Government to cut budget by $8.6 billion

News post September 30, 2015



PHILLIPS… details will be presented with the tabling of supplementary estimates

THE Government says it will have to cut at least $8.6 billion from its recurrent budget for 2015/16 due to a projected shortfall in revenue and the “higher than planned” cost of its compensation packages.

Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips made the announcement after tabling the Fiscal Policy Paper interim report in the House of Representatives, yesterday.

“The projected shortfall… will necessitate cuts in gross recurrent programmes of about $8.6 billion,” Dr Phillips stated. He explained that the details will be presented when he tables the supplementary estimates by the end of the calendar year.

Opposition spokesman on finance and planning, Audley Shaw, meanwhile, noted that issues raised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its most recent review of the Government’s performance under their Extended Fund Facility agreement, included the possibility of cutting public sector staff and increases in taxes.

He questioned whether the cuts in housekeeping expenditure would be enough to avoid any drastic action, in relation to jobs of the public sector workers, or the possibility of tax increases this and next year.

In response, Phillips said that there was no secret that the Government of Jamaica and the IMF, as well as international partners and the private sector and the public sector unions, had agreed that faster rates of growth must be the priority going forward.

However, he insisted that the Government intended to stick with its policy of using attrition and voluntary redundancies as the main source of public sector staff reduction.

“… And, of course, we have agreed with the unions that public sector transformation, resulting in improved efficiencies, are matters to be considered in the effort to reach that point,” he said.

Phillips said that there was no plan to change the basic trajectory of the public sector programme, as it is now. However, he admitted that meeting the commitments, which include the four per cent and the three per cent (pay increases), as well as the cost of allowances including those which extend beyond four per cent, will require compensatory adjustments to the budget for this fiscal year.

He assured the public sector workers that the ministry intends to pay all the arrears in the course of the current fiscal year, but cautioned that the Government will have to undertake adjustments in order to achieve the targets for next year.

Through amendments to the Financial Administration and Audit and Public Bodies Management and Accountability Acts in March 2014, Government adopted enhanced fiscal rules. The enhanced fiscal rules, among other things, require that within six months of the passage of the Appropriation Act for the financial year to which the relevant estimates of revenue and expenditure relate, the minister shall cause to be tabled in both Houses of Parliament, a Fiscal Policy Paper.

Phillips said that the new interim report would be sent to the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee for review and discussion with key Government of Jamaica officials, including representatives of institutions, including the ministry, the Bank of Jamaica and the Planning Institute of Jamaica.

 

 

Published By: The Observer

No Tags

443 total views, 1 today

  

  • Penalise politicians who provide service on a partisan basis ­ — Meadows

    by on January 26, 2016 - 0 Comments

    JLP caretaker calls for action as Trelawny residents take to the street Placard-bearing residents gather at a section of the Salt Marsh to Goodwill main road yesterday to protest against the poor road conditions in the area.  SALT MARSH, Trelawny — Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) caretaker for Trelawny Northern Dennis Meadows yesterday called for laws […]

  • Will Cameron Speak On Reparation?

    by on September 29, 2015 - 0 Comments

    In pic: Prime Minister David Cameron. Olivia Grange said she believes Cameron would consider it unusual to be visiting Jamaica at this time in history and have extensive discussions with top government officials and not have the subject of reparation raised at some point. The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is questioning whether the Government will […]

  • Plans advanced for use of drones to combat praedial larceny

    by on August 17, 2016 - 0 Comments

    Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries JC Hutchinson (centre), has the full attention of farmers in Lowe River, Trelawny yesterday. ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries JC Hutchinson, says plans are well advanced for the use of drones to […]

  • Constable Crystal Thomas

    by on July 16, 2015 - 0 Comments

    She fought to the end | Lead Stories | Jamaica Gleaner Woman Constable Crystal Thomas Norman Grindley Senior Superintendent of Police Cornwall ‘Bigga’ Ford (right) escorts National Security Minister Peter Bunting, who visited the Denham Town Police Station in west Kingston, to get an update after the murder of woman Constable Crystal Thomas, who was […]

  • "19 dead babies" United States-based Jamaica-trained expert heartbroken over deaths of 19 babies

    by on November 1, 2015 - 1 Comments

    Rudolph Brown From left: Marion Bullock DuCasse, director of emergency, disaster management and special services in the health ministry; Dr Kevin Harvey, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health; and Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson about to brief the media on the outbreak of klebsiella and serratia on October 20. A Jamaica-trained, United States-based neonatologist […]

Follow Us on Facebook