Opposition Spokesman on Finance Dr. Peter Phillips is concerned that although the government appears to be following the general outline of the Economic Reform Programme started by the previous People’s National Party-led Government, the current Administration is less than transparent in its reporting to Parliament and through Parliament to the people of Jamaica
Speaking on Tuesday (February 28, 2017) during the first sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament examining the 2017-2018 Budget Dr. Phillips expressed the Opposition’s concerned over the Government’s lack of reporting to Parliament on developments surrounding the Agreement with the International (IMF) and the Auditor General’s report on the Budget being examined.
He pointed out that three promises made by the Minister of Finance Audley Shaw to table the new Standby Agreement were not kept. He said it is not right for Members of Parliament to receive that information only when it is posted by the IMF on the international organisation’s website.
Dr. Phillips was also concerned that the report of the Auditor General on the 2017/18 Budget was not made available to Members of Parliament and stressed to the Speaker of the House the importance of having this report circulated before the meeting of the Standing Finance Committee to inform Members of Parliament of the satisfaction or lack thereof of the Auditor General in the assessment of the Budget.
The Opposition Spokesman also pointed to what he described as the inadequacy of provision for key development sectors such as security, education and health care. “The country needs to chart a path to sustainable development through the ability to provide quality education, healthcare and basic security to the people,” Dr. Phillips said.