Applause and cheers for Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and Economic Affairs and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart broke the tense atmosphere around the Parliament buildings today, as Barbadians anxiously awaited Sinckler’s presentation of this year’s Budget. Initially there were few people standing outside the gate to greet their favourite parliamentarians, with the numbers growing only slightly larger around 3.30 p.m., half an hour before the session was due to begin. Parliamentarians on either side began arriving just after 3p.m. with St Thomas MP Cynthia Forde being one of the first, dressed for business in a navy pin-striped pants suit. Former Opposition Leader and MP for St Peter Owen Arthur arrived shortly after. When Arthur’s successor, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley arrived just before 3.30 p.m. she headed for the West Wing offices of the Opposition before re-appearing on the patio for a long conversation with Arthur. Government Ministers and other parliamentarians then began arriving in rapid succession with Minister of Housing Denis Kellman making his way through a side door, followed by Minister of Agriculture David Estwick and Minister of Health John Boyce. Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite took the main entrance to the steps of Parliament, followed by Minister of Industry and International Business Donville Inniss, walking with Labour Minister Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo. One by one they hurried up the stairs and disappeared into the House.