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Imbert: Budget to be read by Oct 30

Published: 
Saturday, September 9, 2017

The date for the country’s 2018 budget will be announced next week by Finance Minister Colm Imbert.

But Imbert assured the budget will be delivered in the House of Representatives before October 30.

“I will be announcing the date soon. Maybe, not today. Maybe some time next week I will be announcing the date for 2018 budget, which will be before 30th of October. Next week I will let you know the date,” said Imbert, who is acting as Prime Minister.

He made the disclosure at a press conference at the Parliament building in Port-of-Spain yesterday.

Imbert said Government had to complete the budget exercise, which is required by law.

He said this exercise must be completed in the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament by October 30th.

The debate in the Houses, Imbert said, will allow the Government to speak about its policy and performance as well as put forward its plans.

“It will speak about what they (Government) would be doing about the issues facing the country and so on. So a lot of that would be coming in the budget statement in itself. So I would prefer not the pre-empt that until the actual budget statement is delivered, which would not be long from now,” Imbert said.

The Government is allowed to spend in October ten per cent of what was spent in the previous year, Imbert said.

Although Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had indicated that the budget could be delivered in the last week of September, Imbert has kept the date close to his chest.

Asked yesterday how he would describe the upcoming budget in a nutshell, Imbert insisted he would let the media know next week.

Will the budget turn around the disappointment within the citizenry which the polls on Government’s two-year performance published this week have picked up?

Imbert said: “I will let you know during the budget debate about that one.”

The Appropriation Bill has to go to the President Anthony Carmona for his assent before October 30th.

MPs will return to the House of Representatives today after the annual mid-year break.