Government to present estimates on Thursday

Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillip will table the Estimates of Expenditure in Parliament on Thursday.

It will follow the delivery of the Throne Speech by Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen at the ceremonial opening of the Parliament where he will outline the Portia Simpson Miller administration’s priorities for 2013-14.

Phillips will present the estimated amid efforts by the government to seal a new multi-billion dollar Stand By Agreement (SBA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Late last year, the government said it had agreed on the national budget in keeping with a programme being worked out with the IMF.

“Cabinet also agreed on the 2013/2014 Budget in keeping with the IMF programme and the specific priority focus on economic reform, economic growth and social protection,” a government statement said at the end of a Cabinet retreat.

Phillips had also sought to assure citizens that they should not be fear the measures contained in the fiscal package

Last year, the government had originally estimated that it would spend J$612.4 billion (One Jamaica dollar = US$0.01 cents) for the year, however, when the Finance Minister tabled the First Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure in the House on February 5 this year, the figure was revised downwards to $602 billion, a reduction of $9.89 billion.

After the Estimates are tabled, the Standing Finance Committee of the House will deliberate on them with Phillips leading off the budget debate on April 18.