JIS News

The 2009/10 Budget was increased by approximately $6.3 billion, according to the figures in the First Supplementary Estimates tabled in the House of Representatives, Tuesday (September 22), by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw.
According to the new figures, the Capital Budget was reduced by just under $6 billion, however, the Recurrent Budget stepped up by just over $12 billion, leading to the over $6 billion increase. The total Budget is now $561.3 billion, compared to the original estimates of $555 billion.
The recurrent estimates showed increased allocations for the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, as well as in terms of public debt charges (interest payments), which increased by just over $16 billion.
Savings in expenditure were recorded for several Ministries and Departments, with the deepest cuts being over $6 billion chopped from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service’s projected expenditures for pay increases listed under contingency. However, funds were made available to cover payment of allowances for civil servants, as well as outstanding arrears to the National Water Commission (NWC).
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Ministry of Water and Housing and the Ministry of Transport and Works also suffered slight cuts in their recurrent estimates.
On the Capital side, the major cuts were in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Education, where nearly $1 billion was cut from the Education Transformation Programme; and the Ministry of Health, where $147 million was cut from the funds for the maintenance and upgrading of facilities.
In all $27.1 billion were added to the 2009/10 Estimates by the Government, with $25 billion going to the Recurrent Budget and $2.1 billion to the Capital Budget. However, cuts and transferrals added up to $20.8 billion, resulting in a net increase of only $6.3 billion.
The estimates will be debated next Tuesday in the House of Representatives, after the figures are reviewed by the Standing Finance Committee of the House, which is comprised of all 60 Members of Parliament (MPs).

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