Jamaica Observer / MINISTER of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw is scheduled to table the Second Supplementary Estimates (budget) to is scheduled to table the Second Supplementary Estimates (budget) today in the House of Representatives. Shaw told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the new supplementary budget was essentially “a tidying up” procedure, as the Government clears outstanding expenditure which were not included in the 2017/18 budget which was passed in March 2017.
However, Shaw pointed that they would not include any additional expenditure on public sector salaries, which he insisted are already covered by the contingency funds included in the current budget.
“Those funds were already set aside in the contingency funds in the budget for payment to the public sector workers for 2017/18,” he stated.
Following the tabling of the new estimates today they will be referred to the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee for review tomorrow morning at Gordon House. They will then be referred to the Standing Finance Committee, which is comprised of all 63 members of the House of Representatives, before being sent to the House for approval.
It was not clear when approval of the new budget will be sought, but the House will continue meeting on Thursday as the debate on the 2018/19 budget continues.
Opposition Spokesman on Finance Mark Golding will make his contribution to the budget debate in the House of Representatives at 2:00 pm today. Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips will speak on Thursday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness will speak in the debate next Tuesday, March 20, and Shaw will close the debate on Wednesday, March 21.
The First Supplementary Estimates for the 2017/18 financial year, which reflect an increase of approximately $90 billion, was approved by the House of Representatives on December 6.
The estimates showed an increase in the recurrent (housekeeping) expenses from $493.7 billion to $515.4 billion, while Capital (development) spending moved from $221.8 billion to $290 billion.
The First Supplementary Estimates had increased the 2017/18 budget from $715.6 billion to $805.4 billion.