Govt to table 2022 supplementary budget with Politicians as ‘biggest winners’
THE Government is spending an additional $284 million-plus to take us to the end of the year and, as in any budgetary appropriations, there are winners and losers.
Politicians are amongst the biggest winners in the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2022.
Finance Minister Harry Kuma is expected to table the supplementary budget next week after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has completed its scrutiny of the figures.
Solomon Star has obtained a copy of the Bill seeking parliamentary approval for the “additional supplementary expenditure of $284, 102, 296” to 31st December 2022.
“This supplementary appropriation is to supplement additional expenditure and expenditure already authorised by the Minister for Finance and Treasury under provisions in the 2022 Appropriation Act 2022 through contingency warrants and advance warrants,” an explanatory note on the budget, said.
A closer look at the figures reveal the supplementary budget is heavily slanted towards political spending in the Constituencies.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Development (MID), for example, has been allocated $85.4 million in capital expenditure projects such as roads, bridges, wharves, airstrips, ships and plant and machinery.
“These amounts provide additional funding to cater for road works across various constituencies within the provinces, purchase of ship and completion of provincial wharves,” according to the explanatory note on the proposed funding.
But there is more.
Subvention and grants under the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) has been increased by $5 million to $85 million for the end of the year.
“This amount provides additional funding to supplement subvention and Grants to maintain ongoing implementation of constituency programs in 2022, the explanatory note on the item said.
MPs’ Scholarships Grant Award has also been increased by $400,000 to $14.9 million this year, according to the budget figures.
Church Education Authorities Grant has also gone up to $3 million – an increase of more than $23, 000. The budget figures shows.
By ALFRED SASAKO