The Government lumped an additional $25.8 billion to its recurrent Budget for this fiscal year, which ends in under two months.
Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke this afternoon tabled a second Supplementary Estimates showing plans to spend $893 billion for the fiscal year ending March 2022, up from $867.2 billion.
The recurrent Budget increased but the capital Budget remained unchanged, Clarke indicated. The additional expenditure arises mainly from public sector wage increases and COVID-19 compensation to health workers.
“Since the tabling of the first supplementary in October, much has transpired within the realm of Government in Jamaica. At the point of the first supplementary, there was no final settlements with any of the public sector bargaining groups,” explained Clarke in Parliament late afternoon.
He reasoned that while the Government sought to account for these increases in a line item in the first supplementary, it now has to allocate those resources to the respective ministries, departments and agencies, and that requires parliamentary approval.
“It was captured under contingencies in the Ministry of Finance. Since then, 31 bargaining groups have settled, and this is the primary reason for the second supplementary estimate,” the minister said.
The $25.8 billion rise in the recurrent Budget comprises of $8.2 billion for non-debt Recurrent Expenditure; and $17.6 billion for debt service, of which $12.6 billion represents principal repayment.
The additional expenditure will be financed through $11.2 billion in additional revenue flows, $5.3 billion in additional loan receipts and utilization of an additional $9.2 billion from prior year cash resources.