Speech

The Supplementary Estimates
The expenditure adjustments contained in the Supplementary Estimates and the new revenue measures announced by the Minister of Finance have become necessary because of three factors:
(1) the continuing adverse impact of the global recession;(2) additional provisions required to meet public sector wage adjustments particularly for teachers and nurses;(3) increased interest payments on the public debt.Faced with these inescapables, our only options are to cut expenditure, borrow more or cut some expenditures and borrow some more. We have had to do the latter.
The changes in the Budget can be summarized as follows:Additional interest payments$16BPublic sector wage adjustments7BOther inescapable4BTotal additional expenditure27BLess budget cuts21BNet increase in expenditure$6B
These adjustments, unavoidable though they are, do not address the underlying fiscal problems the country faces. They are simply a tourniquet – an effort to narrow the imbalance of “unbalanceable” books.
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