House Approves First Supplementary Estimates


The House of Representatives, on (December 18), approved the First Supplementary Estimates for the 2007/08 fiscal year.
The Government expects to spend $22 billion more for the 2007/08 financial year.
As contained in the Supplementary Estimates, tabled in the House on November 27 by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, the budget for the fiscal year has increased from $380.3 billion to $402.5 billion.
Recurring or housekeeping expenditure will increase from $239.2 billion to $252.7 billion, while capital expenditure has increased from $141 billion to $149.7 billion.
Addressing the House, Mr. Shaw said the additional sum of $22 billion was as a result of debt commitments as well as the abolition of the high school tuition fees.
“That would be a combination of new items approved by the new administration as well as some debt related and air Jamaica related items that were not on the original list. The latter being $4.185 billion and new supplementary items approved by the new government amounting to $6.7 billion, which include Hurricane Dean recovery and reconstruction activity, the total being some $3.8 billion,” Mr. Shaw pointed out.
The Minister explained that in order to keep the deficit to the targeted level of 5.5 per cent, the additional expenditure would be financed using several measures.
“We will be yielding some $9.8 billion from the proceeds from the sale of our portion of shares of Petrojam; and the transfer of the Universal Access Fund into the Consolidated Fund. The first is $4.5 billion and the transfer of the funds from the Universal Access Fund is $2.8 billion,” Mr. Shaw said. He added that the transfer of these funds was in fact authorized by the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Omar Davies, and it was in keeping with the request of the Auditor General that this should be done.
“We will also continue to reduce the granting of non charitable waivers. Initially, we expect at least $200 million from that. It is my anticipation that we are going to yield much more than that,” he said. The report of the Standing Finance Committee was also tabled by Mr. Shaw.

JIS Social