LatinNews Daily - 03 October 2022

In brief: El Salvador’s gov’t unveils 2023 budget proposal

*El Salvador’s finance minister Alejandro Zelaya has presented the government’s proposed 2023 budget which is for US$8.9bn, up 3.2% on the 2022 budget. He said that the Nuevas Ideas (NI) government led by President Nayib Bukele is prioritising education, health, and security, for which it is assigning US$3.47bn – 39% of the total budget and equivalent to 11.4% of GDP. A government press release said that US$1.5bn would go on education, US$1.13bn on health, on improving hospital infrastructure, and US$838.8m on security. Zelaya also said the proposal earmarked US$667m for the payment of bonds due in 2023, a debt he said was inherited from the Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (Arena) government led by former president Francisco Flores (1999-2004). According to the government, the 2023 budget proposal is based on a GDP growth forecast of 2.2% for 2023 although the central bank (BCR) has since raised this projection to 2.8%. The government estimates tax take of US$6.39bn for 2023, up US$184m on 2022, which it says would leave a fiscal gap of US$472m, US$26m less than for 2022.

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