Prime Minister Outlines $1.2 Billion Budget

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The Ministry of Education Science & Technology has been given the largest budgetary allocation of any ministry in the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance’s $1.2 billion 2017 budget.
According to Gaston Browne the Ministry of Education Science & Technology will receive $98 million.
That expenditure figure is dwarfed only by the government’s budgeted capital expenditure amounting to $106 million and the public debt and interest payments for 2017 which amount to $476 million. Of that $476 million figure, principal payments were indicated to be $391 million.
The next largest budgetary allocation went to the Ministry of Finance which received $97 million. The Ministry of Health & the Environment followed with an allocation of $89 million, while the Office of the Attorney General, Ministry of Justice & Legal Affairs Public Safety & Labour was given $73 million.
The Ministry of Works & Housing followed with an allocation of $72 million followed by expenditure on pensions and gratuities totaling $61 million and then the Ministry of Tourism Economic Development Investment & Energy with an allocation of $31 million.
As Browne progressed, he revealed that the Office of the Prime Minister was allocated $28 million; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Trade received $26 million while the Ministry of Trade Sports and Culture received $23 million.
The Ministry of Social Transformation received $20 million; the Ministry of Agriculture Lands Fisheries & Barbuda Affairs received $18 million and the Ministry of Information Broadcasting & Telecommunication received $14 million.
Sir Robin Yearwood’s Ministry – Public Utilities, Civil Aviation & Transportation – received an allocation of $8 million.
While the Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) was given $4 million and the Cabinet was allocated $3 million, the Office of the Governor General, the Legislature and the Judiciary were all given $2 million each.
The prime minister announced that $1 million had been budgeted for an internal audit of certain departments while the “service commissions” were collectively allocated $800,000 and the Office of the Ombudsman received $500,000.
The details of the government’s 2017 finances were given during Friday’s Budget Presentation in the Lower House of Parliament, where it was said that the government budgeted to spend a total of $1.2 billion on “recurrent expenditure including principal payments”.
When principal payment is removed from the equation, the government’s recurrent expenditure settles at $769 million. Browne added that, “total expenditure excluding principal payments will be $769 million”.
 
See: Budget table
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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