JIS News

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, March 19, approved the withdrawal of $94.3 billion from the Consolidated Fund, to allow the Government to carry-on its business from April 1 to July 31.

The sum is needed for Government spending on critical areas, until the new budget is passed.

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, in moving the resolution, explained that the sum comprises $80.42 billion for recurrent expenditure and $13.92 billion for capital expenditure.

He said that some of the key items included in the expenditure are salaries and travelling allowances, including the seven per cent arrears for public sector workers; teacher reclassification monies, other non-salary expenses; and critical capital projects.

“This budget allocation makes no provision for statutory payments such as debt servicing, statutory pension, statutory salaries such as those of High Court judges, as these do not require the annual Parliamentary approval,” Dr. Phillips said.

Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Audley Shaw, noted that the resolution is a fairly standard procedure at this time of the financial year.

As is customary, the provision of the resolution does not include any increases in salary or allowances other than approved increments and increases agreed by the Government in 2012/2013; any increase in establishment over that approved in 2012/2013; any new service or work for which no provision was made in the Estimates of Expenditure for 2012/2013; or which has not otherwise received the approval of the House.

Under the Financial Administration and Audit Act as well as provisions in the Constitution, the Finance Minister has the authority to issue warrants for the withdrawal of such sums from the Consolidation Fund as the House of Representatives may, by resolution approve.

By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter