Saturday 20 July, 2019

Standing Finance Committee begins examination of 2019/2020 Budget

The Standing Finance Committee (SFC) will on Monday begin its examination of the $803 billion estimates of expenditure for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.

The estimates were tabled in the House of Representatives by Finance and Planning Minister Dr Nigel Clarke on February 14.

The SFC, which is made up of all 63 Members of Parliament, is expected to meet over two days at the end of which it will prepare a report for approval by the House of Representatives.

Speaker of the House, Pearnel Charles, will chair the sitting of the SFC, during which portfolio ministers, joined by technocrats from their various ministries, will explain the allocations in the budget. During this time, ministers take questions from committee members. Ministers who sit in the Senate – such as Kamina Johnson Smith at Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Ruel Reid at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information – will join their colleagues in the House.

Following the Ash Wednesday break on March 6, Clarke will open the Budget Debate on Thursday, March 7 when he will tell the country how the estimates will be financed.

The 2019-2020 Budget Debate will take place in the midst of the East Portland by-election which takes place on Monday, March 25.  Nomination Day is this Friday, March 8.

The debate will continue on Tuesday, March 12 when the Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Mark Golding, is expected to make his contribution. He will be followed by the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips on March 13.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness will make his contribution to the debate on March 19 while Clarke will close the debate on March 20.

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