JIS News

The House of Representatives on Tuesday (December 14) approved the first Supplementary Estimates for the 2010/11 financial year, which is $262.1 million lower than what was projected at the presentation of the budget in April.
Capital “A” expenditure, which covers Government-financed projects, jumped from $133 billion to $135.3 billion, while Capital “B” expenditure, fell from $27 billion to $26.4 billion, overall increasing the Capital Budget from $160 billion to $161.8 billion.
Recurrent funding was however, slashed from $344 billion to $342 billion, including $1.4 billion in savings or under-expenditure since April. Hence the budget, which started out at $503,970,451, fell to $503,708,325.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service Hon. Audley Shaw said the Government had to take on board approximately $9.3 billion of new areas of expenditure for tropical storm Nicole, the adjustment in salaries for allowances, as well as the award of $500 million to the teachers, which will be paid in December.
Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw complained about the tardiness of some entities in paying utility bills, which has caused a build-up of arrears.
“The truth is, too many of our agencies are holding back on their utility bills and we have to send them the reminder that the utility bills are an integral part of their recurrent expenditure. When we ask for tightening of the belt, it doesn’t mean that you exclude utilities,” Mr. Shaw said.
“Tightening of the belt means that you have to find ways to save and be prudent in expenditure, find ways to cut costs but you don’t do it by ignoring certain bills that are there and utility bills are absolutely critical,” he added.