Government budget is $376M

Government now has a new budget allowing the spending of more than $376 million for the year ending 31 June next year, says a GIS press release.

The Appropriation Bill – which successfully made its way through the Legislative Assembly on Friday – became law after Acting Governor George McCarthy gave his assent on Monday, says the release.

It was published in an extraordinary issue of the Official Gazette on the same day, the release adds.

Introduced to the House by Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson, the estimate of income and expenditure projects a surplus of $3.3 million.

This excludes spending on extraordinary items such as those relating to recovery from Hurricane Ivan, says the GIS release.

Government will take $27.1 million from its cash holdings, leaving it on course to have $73.1 million in the Treasury at the end of the financial year, it says.

‘The use of $27.1 million of existing cash to help finance planned capital expenditures reduces the government’s borrowing requirement, and therefore reduces its interest expense and future debt repayment obligations,’ said Mr. Jefferson.

‘The forecasts show that the level of cash holdings at the end of 2005/06 will be at a level equal to 76 days of expenditure. This is far in excess of the 45 days position at 30 June 2006, required by the Public Management and Finance Law,’ he said.

The budget allows for $63 in borrowing to partly finance capital projects, says the GIS release.

Included is $14.9 million to begin construction of three new high schools and a primary school and enhancement of other education facilities, it adds.

‘This will ensure that the Cayman Islands has the necessary infrastructure to deliver a world-class education service to its children for many years to come,’ said Mr. Jefferson.