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Tunisia: budget deficit down 13% to 9.8 billion dinars in 2021

Tunisia is doing better than expected in terms of budget deficit for 2021. The latter has been reduced by 13% compared to 2020 to 9.8 billion dinars and is significantly lower than what was provided for in the Finance Act, that is to say 10.4 billion dinars.

This budget deficit represents 7.5% of Tunisia’s GDP, compared with 9.4% of GDP in 2020 and 8.3% initially forecast by the finance law. The government plans to reduce its budget deficit to 6.7% in 2022.

According to the provisional results of the execution of the state budget at the end of last December, this reduction in the deficit is the result of the increase in budgetary resources, including tax revenues, at a faster pace than that of expenditure.

Indeed, the budgetary resources of the state went up 10% in 2021 to 33.5 billion dinars, against 30.5 billion a year earlier.

This development is mainly due to the increase in tax revenues by 12% from 27.1 billion dinars to 30.4 billion, representing 91% of budgetary resources, while non-tax revenues have risen by 20% to 3 billion dinars.

In terms of tax revenue, direct taxes increased by 5.1% in 2021 to 12.7 billion dinars. In detail, taxes on income grew 6% to 9.5 billion dinars including 6.4 billion from taxes on wages (+10.4%).

For revenues from taxes on companies, they went up 2.3% to 3.2 billion dinars due to the increase in taxes on oil companies of 57% to 800 million dinars. As for the tax on non-oil companies, it fell by 8.3% to 2.4 billion dinars.

As for indirect taxes, they increased by 17.5% to 17.7 billion dinars. This growth is mainly due to the increase in taxes from the VAT by 21.7% to 8.7 billion dinars, customs duties by 15.6% to 1.4 billion dinars and consumption rights by 11% to 3.2 billion dinars.

At the level of total state expenditure, it stood last year at 43.2 billion dinars, against 40.9 billion a year ago, up 5.7%.

 These budgetary expenses are composed of 20.2 billion dinars of salary expenses (+5.1%), 12.6 billion dinars of intervention expenses (+12.1%) and 3.7 billion dinars of financing expenses (interest on the debt, -1.1%).

On the other hand, investment expenditure increased by 7.8% in 2021 to 4.5 billion dinars.


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