Mr. President, the Bill being laid before this Honourable House is the annual Appropriation Bill required by subsection (1) of section 116 of the Constitution of Jamaica. It provides authority for expenditure (other than statutory expenditure) for the financial year 2009/10 and specifies the manner in which that expenditure is to be allocated to the various services and purposes specified in the Schedule to the Bill.
This Bill also provides for the amounts of receipts, which may be utilized as appropriations-in-aid in relation to these service and purposes.
3. Introduction
Mr. President, the budget for this fiscal year comes as a result of the very hard work done by the Financial Secretary, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Directors-General for PIOJ and STATIN, the Deputy Financial Secretaries, and all the other technical staff at the various ministries.
The Estimates of Expenditure tabled in the House on April 7, 2009 and passed on May 6 consists of statutory and non-statutory provisions. The statutory payments, as you are aware, are provided for by the Constitution and represent the first call on the government’s finances. These include the debt servicing costs, pensions, and payments for other offices as provided for by the constitution. The non-statutory provisions were examined during the Standing Finance Committee. The Appropriations Bill that we will debate this afternoon, which details the government’s planned expenses for FY2009/10, represent the non-statutory component of the budget as approved by the lower House of Parliament.
During Standing Finance Committee, the non-statutory figures were analysed and certain amendments were made. After this process, the budget debate began, which consisted of presentations by the Honourable Minister of Finance; the Opposition Spokesman on Finance; Honourable Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce; Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture, the Leader of the Opposition and the Honourable Prime Minister.
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