Budget address on Friday

The 2006-07 Session of the Legislative Assembly will open on Friday with the Throne Speech and the Budget Address, Cabinet Minister Alden McLaughlin said Friday.

‘Preparations for the Budget have progressed very well,’ Mr. McLaughlin said. ‘We’re satisfied it will deliver a good Budget to the people, allowing for capital expenditures and giving us a significant operating surplus.’

Although Mr. McLaughlin said he could not give any specific details about the Budget, he did say the Government met its target in new revenue measures.

The Government already indicated from late last year that $25 million in additional revenue measures were needed for the upcoming budget to allow for a variety of capital expenditures which include the Esterley Tibbetts Highway extension, the building of three new high schools, new government accommodations and additional assets for law enforcement.

Mr. McLaughlin said the government held consultations with key organisations in the private sector to discuss the revenue measures prior to drafting the budget. Legal, accounting and real estate were among the industries consulted.

The government did what it could to lessen the impact of the revenue measures on ordinary residents.

‘We’ve been very careful to ensure the essentials of life aren’t going to be impacted any more than they are now,’ Mr. McLaughlin.

Friday’s events will mark the first time the Throne Speech and the Budget Address will be delivered at the same time.

In years past, the Budget Session occurred in November and the Throne Speech was delivered in February.

However, because the fiscal year now begins on 1 July, the Government decided earlier this year it made no sense to have the Throne Speech delivered three months before the Budget address.

Mr. McLaughlin said the Legislative Assembly will be adjourned after Friday’s addresses until the following Wednesday, 3 May, at which time debate on the Budget will begin.

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