KINGSTON — This week's debate on the First Supplementary Estimate for 2011/12 has been postponed until Thursday September 8.
The Estimates were tabled by Minister of Finance, the Hon Audley Shaw, in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, August 30, and should have been debated Wednesday September 7, as the Government seeks to complete the process prior to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) review of its fiscal performance over the last two quarters.
However, a stand-off between Government and Opposition MPs on the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC), which had been reviewing the new Estimates since Tuesday, has caused tabling of their report to be delayed.
The report should have been tabled Wednesday to facilitate a further review by the House’s Standing Finance Committee, which includes all 60 MPs, prior to the debate and passage of the Estimates that afternoon. But, Wednesday afternoon, Leader of the House, Hon Andrew Holness, announced that the PAAC had not completed its deliberations and presented its report.
"It is proposed that we adjourn today and the House will sit tomorrow,” Mr. Holness said. He also stated that Government MPs, who are members of the PAAC, are prepared to meet and resolve the issues which resulted in the delay.
Chairman of the PAAC, Opposition MP Dr. Wykeham McNeil, commented that the Committee will do everything possible to generate a report “as quickly as possible”.
The PAAC is one of several sessional committees of Parliament chaired by Opposition MPs since 2008, fulfilling a pre-election commitment given by the Government.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter