Minister of Finance Winston Jordan on Friday said that the government “will not have the capacity” to present a budget for next year, but that the preparation has started nevertheless.
“We are in the first phase of the budget cycle which is preparation, but we will not be presenting the budget,” he stated. Jordan was speaking at a press conference hosted by the Peoples National Congress, the largest party in the governing Coalition.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) recently ruled that given the passage of the No Confidence motion, the government is in caretaker mode, and has limited legal capacity, which includes the inability to pass budgets.
Jordan said the preparation is important because when the new government comes into place, “we will hit the road running.”
Regardless of the budget prepared, he said a new government, which he hopes will be the Coalition, “can adjust that budget as the winning government, depending on the margin of victory.”
For example, he said in the budget preparations, the budget office would be catering for a Department of Energy, but the Coalition proposes to set up a Ministry of Energy. And so, if it is returned to power, the government can then use the budget of the Department of Energy as the foundation of the Ministry of Energy.
Jordan said that when the Coalition took power in May 2015, there was a substantially prepared budget and the Coalition used that and presented a budget a month and a half ahead of schedule.