead of elections: Pakistan restricts deficit, sparking hopes of fiscal discipline

Express Tribune (October 11, 2017)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has managed to restrict the overall budget deficit to Rs324 billion in the first quarter in the wake of strict controls over federal development spending, giving early hopes of fiscal discipline in an election year. In July-September quarter of the current fiscal year, the budget deficit of Rs324 billion was equal to...Read More

Budget Deficit Reduced to 0.9% of GDP-First Quarter FY18

The Research Snipers (October 10, 2017)
Last year Pakistan's budget deficit of the first quarter (July-September) of the financial year was noted at the number of rupees 438 billion whereas the recordings of this year are at rupees 324 billion. This year's budget deficit is because of the vigorous tax collections and minimum spending.Talking in terms of GDP the deficit generally decreased to 0.9% during the July to September quarter of the running financial year as compared to the...Read More

Delia: Budget confirms the government 'has no plan'

Malta Today (October 09, 2017)
Budget 2018 did not adequately address pensions, traffic and infrastructure, tourism and education, according to Opposition leader Adrian Delia in his first official reaction follow the budget presentation. On pensions, Delia said the government did not focus on the second pillar of healthcare. "The government left them where they were. The Nationalist party will see that pensioners are treated as a resource, not a burden...Read More

PN: Budget shows government lacks a plan

The times of Malta (October 09,2017)
The Opposition is ready to help the government because it is showing it has no plan for today, tomorrow or the future, Opposition leader Adrian Delia said in an initial reaction to the Budget. "If you were stuck in traffic today, you will still be stuck in traffic tomorrow. If you cannot make ends meet today, you will be in the same position tomorrow. If you have poor working...Read More

Budget Study Centre Issue 1
October 12, 2017


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Trump's New Budget Threatens to Kick Millions Off Food Stamps

The Root (October 09, 2017)
Although Donald Trump ran as a champion of the poor and working class (and many whites in those socioeconomic groups voted for him), the only thing the "president" seems to be draining is the federal budget for his golf outings. Adding insult to injury, a new budget resolution put forth by Trump and passed by the House of Representatives this week will push millions off of food stamps, leaving our most vulnerable-children and the elderly-food insecure, or even hungry. Newsweek reports that over $150 ... Read More

CSOs & citizens trained in skills to improve local governance

The News (October 07, 2017)
PESHAWAR: Members of several Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and citizens were trained in leadership and advocacy skills, citizen report card and budget tracking at a capacity building workshop arranged here to improve local governance. The Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) arranged the workshop under a European Union-funded project. Titled "Democratic Local Governance for Development in Pakistan", the project is jointly implemented by CPDI and Friedrich ... Read More

CBO: Federal budget deficit rises to $668 billion

The Spokesman (October 06, 2017)
WASHINGTON - The federal government ran a $668 billion budget deficit for the just-completed 2017 fiscal year, according to a new government report. That's $82 billion more red ink than the government produced last year. The Congressional Budget Office based its findings on preliminary Treasury reports. The worsening deficit picture comes as Congress digs into its pockets for tens of billions of dollars more for hurricane relief. Lawmakers are also working toward a round of tax cuts that ... Read More

Budget plan sets the stage for Republican tax reform

The CS Monitor (October 06, 2017)
Washington - The House has passed a $4.1 trillion budget plan that promises deep cuts to social programs while paving the way for Republicans to rewrite the tax code later this year. The 2018 House GOP budget reprises a controversial plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like program for future retirees as well as the party's efforts to repeal the "Obamacare" health law. Republicans controlling Congress have no plans to actually implement those cuts while they pursue their tax overhaul. That's especially so in ... Read More

House Approves Budget Plan that Would Cut Federal Employee Benefits

Government Executive (October 05, 2017)
House lawmakers voted 219-206 Thursday to approve a resolution outlining the body’s fiscal 2018 budget priorities, which include a number of controversial cuts to federal employees’ retirement and benefits programs. The House’s budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 71) asks 11 committees to come up with a total of $1.5 trillion in spending cuts through budget reconciliation, setting the stage for Republicans' ... Read More

Morneau prepares fall update as PBO report shows improving federal finances

The Globe and Mail (October 06, 2017)
Finance Minister Bill Morneau is preparing a fall update that is expected to show the federal fiscal landscape is improving along with the strengthening economy. Mr. Morneau met with private-sector economists Thursday in Toronto to hear their assessments and recommendations. While they did not release their numbers, the consensus forecasts for GDP growth have increased to about 3 per cent for 2017, up from the ... Read More

CPEC toll income to be thrice the budget of Pakistan: BoI

The News (October 05, 2017)
LAHORE: Only the toll income generated by the route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), after the completion of the project by 2030, will be three times of the national budget of Pakistan, an official said on Wednesday. “It is on top of the business, economic, and employment creating activities of special economic zones (SEZs), and other industries,” Zulfiqar Ali, director Board of Investment (BoI) said while briefing Lahore Economic Journalist ... Read More

Senate Budget Committee advances 2018 budget plan

Washington Times (October 05, 2017)
The Senate Budget Committee advanced its 2018 fiscal blueprint on Thursday, moving forward on Republican plans to fast- track a tax reform package hours after the full House passed its own 2018 spending outline. The approximately $1 trillion spending plan for 2018 that advances to the Senate floor projects a $641 billion deficit for the current fiscal year, but ... Read More

Lawmakers Urge Cuts That Have Least Impact on Services

The US News (October 05, 2017)
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A legislative committee is asking Montana's governor to make budget cuts that have the least impact on services to vulnerable citizens. The Legislative Finance Committee met this week to review $227 million in proposed cuts ... Read More

House Passes Budget Blueprint, Taking Step Toward Tax Overhaul

The New York Times (October 05, 2017)
WASHINGTON - The House took the first major legislative step Thursday toward enacting a promised overhaul of the tax code, approving a budget blueprint that would allow a future tax bill to pass Congress without any Democratic votes. ... Read More

Karak nazmi's claims of budget approval contested

The Dawn (October 04, 2017)
KARAK: District nazim Dr Umer Daraz Khattak on Tuesday claimed that a provincial committee headed by local government minister Inaytullah Khan had accorded approval to the budget of Karak for 2017-18 ... Read More