Early Budget

Nationwide News understands that the national budget will again be tabled early this year.

Sources at the Finance Ministry say the government is aiming to table the annual Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure in parliament, by early to mid February.

The estimates are expected to be taken to Cabinet on February 8.

The budget was tabled on February 19 last year, nearly six weeks earlier than its April 3 debut in 2014.

Traditionally, the budget is tabled in the House of Representatives in April and then debated.

Last year’s $641-billion budget was 13-percent more than the previous year, when inflation is taken into account.

The 2016/2017 budget is being highly anticipated, as it will show how the Simpson Ministry administration plans to finance the 7-percent salary increase granted to public sector workers.

The budget will also be subject to intense scrutiny, given that 2016 is an election year.