The Prime Minister stated that the budget is the most important piece of legislation which is expected to be presented in early December.
Dr. Douglas explained that if the budget is unable to win the approval of majority of the house, public servants and their agencies would feel the trickling effects of the non-approval, thus creating hardship.
Currently the combined opposition holds the majority in the National Assembly.
“If a budget is unable to win a majority of the votes in a parliament, the government in question would be unable to pay teachers or nurses. It would be unable to pave roads and provide crucial agriculture inputs to the farmers,” Douglas pointed out.
To this end, he would be meeting with governmental and private sector agencies to craft a way forward for the budget, this the Prime Minister hopes will provide for a smooth presentation and by extension approval of the country’s monetary spending.
“Thursday’s consultation is the key to this process and the theme for this year is ‘Keeping the Edge Energizing Growth and Human Development’.”
The agencies that are expected to attend the consultation are: “the St Kitts Christian Council, The Nevis Island Administration, The St Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Commerce, The ECCB, SKELEC, Caribbean Development Bank, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Services, Community Development, Department of Gender Affairs, the Ministry Of Education and Speed Tech Energy”.
Dr Douglas stated that the government has taken a great amount of time in crafting a budget which speaks to the needs of the people and the country at large. He is however looking forward for the parliamentary support to have it approved.
The budget after reading would be debated and followed by debates of all expenditure, a subsequent vote would be taken on it and if a majority approves the government’s spending for the fiscal year 2014-2015, it would then be passed.
However, with the government and the opposition at logger heads over the tabling of the MONC in the Nation Assembly, it begs the question if the coalition would approve any spending for the government.