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‘Not an election budget’

GERALYN EDWARD, [email protected]

‘Not an election budget’

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GENERAL ELECTIONS MAY BE on the minds of the Opposition, but Government says its 2016 Estimates had nothing to do with the biggest event on the country’s political calendar.

That was the declaration of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, who yesterday vehemently protested suggestions from political operatives that Government’s Estimates Of Revenue And Expenditure for the 2016-2017 financial year was a mere cover for the next general election, constitutionally due in early 2018.

Sinckler insisted that increased capital works spending, which represented about ten per cent of the state’s proposed expenditure for the new financial year starting next month, was needed and that the administration had not increased its recurring expenses or gone on wild pre-election spending.

Speaking yesterday in the House of Assembly as debate began on the Appropriation Bill 2016, the minister pointed to the $6 million to be spent on the Immigration Department, $7.5 million set aside for the public sector smart energy programme, $120 million for road rehabilitation, a $7 million Inter-American Development Bank financing also for road repairs, and $80 million for the Sam Lord’s Castle rebuilding as necessary projects that had been in the works long before the coming financial year.

Please read the full story in today’s Daily Nation, or in the eNATION edition.