Dates for presentation of 2022 Estimates and budget pushed back
The date for the presentation of the 2022 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure has been shifted to Monday December 13.
And prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsavles said the Budget, or Appropriations Bill will be presented on January 3, 2022, the first working day in the New Year.
The government had initially announced that the Estimates would have been presented on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, and the budget on December 13, but the dates were changed to accommodate the funeral of former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell.
“It was necessary to make the adjustment in the original schedule because of the requirement for us to provide an appropriate send off to Sir James,” Gonsalves said on his weekly morning slot on NBC Radio last Wednesday, December 8.
He explained that because debate on the budget usually takes up a period of five days, it will not allow adequate time for the ceremonial send off of Sir James who died on November 23, at the age of 90.
“…the family wanted the Friday for the body to lie in state and the funeral is on the Saturday…” Gonsalves said further.
He remarked that government workers are usually paid around the 16th or 17th of December and people would not be paying attention to what is being said during the Budget debate had the dates not been changed.
“We pass the Estimates which is critical so public servants can begin to do their work in that regard,” the PM added.
He said today, Friday December 10, the estimates will be considered by the Standing Committee on Finance which is a standard procedure ahead of its presentation in Parliament.
Last year’s estimates amounted to EC$1.21 billion.