September 23, 2020

Lost! The budget!

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The financial year is almost here and government is out of time. Government’s earning and spending plans must go to the UK three weeks before they are presented to the public and the Legislative Assembly (LA) but the 2012/13 budget has not made its way over the pond. There are only two weeks left in the financial year. Whoops!

The premier, Hon. McKeeva Bush signed a three year plan with the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2010 in order to gain approval for borrowing after the government did not meet the terms of the public finance law. The government’s forecast was to have reached a surplus this year of $60 million.

Henry Bellingham, the UK FCO minister in charge is not even in the UK and it is unlikely the Budget will show this surplus. It has been estimated that as this financial year ends the government will be facing a deficit of over $40 million. Whoops!

So when the budget finds its way to the UK and they go through it one can only wonder if they will even approve it first time around. Supposing, and we all believe in fairies, it gets passed, it still has to be presented for debate in the LA and the public arena, allow Finance Committee to examine the proposed spending plans, make necessary amendments to the bill and then pass the appropriations law! That takes time and two weeks isn’t long enough, as we all know.

So what will happen now?

Emergency legislation to be enacted would seem to be the only way out for government to pay its bills.

According to North Side MLA, Ezzard Miller, speaking to CNS, government does not have “the legal authority to spend a signal dime come midnight June 30th.”

If you find the budget, please give it to Mr. Bush as quickly as possible.

Whoops! Suppose it’s got lost on a computer hard drive?

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