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With just over two months to the beginning of the 2012/13 financial year, a Supplementary Budget will be presented to reflect a downward revision in public expenditure.

This was announced by Minister of Finance, Planning and the Public Service, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, when he addressed the Mayberry Investment Forum, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, on January 18.

“In pursuit of maintaining stability and achieving growth, I will shortly be presenting a Supplementary Budget. That supplementary budget will have to include a downward revision in public expenditure. We cannot live above our means any longer,” the Minister declared.

According to the Minister, the adjustments will be made in such a way as to “protect the most vulnerable in the society”.

Rationalising the “spending restraint”, Dr. Phillips explained that, “in the present circumstances, given the failings of the previous administration, maintenance of fiscal stability will involve expenditure cuts in the short term."

“There will have to be expenditure cuts to compensate for declining revenues. We are determined not to squander the present opportunity to put things right once and for all,” the Minister said.

Dr. Phillips pointed out that cuts in expenditure were not a “sustainable medium-to-long-term measure” to finance the operations of the Government. “We will be required to identify opportunities to generate increased revenues, which must be in the context of the promotion and inducement of growth in the Jamaican economy,” he emphasised.

 

By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter