Gov’t Increases Spending by $13.88 Billion


The first supplementary estimates for the 2006/07 fiscal period were tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday (Feb. 27), reflecting a $13.88 billion increase in government spending from $358.19 billion to $372.07 billion.
The estimates were tabled by State Minister for Finance and Planning, Fitz Jackson. Of the amount, capital expenditure increased to $147.55 billion, up from $146.46 billion, while the recurrent sum is $224.52 billion, up from $211.72 billion.
Interest payments on public debt charges went up by $4.63 billion, moving from $92.42 billion, to $97.05 billion.
Meanwhile, the budget for the Ministry of National Security has been increased by $1.85 billion, up from $5.27 billion, while the revised recurrent estimate for the Ministry of Education and Youth is $41.41 billion, up from $35.94 billion. In addition, a further $3 billion has been set aside for the Ministry of Health, moving to $16.71 billion, while the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands will receive $257.28 million more on its approved allotment of $1.89 billion.
The Ministry of Local Government and Environment will see a revised budget of $5.39 billion, compared with approved figures of $4.64 billion, while the budget for the Ministry of Justice has been increased to $552.7 million from $547.36 million. An increase of $9.54 billion is being allocated to the Office of the Children’s Advocate, for which the approved budget was $13.39 billion.
The allocation for some Ministries has been reduced, including the Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, whose budget has been revised from $3.43 billion to $3.27 billion; and the Attorney General’s Office, with $392.9 million, down from $402.5 million.
The Finance Committee of Parliament will examine the estimates next Tuesday (March 6), followed by a debate in the afternoon.

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