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Government introduces latest supplementary appropriations

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Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2021. 9:31 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The General Revenue and Appropriation Act, 2020-2021, failed to survive even the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as thousands lost their jobs and businesses failed or cut back left and right.

While the Barrow administration prided itself on not losing a single Public Service job except by attrition, it came at a cost – $510 million to pay salaries and expenses, about a million every day, and a total of a billion in the last year through the Central Bank.

And yet, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance John Briceño says there is still a $300 million “crater” in the budget that must be filled.

“What we have to do with the Appropriation Bill is to put the necessary monies for the emergencies that we have – from the hurricanes, the flooding, and the pandemic. For instance, we are approving $15 million for the Ministry of Health; we are approving $12 million for infrastructure, to assist in the repairing for some of the infrastructure. We are approving monies for the grocery bags, because the UDP spent everything; they left nothing, so we have to be approving all of these monies,” Briceño said, adding that he would provide a complete overview of the economy in his presentation, details of which we will have later.

Later, Briceño said the Government continues to borrow close to a million daily to pay its expenses.

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