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A budget of $520.88 billion has been presented by the Government for 2013/14, with $370.5 billion earmarked for Recurrent (house-keeping) expenses and $150.38 billion for Capital (development) spending.

Details of these projections are contained in the Estimates of Expenditure, which were tabled in the House of Representatives, on Thursday, April 4, by Minister of Finance, Planning and Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips.

The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Public Service gets the largest sum in the allocations, with $177.35 billion for recurrent expenses and $112.9 billion for capital expenditure. Much of the amount will go towards meeting Jamaica’s debt obligations.

The Ministry of Education receives the second largest sum with $76.2 billion for recurrent expenses and $2.24 billion for capital spending.

Ministry of National Security has received $44.78 billion for recurrent expenditure and $3.43 billion for capital, while the Ministry of Health gets $33.31 billion for recurrent expenses and $634 million for capital projects.

For the Ministry of Justice, $4.2 billion has been allocated for recurrent and $530 million for capital; Office of the Prime Minister, $1.81 billion recurrent, $2.95 billion capital; Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, $3.45 billion recurrent, $1.26 billion capital; and the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, $2.21 billion recurrent and $15.82 billion capital.

Allocations to other Ministries are: Agriculture and Fisheries, $3.21 billion recurrent, $2.88 billion capital; Industry, Investment and Commerce, $1.68 billion recurrent, $113 million capital; Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, $2.33 billion recurrent, $1.46 billion capital; Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, $2.96 billion recurrent, $134.17 million capital; Labour and Social Security, $2.21 billion recurrent, $4.88 billion capital; Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, $1.54 billion for recurrent, $11.75 million Recurrent; Ministry of Youth and Culture, $3.43 billion recurrent, $335 million capital; and Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, $7.06 billion recurrent, $555 million capital.

The Office of the Cabinet has received $560.73 million for recurrent spending, and $169 million for capital expenditure.

The Auditor General has received $352.5 million recurrent; Office of the Services Commissions, $159.38 million recurrent; the Governor-General and Staff, $172.55 million recurrent; Office of the Public Defender, $76.09 million recurrent; Office of the Contractor General, $232.72 million recurrent; Office of the Children’s Advocate, $99.30 million recurrent; Houses of Parliament $743.94 million recurrent; and Independent Commission of Investigations $333.96 million.

The Standing Finance Committee of the House will consider the Estimates of Expenditure from April 9 to 11, and Dr. Phillips will open the Budget Debate on Thursday, April 18.

By Godfrey Barnes, JIS Editor