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Mar 29, 2016

Churches Weigh in on Budget

Ashley Rocke

During today’s lengthy Senate debate, the church also had its say on the pros and cons of the annual budget.  While Senator Ashley Rocke did not altogether pan the 2016/2017 budget, he did note that allotment for the churches has been discontinued.  Instead, government has opted to contribute charitable funding to what are being described as para-churches, institutions that are popping up in numbers across the country.  The church, citing Appendix A of the draft estimates, is calling for the return of generous funds earmarked for its work.

 

Reverend Ashley Rocke, Senator for Churches

“The church finds it hard pressed to guide the government on matters relating to the budget since public policy is the action taken by government to address a particular issue affecting the public.  Notwithstanding the aforesaid Madame President, it would be remiss of me not to cite however, in Appendix A of the draft estimates of revenue and expedition for fiscal year 2016-17.  The setting aside of some two point three million dollars primarily geared towards charitable funding.  Instinctively Madame President, in that charitable funding the church notes with interest quite a few of the funding was listed toward para-church institutions, a good thing no doubt.  None, however, towards charitable distribution to the churches.  For me to mention this Madame President, is not inconceivable since there was a line item indicating government’s support financially to the church.  Interestingly, that line item was discontinued and that line item happens to be number seventy-seven in the Appendix A.  In light of that then we are calling on the government to reinstate a charitable line earmarked to assist churches.”

 

The Senate debate concluded and was passed shortly before five o’clock this evening after presentations from all other senators. 

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