Mr. Speaker, I again extend gratitude to the staff at the Ministry of Finance and Public Service and to the board, management, and staff of the public bodies within my portfolio.

Thanks to Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition, and the Opposition Spokesperson on Finance for their contributions to the 2019/20 Budget Debate.

Mr. Speaker, I am closing this budget debate under highly unusual circumstances in
Jamaica and the world facing a health threat of alarming proportions. The focus of my presentation has to be on the Government’s fiscal and economic response.

Mr. Speaker, normally this would be an opportunity to respond to the inaccuracies, shallow arguments, and hollow claims made by the Opposition, to consider any constructive suggestions, and to update and finalise the government’s proposals and to close the debate.

While I would like to continue in that tradition, as both the Opposition Spokesperson and the Opposition Leader have supplied me with ample opportunity for an overwhelming response, Mr. Speaker, I will, for the most part, resist the urge.

However, I must respond to one thing from the Opposition Leader and another from the Opposition Spokesman to set the record straight. I will let the plenty other inaccuracies and shallow claims go this time. Even they deserve a Covid break.

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