The Art of Deficit Financing: Budget 2022/23 and the worrying affects of the growing debt…

The proposed budget for FY2O22/23 hos increased to UGX 47.25 trillion from the approved budget of UGX 44.77 trillion in FY2O21/22. ln the proposed budget, recurrent expenditures amount to UGX 33.54 trillion (71%) while development expenditures amount to UGX 13.70 trillion (129%). Worryingly, the projected revenue collections of UGX 25.54 trillion cannot fund the country’s entire recurrent expenditures” (Opposition Response to the Annual Budget Estimates for FY 2022/23, 03.05.2022).

When you read the first numbers on the Budget for the Financial Year of 2022/23 you see a problem that has been a long lingering issue. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Government of Uganda (GoU) has done this for several of years now. The state has banked on loans and grants to cover the deficits. While the state is budgeting with a deficit financing method, which is far from covering fiscal funds by the lack of domestic revenue. That’s why the rising debt and the cycle of recycling debt isn’t making things better.

Just read this paragraph here:

It is critical to note that debt management costs hove risen from UGX 8.58 trillion in FY2017/18 and ore projected to be UGX 15.94 trillion in FY2022/23. This translates to on increment of 86%. The costs take first coll on the budget to cater for interest payments, commitment charges, debt management fees and amortisation. Therefore, from the onset 33% of the proposed budget will

not be available for service delivery. instead, it will be utilised for payment of partial debt commitments” (Opposition Response to the Annual Budget Estimates for FY 2022/23, 03.05.2022).

Just seeing this number, as you see the lack of domestic revenue to cover the budget of 47 trillion shillings, which is only at the level of 25 trillions. While the project debt management is put to about 16 trillions shillings. That means most of the domestic revenue would be used to pay old debt. Unless, the state plans to take out more loans and recycle debt to pay the old debt. That is just pushing the problem further down the line and get more interests as well. Therefore, the state finances isn’t tricky anymore, but a tragic phenomenon. These sorts of numbers are getting closer to default and a possible debt trap at one point. As the state needs more loans to cover current loans. That is not how to run a nation and neither how to run a fiscal responsible government.

The numbers becomes even more striking:
“The advance effect of this astronomical level of borrowing is felt through interest payments of over UGX 5.5 trillion in FY2O22/23 rising from UGX 2.4 trillion in FY2017/18. An increment of 130%. This is coupled by external debt repayments that ore projected at UGX 2.4 trillion in FY2022/23 rising from UGX 589 billion in FY2017/18. An increment of 307%. These toke first coll on the revenue collection and reduces funds available for service delivery” (Opposition Response to the Annual Budget Estimates for FY 2022/23, 03.05.2022).

We see the debt management and now we see the rising interest payments are also doing the same. The ones that has been crying wolf and worried for the rising debt portfolio is catching up with the government. The Ministry of Finance and Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) has failed to comply with the mechanisms and the codes of Public Finance and Management Act. Clearly, the Government and the all the Ministries has to be following suit.

These sorts of numbers should strike fear of a debt default and a crashing economy. The art of deficit financing … is now becoming a growing issue. The state cannot hide from this and this should worry the citizens. As there is nothing given that the creditors will be merciful or give way. They might … be vengeful and take collateral over failure to repay the debt. Peace.

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