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Feb 16, 2018

Budget Coming – What’s In It?

Patrick Faber

There was no meeting of the House of Representatives today in Belmopan. One had been mooted for discussing the U.H.S. matter but new litigation in the Caribbean Court of Justice has seen it put off. But a mandatory session is scheduled for March ninth, two days after the Municipal Elections, to present the General Revenue and Appropriation Bill, otherwise known as the Budget. This most important bill is still a week away from presentation to Cabinet members so not even deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber has seen it, although submissions from each ministry have been made. Until the Executive has seen it, it is wait and see on whether any significant cutbacks, new taxes and other financial measures are being featured.

 

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“What I can say at this time is that while we had planned for a meeting, actually it was to have been today to deal with the UHS matter that we have opted and I believe the Prime Minister spoke on that already that we had opted not to have that meeting today and we will wait. But yes the month of March is the month in which the Prime Minister is expected to present the budget. As is normally the case, he will give a two-week period for members of the house and also Senate to look at the figures that he presents and then there will be a two day set aside for the debate after the two weeks has lapsed. So, that will come and we will have to wait and see. The budget itself will go to the Cabinet in a week or so before it is presented to the wider National Assembly by the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. I can’t tell you that I have seen it yet, although from my Ministry we have made our submission. Every ministry makes its submission and is a part of the budget process. Several players are a part of that process but we don’t get to see it like until a week or so and then of course the Prime Minister presents it in the National Assembly.”

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