Finance Minister presents multi-billion dollar budget to Parliament

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 8, CMC – The Standing Finance Committee of the House of assembly will meet later this month to consider the J$710 billion (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.008 cents) budget that Finance Minister Audley Shaw has presented to Parliament on Thursday.
The Committee will meet on February 28, March 2 and March 3 to consider the budget, with Shaw scheduled to open the budget debate on March 9, when he is expected to outline the measures to be implemented and how the fiscal package will be funded.
On Thursday, Shaw told legislators that J$485 billion of the budget had been allocated for recurrent expenses and $225 billion for capital spending.
Tabling the Estimates of Expenditure, which were tabled in the House of Representatives, Shaw noted that the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service has been allocated the largest sum, with J$208 billion for recurrent expenses and J$177.6 billion for capital expenditure.
A large portion of the sum will go towards meeting Jamaica’s debt obligations.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information gets the second largest amount with J$98.7 billion for recurrent expenses and J$1.67 billion for capital spending.
In the Fiscal Policy Paper tabled on Thursday, Jamaica is projected to achieve a 2.3 per cent growth during the 2017/2018 fiscal year.
The document notes that the projection reflects improvement in most industries resulting from increased domestic and external demand.
The goods-producing and services industries are estimated to increase by 5.7 per cent and 1.2 per cent. Mining and Quarrying as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing along with hotels and restaurants have been listed among the main drivers of growth.

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