By Godfrey Barnes
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- The Jamaican government has presented a budget of $539.35 billion (US$4.95 billion) for 2014/15, with $404.654 billion earmarked for recurrent (housekeeping) expenses and $134.698 billion for capital (development) spending.
This represents an increase of $39 billion over the revised estimates for 2013/14, which were tabled as the first supplementary estimates in February.
Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Peter Phillips. JIS Photo
Details of the projections are contained in the estimates of expenditure, which were tabled in the House of Representatives on Thursday by minister of finance and planning, Dr Peter Phillips.
The ministry of finance and planning has been allocated the largest sum, with $197.65 billion for recurrent expenses and $102.3 billion for capital expenditure. A large portion of the sum will go towards meeting Jamaica’s debt obligations.
The ministry of education gets the second largest sum, with $78.29 billion for recurrent expenses and $2.1 billion for capital spending.
The ministry of national security has received $47.17 billion for recurrent expenditure and $3.20 billion for capital, while the ministry of health gets $35.97 billion for recurrent expenses and $903 million for capital projects.
For the ministry of justice, $4.62 billion has been allocated for recurrent and $800 million for capital; Office of the Prime Minister, $2.92 billion recurrent, $1.65 billion capital; ministry of science, technology, energy and mining, $4.46 billion recurrent, $1.08 billion capital; and the ministry of transport, works and housing, $3.36 billion recurrent and $13.6 billion capital.
Allocations to other ministries are: agriculture and fisheries, $3.52 billion recurrent, $2.36 billion capital; industry, investment and commerce, $1.76 billion recurrent, $3.8 million capital; water, land, environment and climate change, $2.68 billion recurrent, $279 million capital; foreign affairs and foreign trade, $3 billion recurrent, $75 million capital; labour and social security, $2.26 billion recurrent, $5.5 billion capital; ministry of tourism and entertainment, $1.53 billion for recurrent, $14 million capital; ministry of youth and culture, $3.64 billion recurrent, $173 million capital; and ministry of local government and community development, $8.8 billion recurrent, $131 million capital.
The Office of the Cabinet has received $483 million for recurrent spending, and $278.9 million for capital expenditure.
The auditor general has received $528.4 million recurrent; Office of the Services Commissions, $179.5 million recurrent; the governor-general and staff, $170.31 million recurrent; Office of the Public Defender, $75.4 million recurrent; Office of the Contractor General, $229.18 million recurrent; Office of the Children’s Advocate, $99.30 million recurrent; Houses of Parliament $761.3 million recurrent; and Independent Commission of Investigations $334.2 million.
The standing finance committee of the house will consider the estimates of expenditure from April 8-10, and Phillips will open the Budget Debate on Thursday, April 17.
(1 USD = 109.020 JMD)