The Central Government Estimates of Expenditure for the new financial year 2018/2019 has a new feature.
In explaining the new feature at the tabling of the Estimates in Parliament, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, the Hon. Audley Shaw, pointed out that the Estimates now contains six (6) years of budget information rather than the usual three (3) years that were previously been presented.
He indicated that the Estimates of Expenditure for the Central Government tabled now contained - Provisional (unaudited) Actual Expenditure (FY 2016/2017), the Approved and Revised Estimates for the current financial year (FY 2017/2018), Estimates for the upcoming Fiscal Year (FY 2018/2019) as well as estimates for three (3) additional fiscal years (2019/2020; 2020/2021; and 2021/2022).
Minister Shaw explained that the projections for the three (3) years are indicative of the level of spending which will be undertaken to continue the implementation of existing programmes and projects and maintain Government’s operations at the current levels, given the forecasted resource envelop and the programmed fiscal objectives. He further explained that the projections are rolling and are not static but will be revised each year to ensure alignment of expenditure with the forecasted resource envelope and Government’s policy priorities.
The inclusion of the additional three (3) years of projected spending in the Estimates of Expenditure was an attempt to provide more information to the public on the government’s future spending intentions. This, the Minister said was in keeping with the government’s commitment to greater fiscal transparency and accountability.
Minister Shaw underscored the fact that notwithstanding the inclusion of the medium term projections in the Estimates of Expenditure, the annual authorisation of expenditure will remain and that Parliament will continue, as it now does, to consider and vote only on the estimates for the new financial year 2018/2019.
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