Mac to bring stop-gap plan

| 27/06/2012

(CNS): The Legislative Assembly will be opening for the next parliamentary year this morning without the usual pomp and circumstance as there is still no budget. As a result of the minister of finance’s failure to balance the books in time and gain approval from the UK for both the short and long term borrowing government departments are still cutting away at spending plans. In his third budget as finance minister, the premier was unable to deliver a plan which met with the FCO’s requirements in time to meet the fiscal year-end deadline and is now faced with the need to pass legislation for a two-month stop-gap appropriation.

The premier will be presenting a new short term budget for the start of the 2012/13 year asking to incur expenses of $127million between 1 July and 31 August which has been approved by the UK.

The premier will be facing severe criticism from the opposition benches when he brings the stop gap appropriations to the floor of the Legislative Assembly this morning. No matter the difficulties that government’s face over budget preparation it is its most fundamental role. Even if a political administration fails to pass any legislation or make any policy changes throughout the year if it passes a budget government can still function. Without a budget it has no legal authority to spend or collect any revenue making it impossible to pay bills, wages or loan repayments.

Since changing the public management and finance law early in the UDP’s administration McKeeva Bush has delivered his government spending plans later and later each year but this is the first time he has failed to make the deadline at all. Still blaming the PPM for the failure however, the premier claimed last week that the decision to bring an emergency spending plan to the country’s parliament Wednesday was a “mature approach”.

The LA is scheduled to open at 10am with a presentation from governor explaining the circumstances.

See draft appropriations below.


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