Jamaicans will know what the Government intends to spend during the 2013/14 Financial Year on April 4, when Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, tables the Estimates of Expenditure for that year in the House.
Tabling of the Estimates will follow the State Opening of Parliament, when the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, will deliver the Throne Speech outlining the Government’s priorities for 2013/14.
When the Estimates for 2012/13 were tabled in the House on May 10 last year, it was projected that the Government would spend $612.4 billion for the year, with $375 billion earmarked for Recurrent (house-keeping) expenses and $237.4 billion for Capital (development) obligations.
However, when the Finance Minister tabled the First Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure in the House on February 5 this year, the figure was revised downwards to $602 billion, a reduction of $9.89 billion.
The Estimates showed a decrease in the Recurrent expenditure from $375 billion to $367.7 billion, with savings of $7.03 billion, and reductions in both Capital A and Capital B from a total of $237.4 billion to $234.8 billion, reflecting $2.85 billion in savings.
After the Estimates are tabled, the Standing Finance Committee of the House will deliberate on them, and Dr. Phillips will open the Budget Debate on Thursday, April 18.
By Godfrey Barnes, JIS Editor