Wednesday 23 October, 2019

Budget surges past $800 billion

Dr Clarke said the parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee will review the revised estimates on Thursday.

Dr Clarke said the parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee will review the revised estimates on Thursday.

The budget for the 2018/2019 fiscal year now stands at $802.5 billion dollars.

This follows an increase of more than $11-billion that is contained in the Second Supplementary Estimates that was tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday by Finance and Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke.

Dr Clarke said the parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee will review the revised estimates on Thursday.

Just over $10.2 billion of the increased allocation has been set aside for recurrent expenditure or housekeeping matters, while $1.3 billion is for capital projects.

This means that the Government now plans to spend just over $802.5 billion during the fiscal year that ends in March. This compares to the $791 billion that was contained in the First Supplementary Estimates and the $773 billion expected spend when then Finance Minister Audley Shaw presented the Budget last March.

A closer look at the figures shows that $1 billion will go towards island-wide disaster mitigation and $1.5 billion for the maintenance of secondary roads. Of the amount allocated to maintain secondary roads, $1.2 billion has been set aside for the island-wide Special Road Repairs Programme; $200 million for the clearing of drains; and $150 million for the removal of landslides,  patching and other repairs to roads affected by rain events.

In the meantime, $1.7 billion has been cut from the 110 kilometre Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project. An ambitious undertaking through which approximately 110 kilometres of roadway between Harbour View in east Kingston and Port Antonio in Portland is to be rehabilitated.

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